“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne and Chazz Palminteri
The Usual Suspects follows a group of five criminals that are randomly brought together on a police line-up, and with this meeting, decide to work together on a big project that will be financially rewarding for everyone involved.
Most people have heard of this film and for all the right reasons. It’s a must watch on all kinds of levels; and quite simply because its one of the best films of all time.
After a massacre and a fire aboard a boat, one of the survivors is Roger “Verbal” Kint (Spacey), who is brought in for police questioning. While being interrogated by a detective at the station, we are told a complex story of the events leading up to the massacre, that happened to be under the commission of the mysterious mob boss, Keyser Söze.
Through the use of flashbacks and narration, Verbal’s story becomes increasingly convoluted and intricate, getting to the point where it doesn’t seem possible that it has a logical ending, but it does, and its fantastic.
The Usual Suspects manages to take advantage of a gullible audience and will have you watching again, just so you can notice all the subtitles you missed the first time round. This film alone shows that even with a small budget, as long as you have the right cast, story and director, you can come out with an instant classic.
Director Bryan Singer hasn’t really done any more films of the same magnitude since, he went on to work on X-men and Superman Returns, but nothing compares to The Usual Suspects. I guess a lot of the credit must go to Christopher McQuarrie though, who wrote 9 copies of the script before the film was put in production.
The Usual Suspects is probably on everyone’s Top 10 Movie List – if they’ve seen it. From its intricate details to its unpredictable and killer-twist ending, the film really works to surprise and satisfy the audience throughout. It’s the movie that really put Kevin Spacey on the map, his performance as Verbal was flawless and the rest of the cast were brilliant too. Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak and Benicio del Toro all portray their parts really convincingly, each with their own haunted past, giving them various reasons to be under the commission of Keyser Söze.
Not wanting to give too much away, I’ll just have recommend it fully and leave it at that.
Kevin Spacey won his first Oscar for his role as Verbal, and Christopher McQuarrie for Best Original Screenplay.
Star rating: 10/10
Directed by Bryan Singer.
Running time 106 minutes.