Film review: Glass Onion (2022) (No spoilers)

Yesterday Netflix released the second in the series of whodunits featuring Daniel Craig as the brilliant detective Benoit Blanc, playing him with a caricatured Southern accent, vaguely reminiscent of Peter Sellers’ outrageous French accent as Inspector Clouseau. The writer snd director Rian Johnston is a self-admitted devotee of the Agatha Christie-style murder mystery novel and he clearly brings that sensibility to his films. The first one Knives Out (2019) followed the classic form of the genre, taking place in the large country home of a wealthy person, so that the suspects are limited to being few in number.

The second takes the same form except that location is more exotic, the luxurious home on the private Greek island of a billionaire tech entrepreneur who invites a group of his friends and collaborators for a weekend to take part in a murder mystery game. During the event, old animosities surface because of the arrival of the billionaire’s former collaborator who claims that he cheated her by stealing the idea that made him rich, and that the others colluded with him.

The film is highly enjoyable. Even though it lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes, I did not feel the time passing at all. There are interesting plot twists thrown in to keep one’s interest but the main appeal is in the characters and the snappy dialogue. As a bonus, it is funny and avoids gratuitous violence, The film also contains many cameos by well-known people. The story is supposedly based on the Agatha Christie novel A Murder is Announced though that story takes place in an English village and features the mousy Miss Marple as the detective. I had read that story decades ago but could not remember the plot. I took the book out of the library but refrained from starting it until today, after I saw the film.

What was particularly amusing was that the billionaire character Miles Bron seems to be a brutal portrayal of Elon Musk. Even though the film was made well before Musk’s recent shenanigans that have invited widespread scorn and ridicule and made many question his grandiose self-promotion of his abilities, it seems remarkably prescient. This review lays out all the similarities, and the astonishment of many viewers at how it accurately predicted how Musk would be viewed today, though be warned that the article contains spoilers. Here is a bit that is pertinent.

Miles Bron presents himself as tech boy-genius. The kind of guy who calls himself a visionary and talks about the power of disruption. But it’s a veneer, all sizzle and no steak. The dude simply steals ideas and bullies the people below him. He’s a billionaire who’s convinced he knows everything while hardly knowing anything at all.

Sound familiar?

Here’s the trailer.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    an accent of indeterminate origin, vaguely reminiscent of Peter Sellers’ outrageous French accent as Inspector Clouseau.

    From the couple of clips I’ve seen, I’d guess a Deep Southern US accent.

    [I agree with you and edited the original post on this issue. -- MS]

  2. says

    I really enjoyed the movie except for one thing I can’t discuss because even alluding to what bothered me about it is a spoiler (though I was able to get it off my chest on Mastodon, thank you Content Warning feature). The ending as well would make for an interesting topic of conversation except again, of course, spoilers.

    I’m not spoiler adverse and I do think spoiler phobia is out of hand online (a particular peeve is people in the comments to a video whining about spoilers about the video contents so why are they reading the comments first when the whole point of a comments section on videos is to discuss the damned video) but when the movie is this newly released and there are twists and turns I do respect avoiding them. In a year though if the movie comes up I will spoil the hell out of it talking about these things.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Tabby @2:

    I do think spoiler phobia is out of hand online

    Agreed. If a story can be spoiled by revealing a plot detail, it’s probably not much of a story.

  4. Mobius says

    I watched the movie last night and enjoyed it. I am going to have to go back and watch Knives Out, which I have not yet seen.

    I have to say that I disagree that Clue is a “terrible terrible game”. I greatly enjoy Clue, which is an interesting exercise in logic. It was also, IMHO, a great movie.

  5. Holms says

    If a story can be spoiled by revealing a plot detail, it’s probably not much of a story.

    Disagree -- sometimes yes, but certainly not all the time. Dark City was made worse in my opinion simply because the premise was spoiled by its own introductory monologue, removing what could have been a discovery mid-movie of just how screwed the setting was. Hint to people that haven’t seen it: SKIP THE INTRO.

    Sixth Sense could also be made much worse with but a single plot element spoiled. I’m sure there are other examples.

  6. John Morales says

    [Topic drift embraced]

    Way I see it, people who feel spoilers spoil (heh) the experience have no good reason to re-read or re-watch anything, other than perhaps a one-time frisson from some twist, which apparently is a thing for some people.

    Me, I’m getting on in life, and don’t particularly want to invest time into watching/reading something by going in blind and discovering it’s part of the 99% predictable formulaic crap (Sturgeon was an optimist), so I thoroughly research (so easy to do on the internet!) before starting on something.

    In passing, without spoilers, there’s no such thing as a proper review.
    Only opinion.

    I also well remember when I gave up on believing friends and acquaintances: the movie Gladiator, which I thought was a most stupid movie (and badly miscast) but which was most effusively praised by them. Fucking explosions and elevators, fucking mysticism, ridiculously anachronistic and ahistorical.

  7. says

    Rob @4

    I get there are people who enjoy a surprise twist and there are times those are important not so much to the plot but the way the story is being told so I’m fine with biting my tongue for a time. Where it’s out of hand is like I mentioned above where people read comment sections below a video then start whining that people are using the comments for their intended purpose of commenting on the video after watching it, and where it goes beyond any reasonable time frame and cries of “SPOILERS!” rise up months or even years after something is released. I’m sorry, but you’ve had plenty of time to watch The Maltese Falcon. It’s a lead replica under the paint. Nobody who was in the movie is alive today so you’d have plenty of time to catch up.

    The planet of the apes the spaceship crashed on was Earth all along. The star of the movie died in 2008. Still a fun movie, watch it if you haven’t.

    “Rosebud” is Kane’s childhood sled. Everyone in the movie is dead now. Watch if it you want to.

    Bruce Willis’s character was one of the dead people the kid could see. The kid’s a grown ass adult now so if you haven’t seen the movie yet that’s on you.

    (The “you” I’m referring to here is not Rob but the general spoiler phobes.)

  8. fentex says

    Murder mysteries have obvious reasons for people to wish avoiding spoilers -- I personally enjoy figuring out solutions before reveals.

    But there really isn’t much of a mystery in Glass Onion, it really isn’t a murder mystery as much as it’s a moral fable with quite a weak ending -- the whole movie is a set up for an, almost, pun? I’m not exactly sure what it’s called but the trip is a whole lot better than the destination.

    I enjoyed it mostly because I adore Janelle Monáe, who has a major role.

  9. Deepak Shetty says

    I enjoyed the movie -- The one thing I didnt like is the social commentary seemed to overpower the mystery

    @Tabby Lavalamp @8
    You seem to think that no one new should watch the movies that came out some time ago ?

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