Apr 11, 2012

The usual suspects [1995]

The usual Suspects is a 1995 classic action movie directed by Brian Singer. The storyline follows 5 men [McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fenstern (Benicio del Toro), Hackney (Kevin Pollack), Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) and Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey)] who are called for a line-up at the police station- they are the usual suspects in this type of cases, but since they don't have any evidence against them, they release them. While waiting, McManus offers them a job and so, after a couple days, they reunite and plan together a series of events that leads to a mysterious and deadly shooting.

Brian Singer created a great atmosphere for this action packed movie, with close-ups and using music that, in a way, transcends you to 50s gangster movies. The script is well constructed and has many twists and turns, and an abundance of details that you have to be careful to catch in time- people, reasons, lines. After one of the jobs doesn't pan out as it supposed to be, all clues go to Keyser Soze, who turns out to be the one who brought them together for the line-up and who is now calling the shots, blackmailing them all; he is the big bad guy and call me crazy, but I suspected from the first 1/3, maybe 1/2 of the movie, who it will turn out to be and I was right.

The casting is perfect and I love each individual because it brings something different, but necessary to the table. I was surprised to see a very young Benicio del Toro, with a funny, almost non comprehendible accent, and Stephen Baldwin was unexpectedly good, but my favorites are, as expected, Kevin Spacey and Gabriel Byrne. It also has very good supporting roles by Chazz Palminteri, as Dave Kujan, and Pete Postlehwaite, as Kobayashi.

I loved the revealing at the end of the significance of the names- very well treated and developed- basically everything we learned happened to these 5 guys might not even be true. It also has probably one of the best endings I have ever seen: collage of short clips of the movie, revealing some details that one might miss, plus the phrase "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist"..."and like that, he is gone".

All in all, "Usual Suspects is a good, well acted, entertaining movie, with action, fast moving storyline, never-boring characters- I loved it. You should definitely see it, if you haven't already!


  1. Oh how I love The Usual Suspects. It's so excellently deceiving. Really glad you enjoyed it.

    Can you believe that line-up scene was supposed to be played dramatically? But after Baldwin and Del Toro kept goofing off, Singer just told them to go with it. Hilarious.

  2. @Alex: I didn't knew that, interesting! the line-up was hilarious, I loved it, each one was great!

  3. I have not seen this in awhile but I remember it fondly. Your review makes me want to give it a rewatch soon.

  4. Great review!! I'm not a big fan of this one, but it had great cast and truly amazing ending. Del Toro's role was indeed hilarious and surprising comparing to very serious performances he gives nowadays.

  5. I saw this ages ago, definitely an excellent debut from Bryan Singer. I do like Gabriel Byrne's character, he's such an underrated actor. But Spacey was brilliant, even the name Keyser Soze gives me the creeps!

  6. Good review. You're not crazy; I figured out the twist part of the way through the movie, too.

    Without spoiling which one, one of the other actors in the film angrily confronted Singer after the premiere of the film because he thought he was Keyser Soze and it wasn't until he saw the finished film that he realized he wasn't.

  7. I was blown out of the water by the twist but I have think I have a pretty slow brain! Did you hear about how when the movie was first released somebody was writing on the posters 'This is Keyser Soze' next to the gentleman in question! Cheeky buggers!

  8. @threeguys1movie.com Definitely do that soon, it's an entertaining movie!
    @Sati: Yeah, well Benicio was young then...also, don't you remember Fear&Loathing in Las Vegas? he was pretty funny and wacky in that, too
    @Ruth: Was it a debut from Singer? I never read all the trivia about a movie, unless it's a very interesting one. I agree about Soze- they made him out to be the villain from the get go...like he was the devil, or something!
    @Chip: Funny tibdit, thanks, I didn't knew that!
    @Pete: You're not slow, it's fine, maybe it was just a detail you missed! They did that? major spoiler alert, I hate it when that happens

  9. I double checked again on IMDb, and apparently he worked on another small film prior to this but I guess this is Bryan's debut for a 'major' feature film.

    Yeah, Soze is definitely like a devil incarnate. Sooo creepy!

  10. If it wasn't for the twist, this movie wouldn't be as legandary as it's considered but what a twist! Great acting by everybody too, especially Spacey who never has a tone in his voice whenever he speaks but it always works for his sinister-like characters. Good review Diana.

  11. @Ruth: Thanks for the update!
    @Dan O: I agree, Spacey's tone was perfect for this part, but I did think the movie was good, regardless of the twist! Thanks!