Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is bigger in scale and mystery than the first film.

Tech billionaire Miles Bron invites his friends for a getaway on his private Greek island. When someone turns up dead, Detective Benoit Blanc is put on the case.

When Knives Out came out in 2019 it was a huge hit, Rian Johnson took the whodunnit genre and did something completely new with, plus the cast just really made a lot of the film. Since then people immediately wanted a sequel and well here we are, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in a lot of ways is better than the first film. For starters it’s definitely bigger in scale and you immediately get that impression when the film starts, the cast in this film much like the first film is really strong here and blends completely well together. Everyone does a fantastic job here but the standouts include Daniel Craig who once again is fantastic as Benoit Blanc, heck he’s better here than he was in the first film. He delivers even more clever lines, some really great jokes and brings this old fashion whodunnit type of feel to his character. Janelle Monáe is truly great here and blends pretty well with Daniel Craig especially the scenes dedicated to the two of them, Kate Hudson is just having a blast as well as Madelyn Cline who are two very fun characters. Finally there’s Edward Norton who’s character is very well written and the satire element really shines through. The filming is quite well done and really compliments the whole film’s atmosphere, much like I said about Craig’s performance Glass Onion has a very old fashion whodunnit film type of feel to it. Rian Johnson really does a masterful job of balancing the familiar type of elements while adding an incredible amount of new elements that make the film much more interesting, the writing is very clever and slowly but surely builds the whole mystery of the film. Heck the mystery itself is on a bigger scale than the first one, which leads me to how Glass Onion can be best described “bigger scale” something often that a lot of sequels forget to do is how they can make things bigger granted bigger doesn’t always mean better. In certain films it shouldn’t matter much if the sequel stays about the same, but with Knives Out it was interesting to see whether they were going to keep things about the same as the first movie or were they going to make things even bigger and make a lot of character moments, plot development and even the writing more grand? They chose the latter and completely nailed it there’s so much creativity here that really shines through the film and even opens up to more potential in the future with more installments. If you liked Knives Out you are absolutely going to love Glass Onion, it’s everything a sequel should be and should do.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery releases December 23rd on Netflix.

10/10 A+

See How They Run is a very cleverly written whodunnit film.

In 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When a world-weary inspector and an eager rookie constable take on the case, they find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid world of underground theater, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.

See How They Run is the result when you take the feel and look of a Wes Anderson film and mix it in with the whodunnit it genre, to the movie’s credit it does a pretty solid job of doing exactly that. Although it might not be the most original idea and it does have a few cliches however the film works around that by excelling at almost everything else, for starters the cast is quite strong here particularly Saoirse Ronan who truly gives one of the most hilarious and entertaining performances of the year. Her comedic timing is truly spot on and her dialogue with Sam Rockwell is truly scene stealers, the film quite honestly belongs to Ronan as she really hits the ball hard with tons of film reference and her facial expressions that truly capture each scene. Sam Rockwell and the rest of the cast are quite great as well, although some of the side characters could have used a bit more screen time they are still entertaining and quite a lot of fun. As I said earlier the conversations between Rockwell and Ronan are truly some of the film’s highlights, there’s so much energy and a very strong comedic atmosphere that truly makes it all work. The dialogue is genuinely funny as well as investing the viewer into the mystery itself, overall See How They Run is a very fun film that any fan of the whodunnit genre should watch!

See How They Run is available on all VOD platforms.

8/10 B+

Enola Holmes 2 is a slightly better than the first movie.

Enola Holmes takes on her first case as a detective, but to unravel the mystery of a missing girl, she’ll need some help from friends — and brother Sherlock.

I really don’t have a whole lot to say here..Enola Holmes 2 is a sequel to Enola Holmes which came out in 2020, a movie that I found to be pretty okay for what it is, Enola Holmes 2 is definitely an upgrade from it’s predecessor although not that much has changed. There’s still the incredibly charming performances from Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill that completely steal the show throughout the film, where as the first movie felt more of a background movie this one offers more depth to the characters. We actually get some character moments that do add certain character arcs, the fourth wall breaking does get to be a bit much after awhile as it does tend to repeat the same sort of jokes that other movies have. The running time combined with the pacing in some areas also tend to drag a bit, but there’s a lot of genuinely charming bits here that make up for it!

Enola Holmes 2 is available on Netflix.

7/10 B

Significant Other falls short with it’s interesting ideas.

Sinister events plague a young couple when they take a backpacking trip through the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Significant Other is one of those movies that has the right ingredients to make a really interesting little movie, but only meets at the halfway point. Maika Monroe gives a strong performance here, she really turns what would otherwise be a lot of dull moments into something truly interesting. The atmosphere is definitely there as well, the movie quickly establishes a thrilling and haunting atmosphere that works for quite awhile until the movie starts to become a bit too goofy. Especially during the third act where the twist while I can see what they were going for, doesn’t quite stick it’s landing. It’s a bit too goofy and takes away from the atmosphere that made the movie pretty thrilling, there’s a few decent character moments here that really work and the setting combined with the atmosphere works well. The movie itself just doesn’t fully come together in the end.

Significant Other is available on Paramount+

5/10 C

God’s Country is a thrilling character driven film.

A college professor gets drawn into an escalating battle of wills after she catches two hunters trespassing on her property in the remote mountains of the American West.

God’s Country mainly works due to Thandiwe Newton’s performance that is very raw and really keeps the interest of the viewer, the photography of the setting is truly beautiful especially when combined with the atmosphere. Speaking of which the film absolutely nails the atmosphere on so many levels, the film does take it’s time to get going but once it does it actually explores a few themes such as racism. Which the film does a pretty solid job in despite feeling a bit unexplored at times, which the movie makes up for with very engaging writing that really builds the characters with a lot of personal moments between one another. There’s a lot here that is very striking and really adds to the film’s overall atmosphere that eventually leads to a very strong third act. Once again Newton is truly what makes the film shine, just watching her character interact with everyone else is really investing and gives the film it’s personality that is very memorable after watching.

