“Glass Onion” Was the Perfect Holiday Movie

Entertaining, talky, fast, not too heavy.

Will Leitch

--

My family used to all go to the movies over Christmas break. We all saw The Pelican Brief in 1993, Titanic in 1997, King Kong in 2005, Black Swan in 2010. When you’re all stuck in the house together and run out of things to do other than have awkward, sometimes perilous conversations with each other, there is undeniable value in all getting into a car and driving to a place where you can sit together in merciful silence for two hours. Sometimes it’s the only way for everyone to get along.

I still advocate for going to the movies — the family that sees Tar together, stays together — but it’s undeniable that, in recent years, families tend to stay in over the holidays, either because of a pandemic or just because everyone has gotten so lazy. (Or both!) Netflix has attempted to capitalize on this by having some of their bigger movies released exactly before the holiday, most famously Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman in 2019, which I largely remember as the holidays where everybody all debated about The Irishman on social media after the rest of their family went to bed.

As much as I admire that movie, I’m not sure a sad mob drama about aging and the perils of self-mythology is the ideal holiday movie. But this year, Netflix got it right. This year, Netflix gave us Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

It was the perfect holiday movie to watch with your family this holiday. It was almost as if it were genetically designed to be so.

  1. It’s a pre-existing franchise, but not one we’re sick of. The first Knives Out was a big hit, but not a monster one: It did just well enough for the average person to be vaguely aware of it even if they hadn’t seen it. This was the exact correct amount of brand awareness: Curiosity, but not oversaturation.
  2. It’s a self-contained story. You might enjoy Glass Onion more if you saw the original, but it is absolutely not required. You can come in and enjoy it cold.
  3. It has recognizable stars but none who are overly polarizing. You don’t have to worry about your aunt saying, “Oh, I can’t stand that Ryan Reynolds.” Nobody hates Daniel Craig, and it’s fair to say your grandmother doesn’t have deep-seated…

--

--

Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com