in about 100 words or less
US 106m, Colour
Director: Bryan Singer; Cast:Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio del Toro, Giancarlo Esposito, Pete Postlethwaite, Dan Hedaya, Suzy Amis
Titled after a line from Casablanca (1942), The Usual Suspects is an engaging modern film noir which plays with the concept of urban myth in the telling of the tale of a notorious mob boss known as Keyser Söze whose exploits are related in narrated flashbacks from the police interrogation of a survivor of a brutal massacre at a Los Angeles shipyard. In telling the story, Kevin Spacey is brilliant as the small time crook Roger “Verbal” Kint, who delivers a progressively more complex and unbelievable tale for police. The elaborate screenplay unravels Verbal’s complex story to both the audience and to the police in a manner that is reminiscent of Sunset Boulevard (1951), leaving the big reveal to the film’s final moments (Klaus Ming March 2011).