Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery: In the sequel to Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” Daniel Craig reprises his role as Benoit Blanc, the skilled and sly private investigator that hasn’t met a case he can’t crack. In May 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Blanc receives an invitation from the famous tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), CEO of a company called Alpha, to attend a murder mystery weekend he is hosting on his private island in Greece. After he arrives on the island, Blanc learns that Miles actually didn’t invite him, so a new mystery is added: why is Blanc there?
The eclectic group of guests includes Alpha head scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr), governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and a men’s rights streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista). Most surprisingly among the guest is Alpha’s co-founder and jaded ex-CEO, Andi Brand (a scene-stealing Janelle Monae). “Glass Onion” is bigger, showier, and at times sillier than that first “Knives Out,” but with a whole new cast (aside from Craig of course) and setting, “Glass Onions” has all the fun and satirical nature of the first film without feeling like a copy. Fans of the 2019 movie should enjoy this entertaining whodunnit. (Stream on Netflix)
Everything Everywhere All at Once: Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is having a rough time. Her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) wants to serve her divorce papers, and the IRS is auditing the couple’s laundromat. Evelyn also feels the stress of her demanding father (James Hong) coming to visit, and she lies to him about the fact that her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), is in a relationship with a non-Chinese girl. The lie significantly strains the mother-daughter relationship, and Evelyn feels her daughter pulling away. While at a stressful meeting with an IRS agent Deirdre Beaubeirdre (Jamie Lee Curtis), Evelyn is transported to a different dimension where she is introduced to “Alpha-Waymond” and “Alpha Evelyn,” highly skilled versions of themselves who exist in an alternate dimension, including one where Evelyn is a successful action movie star. Evelyn finds herself on a bizarre journey that jumps from the present day and different universes.
Mixing elements of sci-fi, comedy, animation, and martial arts (Both Yeoh and Quan perform most of their own stunts), “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” is a wild ride that I suspect will demand multiple viewings to catch all the details. In intertwining Evelyn’s alternate lives with her current one, writer-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert craft an originally creative, surprisingly touching, and often goofy film that proves that real life can be just as chaotic as a bizarre alternate one. (Stream on Showtime and Paramount+)
The Banshees of Inisherin: In 1923, near the end of the Irish Civil War on the fictional Irish Isle of Inisherin, Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) is shocked and saddened when his long-term friend Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) suddenly ends their friendship. Pádraic is simple but well-liked by the community and content with his humble life as a farmer, but Colm thinks he’s too “dull” and wants to spend the rest of his days composing music and making some mark on the world. However, living in a tiny village with only one pub, the two men find it difficult not to run into each other. Pádraic intelligent and headstrong sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon), and a troubled boy, Dominic, attempt to assist the two men in mending their friendship, but as Pádraic distress for the loss increases, Colm goes to extreme lengths to keep his old friend out of his life.
Directed by Martin McDonagh, known for his dark comedies, “The Banshees of Inisherin” may be his most beautifully shot film to date. The two lead actors make a fantastic pair creating heartbreaking and humorous moments. Farrell’s performance captures Pádraic’s desperate loneliness, and Gleeson as Colm captures a man hitting a life crisis. (Stream on HBO)