ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

The Usual Suspects (1995)

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).



8 comments on “The Usual Suspects (1995)

  1. joem18b

    i remember that for some reason when i watched this, i didn’t like the gabriel byrne character. now that i’ve watched 72 episodes of In Treatment, I ought to go back and see if I like him better.

    • Klaus

      That would do it! 🙂

    • Anthony Lee Collins

      72 episodes? That’s longer than being in treatment for some people. (cheaper, though) 🙂

      Seriously, I first encountered Gabriel Byrne in Miller’s Crossing, and I’ve liked him ever since.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins

    What a great movie. No huge ambitions, no snazzy special effects, just a tight, smart script and some great actors entertaining the hell out of you for two hours. And Singer was smart enough not to ever try to make another one like it (unlike, for example, M. Night Shyamalan).

  3. Dave Becker

    My first Gabriel Byrne film (though I didn’t even know it until many years later) was EXCALIBUR, but I really liked him in MILLER’S CROSSING as well.

    Gotta watch THE USUAL SUSPECTS again. It’s been too long!

  4. movie guy steve

    Kevin Pollack is badly underrated. He’s my favorite of the five anti-heroes in this one.

  5. mcarteratthemovies

    I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite part in “The Usual Suspects,” but if I did it probably would be Kevin Spacey’s walk at the end of the movie, where he evolves from his palsy shuffle to a confident pace. That really says it all.

    • Klausming

      “…but if I did it probably would be Kevin Spacey’s walk at the end of the movie, where he evolves from his palsy shuffle to a confident pace. That really says it all”.

      I couldn’t agree more, what a terrifically elegant ending!

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This entry was posted on 03/11/2011 by in 1001 List, 1990s, All.
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