Starring: Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne
Director: Bryan Singer
Running Time: 106 mins
The Usual Suspects is an American film about the story of five criminals who team up and find themselves caught up in a vicious gun battle amidst mysterious circumstances.
If you’re looking for a great story, then this is the place. This is a classic of the crime genre, and although it may not be the most exhilarating ride of all time, it’s a consistently intriguing and engrossing tale that leaves you completely dumbfounded right to the last second.
Before we get into the legendary plot, however, let’s talk about the other main parts of this film, the acting and directing. Firstly, the performances are pretty impressive, with Kevin Spacey’s classic portrayal of Verbal Kint really hitting the right note throughout.
He appears harmless, and acts as such, but the snippets of Kint’s various acts of violence and criminal genius throughout make him a hugely interesting character, however he’s one that’s actually likeable enough to support throughout this film, giving you a greater connection to the plot than if every main character here was a seriously bad guy.
Meanwhile, Bryan Singer’s direction is also very strong. It’s not particularly groundbreaking, but in some of the more intensely dramatic scenes, particularly towards the thrilling climax, it’s very impressive, and works in tandem with the plot and the secrecy of so much of the details so well to create a stronger air of mystery.
And whilst there are so many other great things about this film, including the editing and the dialogue, the main thing that will stun you is the plot.
Now, although it’s labelled as a crime thriller, this isn’t a hugely exhilarating film. It’s definitely exciting, but it’s not the sort of fast-paced story that will leave you breathless, so be prepared for a quieter, more complex and intelligent approach to the story.
Once you’re into it, however, and everything starts to kick off, this becomes a massively intriguing film. On the one hand, the relationship between the five main criminals is fascinating to watch throughout, but if you really concentrate, then the subtle development of the story of the mysterious Keyser Soze is astonishing.
There are films that have mysterious personalities and confusing twists, but there are none like this, and the search for Keyser Soze’s true identity is one of the most wholly captivating cinematic stories of all time, and that’s why this gets an 8.3 from me.