Glass Onion Reviews Are In, See What Critics Are Saying About Daniel Crag’s Knives Out Sequel

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Filmmaker Rian Johnson has been on a roll lately, becoming a household name thanks to his work on projects like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Knives Out. The latter whodunnit was a wild success that has kickstarted a bonafide franchise starring Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. The first sequel is coming in the form of Glass Onion, with reviews starting to roll in. Here’s what critics thought of Craig and Johnson’s latest mystery.

The first Knives Out movie featured an outstanding ensemble cast, and Rian Johnson does the same with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Daniel Craig is once again back as Benoit Blanc, joined by the likes of Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, and Dave Bautista. The critical response for this sequel has been somewhat mixed, although CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes gave it 5 stars claiming:

Even trying to describe how much fun this movie is feels like a disservice, as words can only go so far. Engrossing in its mystery, and simply giddy in its deft hand at humor, Glass Onion shows that Rian Johnson has nailed the sequel game in its tracks. Though he may despise the game of Clue, Benoit Blanc should take comfort in the fact that this new adventure yet again sparks the same sort of joy that the classic board game adaptation has brought to the world.

As previously mentioned, not all critics felt similarly impressed with Rian Johnson’s sophomore effort into the Knives Out franchise. Roger Ebert‘s own Christy Lemire praised Glass Onion‘s performances and visuals, but thought it was an inferior sequel. As she mused:

Ultimately, though, the giant glass onion that rests atop Miles’ mansion becomes an all-too-apt metaphor for the movie as a whole: Sparkling, but empty.

The AV Club‘s Todd Gilchrist might disagree with that assessment, as he praised Glass Onion for the way it was able to innovate when launching off of the first movie. He even went so far as to call it a “perfect people-crown pleasing” movie that is neither a horror movie or superhero flick. In his A- review he maintained,

In the best possible way, the closest cinematic analogy I can draw in energy and appeal to Glass Onion is Ocean’s Twelve, which similarly avoids retracing the steps of its predecessor, and is also so brisk and entertaining that viewers feel lucky to be invited into the VIP section with the movie stars who are partying there.

Given that Glass Onion is the first sequel to come from Rian Johnson’s burgeoning franchise, there’s no doubt going to be plenty of comparisons to the movie that started it all: Knives Out. While the cast, setting, and story go down differently, USA Today (opens in new tab)‘s Brian Truitt maintains that the original is far superior. As he wrote in his review:

The thing is, that first Knives Out just cuts differently. Evil Chris Evans in a cable-knit sweater helped, obviously, yet it was such a fresh breath of air in so many ways. The characters meshed and matched better, and there was an intimate coziness to the whole thing. The sequel starts like gangbusters, and has a couple of outstanding reveals that leave you questioning what’s actually happening, however it loses steam heading into the climactic third act.

But in juxtaposition, some critics have been claiming that Glass Onion is an even better movie than Rian Johnson’s 2019 original. The Associated Press‘ Lindsey Bahr actually thought it was funnier and bigger than Knives Out, which could mean big things for the future of Johnson’s franchise. As she put it,

As the title suggests, there are layers and layers to this mystery — even the central murder isn’t revealed until deep into the film, when Johnson rewinds and reframes much of what we’ve just seen. And it’s bigger, wilder and funnier than its predecessor.

Of course, it remains to be seen how audiences will ultimately respond to Glass Onion. There’s been a trend lately with movie having a disparity in critical response vs audience reaction. Case in point: the Rotten Tomatoes scores for Black Adam. I also have to wonder how the response to the Knives Out sequel might vary depending on when/how they see it. The movie is going to theaters first, before heading to Netflix. And as such, there’s a huge chance for spoilers.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery hits theaters on November 23rd, before arriving on Netflix on December 23rd. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.