The Usual Suspects

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Gramercy Released 1995

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Movie Summary

Director:
Bryan Singer
Released:
1995
Rating:
R

The Usual Suspects is the film that brought us the question that reverberated in our social conscious, "Who is Keyser Soze?". To answer that question, The Usual Suspects utilizes flashbacks to tell the story of how a group of small time crooks are conned into destroying a large shipment of cocaine belonging to Soze's rival. In one of the best performances of his career, Kevin Spacey gives us Roger "Verbal" Kint, a crippled con artist relating a fantastical story of shadowy crime figures, blackmail, murder and betrayal. Investigating the resulting carnage, Customs Agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) is determined to discover Soze's identity, and badgers Verbal into continuing his twisted story. Kujan believes Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), one of Verbal's four cohorts, is really the elusive Soze and demands Verbal tell him of Keaton's involvement in the caper. Insisting he knows nothing of Soze's identity, Verbal relates the story of how he and his co-conspirators were approached by Soze's lawyer, Mr. Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite) and individually blackmailed. Kobayashi has one demand, help Soze sabotage his rival, or face the wrath of the brutal crime lord. Verbal's richly detailed telling of the story sets the scene for one of the most talked about film sequences in history, culminating in the shocking revelation of Soze's identity.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The Usual Suspects is an ironic, bang-up thriller about the wages of crime. A terrific cast of exciting actors socks over this absorbingly complicated yarn that's been spun in a se...

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The Usual Suspects is a maze that moviegoers will be happy to get lost in, a criminal roller coaster with twists so unsettling no choice exists but to hold on and go along for the ...

  • 38

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    To the degree that you will want to see this movie, it will be because of the surprise, and so I will say no more, except to say that the "solution," when it comes, solves little -...

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Themes

Thrillers, Crime