usual suspects

The Usual Suspects is a 1995 American mystery crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite and Kevin Spacey.

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“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist,” says con man Kint (Kevin Spacey), drawing a comparison to the most enigmatic criminal of all time, Keyser Soze. Kint attempts to convince the feds that the mythic crime lord not only exists, but is also responsible for drawing Kint and his four partners into a multi-million dollar heist that ended with an explosion in San Pedro Harbor – leaving few survivors.

Dan Webster (Spokesman-Review (Washington)) Singer, like Tarantino, is less into mining new film themes than in re-inventing old ones. And the way he does so shows full well that there is still a bit of life in the old mob movie yet. Full Review
(Sky Movies) It stands up brilliantly to repeat viewing, to the extent that you may never fully solve the riddle. But don’t let that put you off; it’s the ultimate whodunit. Full Review
David Parkinson (Radio Times) It’s a film that demands to be watched again and again — this is good old-fashioned pulp fiction told in the slickest 1990s style. Full Review
Gary Thompson (Philadelphia Daily News) Give director Bryan Singer credit for providing a plot that is not resolved by an exchange of gunfire, but don’t expect the movie’s glib punchline to stay with you for very long. Full Review
Doug Thomas (Seattle Times) An imaginative, entertaining crime mystery with plenty of nerve and vigor. Full Review
Quentin Curtis (Independent) Metaphysical mumbo-jumbo? Of course — but the thrill of The Usual Suspects is that, after years of movie demythologising, it re-mythologises the crime movie. Full Review
Jay Boyar (Orlando Sentinel) If the pleasures of The Usual Suspects are the more superficial ones of ingenuity and style, those are abundantly available. The twists and turns of the plot are an awful lot of fun, while the ending is genuinely satisfying and surprising. Full Review
Roger Hurlburt (South Florida Sun-Sentinel) The most attuned devotee of crime mystery will be hard-pressed to guess the outcome of this stylish thriller. It is riddled with machine-gun dialogue and kinky implications at every turn. Full Review
Anthony Lane (New Yorker) In a season of fat blockbusters, a picture as brainy, bitter, and compact as this one comes as a shock and a treat. Full Review
(Total Film) The then 27-year-old Bryan Singer eclipsed most other ’90s crime movies with this brilliantly slippery, cerebral thriller. Full Review
Michael Wilmington (Chicago Tribune) It’s a nerve-shredding suspense movie about corruption, a bravura actor’s show full of deliciously twisted cops and robbers, and a complex riddle packed with unexpected turns. Full Review
Stephen Hunter (Baltimore Sun) It may ultimately make sense; no one could tell without at least four or five viewings. What is totally commanding, however, is the level of ensemble acting [and] the adroitness of the storytelling. Full Review
Tom Gliatto (People Magazine) A little red herring is one thing. But don’t smack me in the face with it, all right? Full Review
Jack Kroll (Newsweek) For many true movie fiends, noir is the key American movie type, and the most fun when it’s done right. The Usual Suspects is done right. Full Review
R. L. Shaffer (IGN DVD) A masterpiece of the modern film noir genre, a terrific performance piece for everyone involved and an absolutely outstanding directorial effort. Full Review
Peter Canavese (Groucho Reviews) While it’s fair to call The Usual Suspects a gimmick in search of a movie, one could say something similar of, say, an Agatha Christie mystery. [Blu-ray] Full Review
(Film4) Anything but usual, Singer’s movie is pretty damn near untouchable. Next to this, most other crime films feel petty. Full Review
(TV Guide’s Movie Guide) Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie’s tough-guy dialogue and Bryan Singer’s crisp direction give the ensemble cast every opportunity to shine, and they do. Full Review
Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader) I didn’t believe this story for a minute, even in movie terms — though it’s less offensive than a piece of junk like Apt Pupil, Singer’s subsequent feature. Full Review
Rob Humanick (Projection Booth) Bryan Singer’s poker face is worthless at best. Full Review

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