Raise your hand if you’ve seen Glass Onion. Okay, now raise your other hand if you LIKED Glass Onion. My hands are raised, but only moderately so. The latest Rian Johnson whodunnit mystery film and the direct sequel to 2020’s Knives Out is very pretty and features not only Daniel Craig back to looking craggy and delightfully chewing scenery, but also a host of wild, clever, and on occasion distracting, celebrity cameos.
I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, nor will Glass Onion appear in these rankings, but it got me thinking of the Whodunnit — that genre of mystery movies and TV shows that usually centers around a murder or similar big crime and the attempts by the characters to solve it, and figure out who the real criminal is. When done well, these be delightful movies. They’re not always done well.
Here are your player ratings for Tottenham Hotspur’s big 4-0 win at Crystal Palace to the theme of Whodunnits. And even though these movies are decades old, I’m going to try to avoid spoilers.
5 stars: Clue (1985)
Well before there were movies made based on Halo and other video games, there was Clue, inspired and named for a classic board game. There are movies that have more compelling mysteries at their core, but there aren’t any whodunnits that are more FUN. Madeline Kahn, Tim Curry, Michel McKean, Christopher Lloyd... this was a star-studded murder mansion set piece comedy film that leaned into all the stereotypes, and knocked them out of the park with panache and incredible humor. The gimmick with Clue was that there were actually three endings, with different theaters getting different versions of the film. It was brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, you must.
Harry Kane (Community — 4.5): Two goals, pulling him within two of Greaves. Dropped deeper to receive the ball than he has for a while, and Spurs saw the dividends. Welcome back, buddy.
4 stars: The Usual Suspects (1995)
The Usual Suspects doesn’t involve a central murder (though there’s plenty of killing), but it is a twisty heist-gone-bad mystery centered around the identity of Keyser Söze and with an absolutely jaw-dropping climactic reveal. It’s not a spoiler to say that the big reveal in this film absolutely blew my mind the first time I watched it and it doesn’t get any less incredible on subsequent viewings.
Bryan Gil (Community — 4.0): Was it a perfect match? No. Bryan still gets muscled off the ball too easily and can dribble, Lucas-style, into cul-de-sacs too frequently and needs to develop a final ball. But the dude can dribble. Two hockey assists and an actual assist in an outstanding second half. This was encouraging stuff.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.0): Made a couple of good stops, none better than against Ayew in the first half. Decent distribution, no major gaffes, kept a clean sheet. Good man.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 3.5): This is probably an overrating, but I don’t care. The relief when that goal went in was palpable. Sonny overcame another sub-par first half and put in a good shift, capping it off with a goal. I love him and want him to be happy.
Ivan Perisic (Community — 4.0): Was given license to cross the ball a lot and put a gorgeous one to Kane for his first goal.
3.5 stars: Knives Out (2019)
Credit Rian Johnson for resurrecting the whodunnit in the recent era, a genre that had been somewhat stagnant. Knives Out was brilliant, using a brilliant cast that mixed A-list celebs out of the spotlight (Don Johnson! Jamie Lee Curtis! Frank Oz!) with more familiar, younger actors. Daniel Craig does his best Foghorn Leghorn impression and steals every scene, and the central mystery is compelling and ends with a peacock flourish. Great stuff.
Cristian Romero (Community — 3.5): Had one weird moment with Ayew in the second half but otherwise was capable and most importantly didn’t pick up a yellow for a reckless challenge.
Eric Dier (Community — 3.5): Came back from a one-match benching and put in a solid shift. No complaints.
Clement Lenglet (Community — 3.5): I’m continually impressed with the way Clement has adapted to the Premier League this season, plus he’s one of the best passers on the team. A constant presence on the left for Spurs.
Matt Doherty (Community — 4.0): Dohertinho was a menace in the box again, and took his goal quite well but he did show at times his lack of defensive acumen and was a little wasteful with his passing.
Pape Matar Sarr (Community — 4.0): Came in as a sub for Skippy and looked calm and composed in a way that belies his years. Also has a dribble to him! Cool that he’s finally getting a look from Conte.
Antonio Conte (Community — 4.0): I’m not exactly sure what Conte did differently in terms of tactics and team setup compared to Villa, but whatever it was it worked.
3 stars: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Sure, the Toons get all the credit here, but this was actually a pretty good hard-boiled detective mystery combined with somewhat gimmicky but (at the time) pretty revolutionary special effects. It would’ve been easy to lean into the childish cartoon parts and play everything for dumb laughs, and there are a few as it’s a family movie, but at its core, this is a well-made — and at times, a little scary — whodunnit.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community — 3.5): We know what we’re getting from Pierre and he did not disappoint with his work rate. But he kinda did disappoint with the ball at his feet at times.
Oliver Skipp (Community — 3.0): I liked what I saw from Skippy, especially early — he has a progressive instinct compared to Spurs’ other regular central midfielders, But he also was clearly shaking off the rust and got beat in possession a couple of times. I would call this a “low 3” — he doesn’t deserve 2.5, but could certainly do better. I would like to see more of him, though.
2 stars: Death on the Nile (2022)
“Death on the Nile” is a classic Hercule Poiroit novel by Agatha Christie and should be ripe source material for a good murder mystery set on a riverboat in the 1920s. But as slick and glossy as the visuals are, there isn’t a ton of chemistry between the two leads, Armie Hammer and Gal Godot, and the whole thing comes off as both polished and half-baked, leading you through the motions without actually accomplishing much of anything. Plus: the murder doesn’t even happen until an hour into the film.
This is just me filling out the categories.
1 star: Murder Mystery (2019)
You might be tempted to watch this movie because you like Adam Sandler. You should not. It’s easily the worst Adam Sandler film he’s ever made, and I say that as someone who doesn’t like most of Adam Sandler’s corpus of work. Like Death on the Nile, it is also based on the same Agatha Christie novel. Unlike Death on the Nile, it is neither pretty nor even remotely interesting. The nicest thing I can say about it is that at least the butler didn’t do it.
No Tottenham players were as bad as Adam Sandler’s Murder Mystery movie.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Emerson Royal, Ben Davies, Ryan Sessegnon, Harvey White