Shattering Whodunnit Stereotypes: ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a Murder Mystery With Layers


"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" / Netflix / Wikimedia / Licensed Under Fair Use

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is the latest murder mystery in Netflix’s catalogue. Released on Dec. 23, 2022, the movie received praise and high ratings from audiences and critics alike.

Diya Maheshwari, Lead Copy Editor

Netflix’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is a layered murder mystery that shatters many preconceived notions about the whodunnit genre while modernizing the medium at the same time. A loosely connected sequel to 2019’s “Knives Out,” Writer-Director Rian Johnson returns with an original script that will wow any mystery nerd or even casual viewers with no knowledge of the prequel.

The film centers around an American billionaire, Miles Bron, who invites his closest so-called friends to his private island for a murder mystery-themed vacation. When an actual murder occurs, it is up to famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to solve the real mystery.

Every character’s secrets and lies are slowly revealed as the movie progresses, creating a plot as multilayered as the film’s namesake vegetable.

Filled with a star-studded cast, “Glass Onion” never fails to disappoint in terms of acting. Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson and even Dave Bautista bring their characters to life with fantastic energy. Marvel’s “Eternals” (2021) was a cautionary tale about how a cast filled with big-name actors can become a recipe for disharmony; however, Rian Johnson gives each star equal signficance within the plot, so everyone in the film can shine brightly and uniquely.

Daniel Craig, however, surpasses even his own previous performance in “Knives Out” as the charming Benoit Blanc, a loveable, deeply southern detective who delights in mysteries and eccentric turns-of-phrase. Edward Norton nevertheless holds his own as kooky billionaire Miles Bron, reminding us eerily of real-life billionaire Elon Musk. Personally, I loved Kate Hudon’s Birdie Jay, a canceled celebrity who undoubtedly needs a history lesson and relies on their beleaguered assistant (Jessica Henwick) to keep them off social media.

Writer-Director Johnson has stated one of his favorite things to do in a movie is “telling the audience exactly what you’re going to do and then doing it.” The film’s script and pacing play on this notion beautifully. On each re-watch of the film, you slowly notice that every secret revealed at the end is shown in some way or another previously in the story. Whether it be the most significant clue carefully hidden in a shot or a character hiding behind a bush, it is all there; like Benoit Blanc himself, viewers merely need to know where and when to look. 

Ultimately, my favorite part of the “Knives Out” whodunnit universe is that it is an original concept. No remakes or source material to follow, just an original script and a knack for mysteries. Johnson does an exceptional job of taking this dearly beloved genre and modernizing it while maintaining a firm foundation of mystery. A great example is how the movie indirectly throws shade at out-of-touch celebrities and politicians who do not care about the real world.

“Glass Onion” is a fun, watch-with-the-family movie that has deeper themes integrated within its plot. The movie’s originality brings a breath of fresh air to both the mystery genre and the movie industry as a whole. This movie is one of my personal favorites, complete with an amazing director and script, along with a talented cast.

Hopefully, this is not the last time we see Detective Benoit Blanc, his sleuthing skills and his fabulous accent in action.

“Glass Onion: A ‘Knives Out’ Mystery” is currently available to stream on Netflix.