Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay)
Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite
Plot: A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Simply Brilliant Thriller
Story: The Usual Suspects starts as we see Verbal Kint (Spacey) explaining what happened after a crime gone wrong, telling his story to Dave Kujan (Palminteri). We meet all of the suspects in a line up Keaton (Byrne), McManus (Baldwin), Fenster (Del Toro), Hockney (Pollak) and Verbal himself. We watch as the guys get questioned about a missing gun shipment.
While in custody the five criminals agree to work on a new job as we move between before and after the crime and learn that Keyser Soze a mythical criminal was involved. We are left to piece the puzzle parts together in a crime story that will leave your jaw dropping.
The Usual Suspects is one of those crime mystery thrillers that does down as one of the greatest off all time. The flow of this film is so smooth you never notice the time go by and the final act will leave you shocked with a twist you would never see coming. There are no negatives about this story it is simply brilliant because of how simple it all is even with the killer twist.
Gabriel Byrne: Keaton is the disgraced former cop that went into the life of crime, he retired trying to change his life and come up clean. His new life is ruined when he is questioned leading him to going on a new crime wave with a new group of criminals. Keaton becomes the leader of the new crew because if his calmness under pressure. Gabriel is great in this role where he shines without becoming to dominate in the leading role.
Kevin Spacey: Verbal is our story telling the sole survivor of the job gone wrong. He gets bought into the job as the biggest outsider but through the story he makes the plans with his ideas but with his diplomatic immunity given to him by the DA he finds his story to giving Dave something else to chase in Keyser Soze. Kevin won an Oscar for this performance where he truly does give a brilliant performance.
Chazz Palminteri: Dave Kujan is the customs officer trying to get to the bottom of what happened on the ship with Verbal is the lone survivor, he has been chasing Keaton his whole career but hearing the story from Verbal he finds a new ghost to chase. Chazz is great as the investigator in this film.
Stephen Baldwin: McManus has years of experience working with his partner in crime Fenster, he is a hot head but brilliant marks man. He is the first to suggest the guys work together on a job. Stephen is good as the loose cannon of the group.
Pete Postlethwaite: Kobayashi is the lawyer for Keyser Soze who puts the pieces together to make this crime happen. He is always cool under pressure when it comes to the confrontation but loyal to Soze to the end. Pete gives the performance you would expect to see from him throughout.
Support Cast: The Usual Suspects has a good remaining supporting cast that all work well even though they are only small numbers involved.
Director Review: Bryan Singer – Bryan gives us one of the greatest crime thrillers ever made showing he knows how to handle an ensemble cast.
Crime: The Usual Suspects gives us a crime story full of the criminals we see as the heroes
Mystery: The Usual Suspects keeps us wondering about what will happen next.
Thriller: The Usual Suspects brings us to the edge of our seats from start to finish of this film.
Settings: The Usual Suspects uses the settings you would expect to see with the key locations being the office where the story is being told and the boat where everything happened.
Suggestion: The Usual Suspects is one I think everyone should have seen at least once and enjoy. (Watch)
Best Part: Final act.
Worst Part: Nope
Oh My God Moment: Final scene.
Favourite Quote: Verbal ‘After that my guess is that you will never hear from him again. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.’
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: Won Two Oscars including Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.
Budget: $6 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes
Tagline: In a world where nothing is what it seems you’ve got to look beyond.
Trivia: The Japanese characters on the outside of the meeting room where Kobayashi is talking with Edie Finneran and others say “Kobayashi” and “bengoshi” (attorney); the ones in reverse on the window read “seikou” (success), “chikara” (strength), and “zaisan” (assets).
Overall: One of the greatest crime thrillers ever put to film that will leave you shocked with its final outcome.