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The Usual Suspects (1995)

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A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.

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Top Rated Movies #26 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 32 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

Following a truck hijack in New York, five conmen are arrested and brought together for questioning. As none of them are guilty, they plan a revenge operation against the police. The operation goes well, but then the influence of a legendary mastermind criminal called Keyser Söze is felt. It becomes clear that each one of them has wronged Söze at some point and must pay back now. The payback job leaves 27 men dead in a boat explosion, but the real question arises now: Who actually is Keyser Söze? Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a world where nothing is what it seems you've got to look beyond... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and a substantial amount of strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die üblichen Verdächtigen  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$23,272,306 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film, which went on to win Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (for Kevin Spacey) and Best Original Screenplay, was a critical hit. However, America's top movie critic, Roger Ebert, despised it. Ebert originally gave it a measly one-and-a-half stars, and the movie ended up on his Most Hated Movies list. See more »

Goofs

In the first hospital scene, the Hungarian's face is burned, but his right eyebrow isn't even scorched. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Keyser Soze: How you doing Keaton?
Keaton: I can't feel my legs... Keyser.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The editor, John Ottman, edited the movie on film. He felt that all the editing done electronically at the time was horrible because all the good editors were still working on film (which is much more difficult). Because of this he thought about putting "Edited on a piece of s*** Steenbeck" at the end of the credits, but instead settled for the more subtle line "Edited on film." Tim Robbins was directing 'Dead Man Walking' at the time and heard about John's idea, which sparked that film's credit ending of "This film was edited on old machines." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le boulet (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
(uncredited)
[Tradition American nursery rhyme first published in 1916]
Parody version performed by Stephen Baldwin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Better than the sum of its parts
16 February 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The Usual Suspects is two movies in one. Enjoyable the first time you watch it, even more enjoyable the second time round. The first viewing asks questions that are answered in an `I could kick myself' moment in the final few minutes, and the second viewing is interesting because when you know the answers, the film becomes that much clearer. It requires a certain amount of commitment, though. Be warned, if you stop concentrating for a moment then the remaining running time of the movie will be spent trying to figure out how what you missed has lead to what you are now watching.

It concerns the story of five felons brought in by the police for a line-up and how those same felons reluctantly end up working for the mysterious and ghost-like Keyser Soze: a legend among the criminal fraternity, a man who no-one has seen and lived, a man so dangerous that he is thought to be the devil himself.you get the idea. The plot is rather intricate so I shan't bother to explain it here but it does rather make me think that Christopher McQuarrie, the writer, kept going to the office in the morning with yet another complexity to add that he thought up the night before. That's not to say it doesn't work, far from it, but it does leave you reeling from the sheer amount of information and names thrown at you from the offset.

Gabriel Byrne is good, but not flawless, as the tortured Dean Keaton who is torn between his career as a criminal and his forlorn attempt at trying to go straight, but his relationship with uptown lawyer Edie Finneran (Suzy Amis) is badly explored and I never felt it gave motive enough for his actions throughout the movie. Kevin Spacey is wonderful as the crippled Roger 'Verbal' Kint and is effective with the results both cunning and tragic. The real star of the movie, however, is a strangely accented Pete Postlethwaite as Kobayashi, supposedly Keyser Soze's right-hand man. He effortlessly plays a character of terrible coolness and poker-faced efficiency leading the dance that the rest of the characters must follow.

Director Bryan Singer has done well to bring such a momentous and involved screenplay to life and any gripes I may have cannot detract from the fact that the film, as a whole, is much better than the sum of its parts.


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