I like going to the movie theaters. So I did just that for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, a Netflix movie that's going to be in theaters for just one week. But by the end of Benoit Blanc's latest jaunt, I pondered a mystery I didn't expect: "Why did I go see this in a theater when I could have just waited for Netflix?"
One reason was that watching Glass Onion on the big screen didn't cost much: I have a Season Pass for the Alamo Drafthouse, and this is only my second movie in the week that I've had it for. (You save money if you go to at least two movies in a month.) Secondly, I wanted to get out of the house.
That reasoning aside, I still think I could have spent those hours better doing something else. Sure, I wouldn't have run into a former colleague (hi, Alyssa!), but the excursion still feels like a mistake. So I thought I'd try and help you learn from my wasted time — that way, you can wait for its home release, where it's sure to be one of the best movies on Netflix.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery isn't a bad movie, mind you
Here's a spoiler-free synopsis and review of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Daniel Craig charms and surprises as the detective Benoit Blanc in a murder mystery that doesn't seem like a murder mystery at first.
Blanc is a guest of tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), who is basically playing a character that's one half-Elon Musk, and another half Mark Zuckerberg, on a private island where Bron invited all of his friends. Those buddies include an MRA Twitch streamer (Dave Bautista), an actress (Kate Hudson), a scientist that works for Bron (Leslie Odom Jr.), a rising politician (Kathryn Hahn) and his ex (Janelle Monáe). Each person, you soon realize, has a reason to want to kill Bron, who has set the stage for this trip to be its own murder mystery, because he finds that funny.
This fantastic cast all play their parts perfectly, the comedy is solid and the twists are plentiful. Writer and director Rian Johnson deserves his flowers. Glass Onion is, unsurprisingly, a good movie.
Yet, I'm still here thinking I could have waited a month.
Glass Onion is a perfect movie for Netflix
Glass Onion is one of those movies that doesn't lose a whole lot on the smaller screen. That's not to say it looks small-scale or anything, but nothing in the movie (beyond one quite-short scene where danger is afoot) truly benefits from the trappings of a local cinema.
Glass Onion is so fitting of the small-screen, in fact, that I dare say I'm happy Netflix is the one who released the movie. This 30-day window from theaters to homes is shorter than what you get with HBO Max or Disney Plus movies, a total plus.
In an era where I constantly see and hear about people staying at home to watch great films — some of the best movies of 2022 will work better in theaters, such as RRR, Top Gun: Maverick and Barbarian, not to mention the Marvel movies — I always try and tell these folks "no, trust me, that movie will be better with a crowd."
I'm not sure if my crowd (a packed house at 11:40 a.m.) was on tranquilizers, or if Glass Onion doesn't really make a room go ooh and ahh. Either way, the only real benefit of seeing Glass Onion in theaters is that your room is focused, and distractions are kept at bay. And, yes, a big screen does make a movie look better.
Outlook: Cut this Glass Onion at home
But do you really want to go all the way to the movies? To sit in a packed theater during flu season, especially when Covid variants are still spreading, and nobody's masking? Do you want to spend money you don't need to? Is any movie theater going to have better food than your house?
If your answers to the above have more no's than yes's, then trust me, December 22 will be here before you know it. And you won't feel like you missed anything by not seeing the Knives Out sequel at a theater.