God’s Country is available on all VOD platforms.

8/10 B+

Luckiest Girl Alive has important subjects with a subpar story.

A writer’s perfectly crafted New York City life starts to unravel when a true-crime documentary forces her to confront her harrowing high school history and question the choices she made as a teenager.

Luckiest Girl Alive has the right material to be a really interesting movie on some very heavy subjects but the way the movie is crafted leaves it very disjointed. Mila Kunis does a really great job it’s definitely one of her best performances in awhile, the movie taking on subjects such as rape and school shootings comes as a surprise from this movie. On the surface it seems like it’s going to be another Netflix mystery movie that falls in line with what they usually release. But when these subjects do come up and are shown it comes as a shock, when the film does tackle these subjects it does a pretty good job of nailing down the point. However mixing these important subjects with a very subpar story is when the movie starts to fall apart, the cutting from the past and present is very messy plus it does not give the viewer nearly enough time to fully digest what exactly happened despite being almost two hours long. Lastly the movie juggles way too many ideas at once, between trauma, the mystery element, school shooting and rape it does well with certain ideas but leaves a lot more to be desired about others. Luckiest Girl Alive isn’t a bad movie it’s just a disappointing one that could have really been a home run.

Luckiest Girl Alive is available on Netflix.

5/10 C

Raven’s Hollow is another Edgar Allan Poe movie.

West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe and four other cadets on a training exercise in upstate New York are drawn by a gruesome discovery into a forgotten community.

Edgar Allan Poe horror movies aren’t a new concept, they have been around forever but often times it feels like the filmmakers want to do way too much with the subject rather than tell a simple story that scares the viewer or make a eerie atmosphere. Raven’s Hollow tries to do way too much, while there are some strong folklore horror elements as well as the setting becoming a bit haunting due to the atmosphere. The characters are very one dimensional and have very little to no character development, the creature itself is pretty neat and there’s some surprisingly gruesome deaths. But there really isn’t anything of substance to the movie, the movie actually reminds me of a weaker version of The Cursed a movie that came out earlier this year that I wasn’t a huge fan of. But at least that movie used it’s elements in more creative ways, Raven’s Hollow is just another Edgar Allan Poe movie that does nothing to standout.

Raven’s Hollow is available on Shudder.

4/10 D+

The Forgiven a dull satire on the rich.

While driving to a party at a grand villa, a wealthy couple on the verge of divorce accidentally hit and kill a young Moroccan man who was selling fossils on the roadside.

The Forgiven has a pretty strong cast that is ultimately the best part about it Jessica Chastain, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Abbott, Ismael Kanater and Matt Smith are all great and for the script they are given they do a great job. What mainly hurts The Forgiven is that it really doesn’t do anything with it’s topic, being a satire of eating the rich or of the very wealthy is something that could be interesting if done right. But unfortunately The Forgiven doesn’t have the script to back it up, there’s some decent shots here and it’s competently made but script doesn’t offer anything investing and instead is very surface level at best. The basic formula with The Forgiven is the following…present an interesting idea, explore it for about five minutes and then abandon it and finally move on to the next. The Forgiven isn’t a terrible movie as it is well acted and decently made but it’s definitely one that could have been really great.

The Forgiven is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C

Where The Crawdads Sing is a solid murder mystery!

Abandoned as a girl, Kya raised herself in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the marsh girl haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, she opens herself to a new and startling world. However, when one of them is found dead, Kya immediately becomes the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal many secrets.

Where The Crawdads Sing has a lot to like about it, there’s some really strong acting from Daisy Edgar-Jones, Jojo Regina, David Strathairn, Michael Hyatt and Sterling Macer Jr. There’s also the setting combined with the atmosphere that is actually pretty well done here, there’s plenty of thrilling moments that give the setting some sort of beauty to it. The film also does a solid job of building Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones) as a character and showing her backstory so the viewer can connect with her, the major problems here are the pacing, the romantic scenes and the running time. For starters the pacing drags quite a bit towards the end, when things seem to be wrapping up it just keeps going and really puts the movie at a halt. The romantic scenes aren’t strong enough mainly due to Taylor John Smith’s and Harrison Dickinson’s performances being really nothing special, there’s definitely a few moments that are emotional and quite beautiful they aren’t enough to outmatch the forgettable ones. Then there’s the running time of 126 minutes that definitely overstays it’s welcome, scenes quickly become repetitive and as I said earlier drag on quite a bit. Despite that Where The Crawdads Sing is still a decent enough murder mystery that has a lot of positives.

Where The Crawdads Sing is currently in theaters.

7/10 B

Cryo is a below average Cube clone.

After awakening from a cryogenic sleep, five scientists awaken trapped in an underground facility with no memories of their past. As they ucover the truth, the scientists find themselves being hunted by someone.

Not a whole lot to comment on here, Cryo is a student film and there was clearly a huge amount of effort put into it that’s very commendable. The atmosphere is quite great and I do like the premise of it, even if it’s very much like The Cube, the major problems are the paper thin characters who just don’t have a whole lot going for them. And the running time which is for whatever reason nearly 2 hours long, combine that with some very messy pacing and you get a huge mixed bag of a movie. The acting is at least decent and the writing is actually not that bad, it’s just when it comes to character development is where the movie really lacks.

Cryo is available on all VOD Platforms.

5/10 C