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The Usual Suspects (1995)

  Directed by: Bryan Singer
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Pollak, Pete Postlethwaite, Kevin Spacey
Links: The Usual Suspects on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

The Usual Suspects (1995) is also mentioned in mino's review of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), pearly's review of Se7en (1995) and em_fiction's review of The Crying Game (1992).

"And like that... *poof*... he's gone" - a review by pearly

Sometimes, you remember a film fondly, but you have a suspicion that perhaps your remembered view will not live up to the actuality of the film when you watch it again. I remembered The Usual Suspects as being amazing, the best film ever, definitely a 10 outta 10. But, not having seen it for at least 2 years, I was worried that perhaps it wouldn't live up to my remembered hype.

It did.

The Usual Suspects is, quite simply, a brilliant film. Kevin Spacey gives the performance of his career as physically challenged Verbal Kint, a crook who is brought in for questioning by the police. The backstory is then told through Kint, as he relays the events of the last few weeks from his perspective. As he does this, the story is played out.

Kint tells the story of himself and four other "usual suspects": McManus (Stephen Baldwin), the guy who suggests they get together for a job, and his sidekick Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), the guy who's trying to go straight, and Hockney (Kevin Pollak), the explosives expert. The gang have been involved in a job to steal drugs from a shipment, which has been thrust upon them by the elusive but very powerful Keyser Soze. While the cops talk to Kint about who was involved, other cops out on the field try to gather information about Mr Soze, specifically through a survivor from the ship.

Every last performance in The Usual Suspects is superb, particularly Spacey's: it reminds me why I say he's my favourite actor, even though some of his more recent work has been less than impressive. They're all like shining beacons that should be seen from director's ships and picked up for future work - and they have been: most have gone on to many more successes since. Del Toro's whacky Fenster with the odd accent and speech impediment is quite hilarious. As well as this gang, there is Pete Postlethwaite, who is the straight-forward Kobayashi, Mr Soze's right-hand man. And then there are the cops, with Chazz Palminteri as Kint's interviewer Kujan doing a wonderful job. Truly a dream ensemble cast.

The climax to The Usual Suspects leaves me with chills running up and down my spine. It is such a clever script, put together superbly, and the resulting film is amazing. It doesn't drag for a single moment. I'm very happy to be able to say that it totally lived up to the high pedestal that I had earlier placed it upon. 10 outta 10, all the way.

pearly gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 19 Feb 2004

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