10 Knives Out Mystery-Solving Tips To Remember Before Watching Netflix's Glass Onion

Daniel Craig in Glass Onion
(Image credit: Netflix)

There is something so satisfying about figuring out who did it in a whodunnit before the detective does. However, it’s particularly hard to do so in Rian Johnson’s twisty and turn-y mystery Knives Out, and I’d imagine the same will be true in its sequel, Glass Onion, which Netflix subscribers will be able to stream. Johnson has made it clear these murder mysteries have a future, and he hopes to make many more. So I have compiled ten tips for how to solve a Knives Out mystery that will hopefully help you figure out Glass Onion before Daniel Craig's Southern detective Beniot Blanc does. 

The cast of Knives Out posing for a family photo

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Pay Attention To Alibis 

This is likely the most common sense tip, but also one of the most important. When you are watching any murder mystery, one of the first things the detectives check in on is where the suspects were at the time of the murder. In Knives Out, for example, we never learn what Ransom (Chris Evans) was up to the night of the murder after he left the house. We later learn he was off committing the crime. If there is a suspect whose whereabouts are not accounted for, you should 100% be suspicious of them. 

Chris Evans looking evil in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Expect The Unexpected, But Don’t Rule Out The Expected 

Yes, it’s important to think about all the suspects who are unexpected, but don’t let that drive you away from the more obvious choices. As CinemaBlend’s Jerrica Tisdale observed while re-watching Knives Out, the film centers itself around the killer. Ransom is the most aggressive and rude of the characters, and based on his angry reaction after talking with his grandfather and the victim, Harlan (Christopher Plummer), he appears to have the motive to pull off a murder. So while it was surprising when he was revealed, it was a fairly obvious choice for the killer. All this is to say, don’t rule out the most obvious suspect from the get-go; they might surprise you in an unexpected way.  

Michael Shannon sitting in front of the wall of knives in Knives Out.

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The First Suspect Can Likely Be Ruled Out

This point and the next one go hand in hand. These movies are set up in three acts, and there will be multiple suspects throughout. In Knives Out, the first person that the detectives suspect is Walt Thrombey (Michael Shannon). He runs the publishing company and arguably has one of the stronger potential motives because of his stake in the company. It’s a convincing argument that is made, however, since he was the first suspect, he could immediately be ruled out. This will likely be true in Glass Onion as well.

Daniel Craig standing in front of Ana de Armas in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Expect One If Not Two Plot Twists, And Prepare Accordingly

As I said, whoever you expect at the beginning will likely not have done it in the end, because Rian Johnson is a master of a plot twist or two. The classy Southern detective himself said it best when he explained: 

It’s a twisted web. And we’re not finished untangling it, not yet.

By my calculations, there were two massive plot twists – thinking Marta did it and finding out Ransom was behind it all along – and a few smaller ones throughout Knives Out. So it was a twisted web indeed, and I’d imagine the same will be true in Glass Onion

Christopher Plummer looking at a dagger in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Take Note Of Expositional Details 

At the beginning of a whodunnit, we always get a rundown of everything that's happened. These details are extremely important and typically fly by. You find out who's who and what’s what, and all this information is extremely important. You’ll learn the potential motives, the relationships between the suspects and potential foreshadowing, and you’ll also get to know the victim. 

For example, in Knives Out, there is a throwaway line about fake knives from Harlan, and then at the end of the movie, Ransom tries to kill Marta, but fails because he grabs a fake knife. The first movie, and I’m sure the sequel, is full of very fast quippy dialogue throughout but especially at the beginning, so it’s important to not let the early details pass you by. 

Ana de Armas petting a dog and Daniel Craig standing above them.

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Pay Attention To Minute, But Repeated Details

These details are typically one of those things that you’ll catch on a second viewing. However, if you are paying extra close attention, you can catch the repeated details the first time around. In the first mystery from Rian Johnson, one repeated detail is the dogs. These dogs end up being a key piece of the mystery, and a major point that proves Marta’s (Ana de Armas) innocence. This is because the dogs won’t bark at her. It’s shown multiple times that the dogs don’t like Ransom, and that fact alone nearly solves the whole mystery in my opinion. So when Glass Onion comes out, make sure to take note of any small details that come up more than once. 

Chris Evans in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Who Is The Lone Wolf Of the Group? 

While it can be stereotypical when it comes to a whodunnit, the lone wolf is a suspect who should never be ruled out. In this case, it was Ransom who operated on his own agenda. The others in the Thrombey family were also incredibly selfish. However, they were all united in their battle to take Harlen’s assets from Marta, plus they literally spent more time together. Meanwhile, Ransom was off committing crimes and trying to get away with murder. 

Daniel Craig holding hand out as Benoit Blanc in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Whoever Hired Or Invited Benoit Blanc Should Be Suspect No. 1

This will dovetail nicely into my next point, but more on that later. Always take note of why Benoit Blanc is there. He’s a private detective who is hired to solve crimes. In Knives Out, he gets anonymously hired to solve the mystery, and he wonders who sent him the money to take on the case. Well, it turns out the murderer did; Ransom hired Craig's character. 

Based on what we know about Glass Onion, it seems like Blanc has been invited to this event because a mystery is afoot, and I’d say there’s a high probability the person who hired him committed the crime. 

Lakeith Stanfield and Noah Segan in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Think About The Questions Asked At The Beginning And If They’ve Been Answered

Like I said in the last point, make sure to take note of the questions asked at the beginning of the film. Blanc ponders who hired him from the start, and it’s a point that lingers throughout the film until we find out that this answer is also the answer of, well, who did it. Typically questions are asked at the beginning and slowly get answered throughout the film, and while there’s no need to write them down, it’s useful to keep them in mind. This is because if you know the questions that are yet to be answered, you can likely pay attention to clues regarding them throughout the film and you’ll be able to deduce who did it.  

Chris Evans in Knives Out

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Trust Your Gut…To An Extent 

I’d like to use this section to point out that I had a feeling Ransom did it just from the trailer. My reasoning had nothing to do with the plot, it was simply a gut feeling. I figured no one would expect the beloved Chris Evans to play the bad guy, therefore he must have done it. While this reasoning is not sound, my gut was right because it was Ransom. So, all this is to say, you’ll likely go in with some preconceived notions about who did it, and it’s something to always keep on the back burner of your brain since you just might be right. There’s a reason we’re told to trust our gut every once in a while, because sometimes it's accurate. 

I hope these ten tips are helpful in solving the mystery of Glass Onion. The film is one of the highly anticipated additions to the 2022 movie schedule, and based on early reviews, it seems like it will live up to its predecessor. You can watch the cast of Glass Onion try to solve their mystery in theaters on November 23 (for one week only) and/or on Netflix starting December 23.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.