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Do You Need to Watch ‘Knives Out’ Before ‘Glass Onion’?

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022). (L-R) Kathryn Hahn as Claire, Madelyn Cline as Whiskey, Edward Norton as Myles, Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel, and Kate Hudson as Birdie.

Good news, detectives! Glass Onion: a Knives Out Mystery, the sequel to Knives Out starring Daniel Craig, is now streaming on Netflix. Glass Onion find the world-famous detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) on the private island of billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), whose staged murder mystery quickly goes sideways when a real murderer shows up. The movie is brought to life by a whole host of strange and colorful characters, played by Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Dave Bautista, Madelyn Cline, and Jessica Henwick. The list of surprise cameos is just as star-studded as the core cast, and the movie is over two hours of topsy turvy fun.

But do you need to watch the original Knives Out in order to understand what’s going on?

In Knives Out, Blanc is called to the mansion of another eccentric millionaire, Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer). Thrombey is dead, all of his family members are trying to get their hands on his fortune, and Blanc must enlist the help of Thrombey’s unassuming nurse (Ana de Armas) to get to the bottom of who killed him. Like Agatha Christie’s recurring character Hercule Poirot, Benoit Blanc is the only character who carries over from Knives Out to Glass Onion.

What do you need to know before you watch Glass Onion?

Since the cast, setting, and plot of Glass Onion are all completely new, you don’t need to watch Knives Out to know what’s going on—which is lucky, because due to licensing issues with Lionsgate, which distributed the first film, Knives Out currently isn’t streaming on Netflix in every region. All you need to know is that in the Knives Out series, Blanc is an eccentric gentleman with a Cajun drawl and a reputation as the greatest detective alive. But honestly, all that will become apparent in his first 30 seconds onscreen anyway.

With that said, though, you do need to watch Knives Out at some point, because it’s a fantastic movie, even for non-mystery fans (I generally don’t go for mysteries, and I loved it). Plus, watching it before Glass Onion will give you a greater appreciation for Blanc’s character, since he mostly plays a straightforward detective in Knives Out, but some pockets of his true inner weirdness come out here and there.

Still, if you watch Glass Onion first and find yourself dazedly mumbling, “I get it now. I get why everyone’s obsessed. I’m a true believer now,” then give Knives Out a watch. If it’s not available on Netflix in your region, you can rent it on Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime, Redbox, and other platforms.

Glass Onion: a Knives Out Mystery is now streaming on Netflix.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and watches Marvel movies. You can check out more of her writing at linktr.ee/juliaglassman, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.