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Usual Suspects
Usual Suspects
Actors: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Bryan Singer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
R     1997     1hr 46min

Usual Suspects [DVD] (1995) Kevin Spacey; Gabriel Byrne; Chazz Palminteri

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro
Director: Bryan Singer
Creators: Bryan Singer, Art Horan, François Duplat, Hans Brockmann, Kenneth Kokin, Michael McDonnell, Christopher McQuarrie
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Polygram Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/24/1997
Original Release Date: 08/16/1995
Theatrical Release Date: 08/16/1995
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Subtitles: Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Brad S. (Snibot) from DALLAS, TX
Reviewed on 3/3/2010...
powerful performances by some of Hollywood's best, and some lesser known actors that really shine, all of the extra's and supporting actors really put on a great display of talent.

This is without a doubt one of the top ten films produced and probably best 3 thrillers, it has an interesting story line, excellent writing, powerful performances, it is a spot on production.

Make room in your permanent collection for this film, knowing the ending doesn't ruin it which is hard to accomplish with a thriller. This film is destined to be a classic.

Movie Reviews

A must-see.
Themis-Athena | from somewhere between California and Germany | 08/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Round up the usual suspects." And so they do - and ending up in the lineup are career criminals Michael McManus, Fred Fenster and Todd Hockney (Stephen Baldwin, Benicio del Toro and Kevin Pollack), ex-cop gone bad gone good again Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) and small-time con man Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey).

Wait a minute ... five criminals in one lineup? There's something wrong here, right? Right ...

In "The Usual Suspects," not only every line but every gesture, every facial expression and every camera cut counts. Even if you distrust the story being told, you can't exactly pin down everything that's wrong with it. The plot unfolds through the tale extracted from Kint, one of two survivors of a massacre and subsequent explosion on a boat docked in San Pedro Harbor, by U.S. Customs agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri). And at the same time as Kint is spinning his yarn, in a nearby hospital the other survivor (badly injured and fresh out of a coma) helps a police sketch artist draw a picture of the mastermind behind the scheme - "the devil," Keyser Söze.

You can watch this movie countless times, and you will still discover new subtleties every single time. Not only will you find that it still makes sense after the story line has been unraveled at the end (which therefore is a plot twist, not a non-sequitur). You'll also discover nuance upon nuance in Kevin Spacey's incredible performance. You'll see that tiny apologetic grin on Todd Hockney's face as attorney Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite) lists a weapons truck heist - the very act which brought them together in the initial lineup, and which they have all come to believe to have been a trumped-up charge - as Hockney's latest sin against Keyser Söze, now forming part of the debt to be repaid by participating in the suicide mission in San Pedro Harbor. And at some point you'll also have figured out all of Fenster's lines (not being a native English speaker, I am relieved to find that I wasn't the only one struggling with them at first) ... although the mumbling is of course part of his character, and is as excellently delivered as every other aspect of Benicio del Toro's acting, his lines are so funny and to the point you almost wish he'd speak more clearly so you wouldn't miss half his punch lines the first time around.

Among a cast of tremendous actors (to name just two, Gabriel Byrne in one of his best performances and Benicio del Toro, deserving much more than just an "also starring" mentioning in the opening credits), Kevin Spacey's star shines brightest. To this day it is a mystery to me how he came to be awarded the Academy Award for Best *Supporting* Actor - the only things the man supports (in fact carries, almost single-handedly) in this movie are Bryan Singer's directing and Christopher McQuarrie's screenplay, and that alone makes him the movie's lead character. But regardless of its title, the award was more than justified, and so was the one for McQuarrie's screenplay. With infinite trust in the audience's ability to pick up on little gestures, looks and inflections of his voice, Kevin Spacey displays all the many aspects of his character at the same time; and even the tenth time around, his performance still holds as true as the first time you watch the movie. Almost expressionless he tells his tale, always seeming to give away just about as much as he has to, and only raising his voice for a pointed (and exquisitely timed) expletive upon first being confronted with the name Keyser Söze, and for a wailing "Why me??" as agent Kujan tries to convince him that his own archenemy, Keaton, has been behind their failed enterprise all along and purposely let him (Kint) live to tell their story.

This is one of those movies which have you quote their many memorable one-liners forever. (Just look at how many reviewers on this site alone are quoting the one about "the devil's greatest trick.") To the extent that it cites other works, those citations pay homage, they don't merely copy - right down to the name of the movie's production company (Blue Parrot/Bad Hat); like the title containing a reference to "Casablanca," the prototype of all films noir (or those made in Hollywood at least). It is one of the best modern examples of the genre and has long since become a cult classic - it's a must in every decent collection.

Also recommended:
Memento (Widescreen Two-Disc Limited Edition)
L.A. Confidential
Seven (New Line Platinum Series)"
The perfect film?
Michael J. Berquist | 02/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sometimes a movie really surprises you, really blows you away for some reason. I saw "The Usual Suspects" not really expecting anything interesting. Well, I was wrong. Instead I got to see a terrifically exciting movie featuring outstanding acting and a plot twist that actually caught me by surprise.The plot? Following a bloody shoot-out aboard a ship moored at a Santa Monica pier, the police question a hood by the name of Verbal Kint in an attempt to learn about what happened. We see several different possibilities and the final answer we get is a real surprise. Typically movies rely upon special effects, left-field plot twists, and brand-name casting to get the job done. "The Usual Suspects" relies on an excellent script, good direction and wonderful acting from people who might not necessarily be household names. Look at this cast- Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollack, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Dan Hedaya, and Pete Postlethwaite. This is some serious acting talent to behold. They all are great, but in particular Gabriel Byrne (Dean Keaton) and Kevin Spacey (Verbal Kint) deliver exceptional performances. Neither man is quite who they seem to be. Spacey won a well-deserved Oscar for his performance in this film.Director Brian Singer does a brilliant job coaxing terrific acting performances from his cast. This was a tought movie to make and he pulled it off in spades.Go see "The Usual Suspects" and find out why it is one of my favorite films."
Intriguing and Suspenseful! Bryan Singer's Masterpiece!
brigsbmc@cs.com | United States | 04/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Usual Suspects is one of the finest films I've ever seen. It is peppered with magnificent performances, excellent direction, and a brilliant script(Which incidentally won the Oscar for Best Screenplay). Director Bryan Singer molds a tight and entertaining tale of five men, falsely brought in on charges of a stolen vehicle, then deciding to join forces and commit more crimes. What transgresses is a story of deceit, corruption and murder. Not only is the tale incredibly gripping, it is also downright hilarious at some points, making it such an enjoyable film. Kevin Spacey delivers an amazing performance as Verbal Kint, a scam artist cripple. Gabriel Byrne is great as the tough but compassionate Dean Keaton. Kevin Pollack delivers a strong and razor sharp comic relief role as Todd Hockney. One of the most surprisingly fantastic performances comes from Stephen Baldwin, who really packs a punch in this one. Benicio Del Toro gained rave reviews for his role as Fenster in this film , with due cause. Chazz Palminteri is also very intimidating as the cop trying to bring them down. This film won two Oscars, for original screenplay(Christopher McQuarrie, can you believe this was an original?!) and very deservedly for Kevin Spacey and his awesome performance. There is a surprise ending that will knock you off your seat. Sorry, can't give it away. Go out and see it."