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The Usual Suspects
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The Usual Suspects (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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The Usual Suspects -- A boat has been destroyed, criminals are dead, and the key to this mystery lies with the only survivor and his twisted, convoluted story beginning with five career crooks in a seemingly random police lineup.


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Christopher McQuarrie (written by)
View company contact information for The Usual Suspects on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 September 1995 (USA) See more »
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist See more »
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"and like that...he was gone." See more (1203 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stephen Baldwin ... McManus

Gabriel Byrne ... Keaton

Benicio Del Toro ... Fenster

Kevin Pollak ... Hockney

Kevin Spacey ... Verbal

Chazz Palminteri ... Dave Kujan

Pete Postlethwaite ... Kobayashi

Suzy Amis ... Edie Finneran

Giancarlo Esposito ... Jack Baer

Dan Hedaya ... Jeff Rabin

Paul Bartel ... Smuggler

Carl Bressler ... Saul Berg
Phillipe Simon ... Fortier

Jack Shearer ... Renault

Christine Estabrook ... Dr. Plummer

Clark Gregg ... Dr. Walters
Morgan Hunter ... Arkosh Kovash
Ken Daly ... Translator

Michelle Clunie ... Sketch Artist

Louis Lombardi ... Strausz

Frank Medrano ... Rizzi

Ron Gilbert ... Daniel Metzheiser

Vito D'Ambrosio ... Arresting Officer
Gene Lythgow ... Cop on Pier
Bob Elmore ... Bodyguard #1
David Powledge ... Bodyguard #2
Bob Pennetta ... Bodyguard #3
Billy Bates ... Bodyguard #4 (as Bill Bates)

Smadar Hanson ... Keyser's Wife

Castulo Guerra ... Arturro Marquez
Peter Rocca ... Arturro's Bodyguard
Bert Williams ... Old Cop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jaime H. Campos ... Police Officer (uncredited)
John Gillespie ... (uncredited)

Johnathan Gorman ... Office Worker (uncredited)

Peter Greene ... Redfoot the Fence (uncredited)

Michael McKay ... Cop in Hallway (uncredited)

Christopher McQuarrie ... Interrogation Cop (uncredited)
Scott B. Morgan ... Keyser Söze (in flashback) (uncredited)

Mike Nyman ... N.Y. Uniform Cop (uncredited)
Grace Sinden ... Nurse (uncredited)

Directed by
Bryan Singer 
Writing credits
Christopher McQuarrie (written by)

Produced by
Hans Brockmann .... executive producer
François Duplat .... executive producer
Art Horan .... executive producer
Robert Jones .... executive producer
Kenneth Kokin .... co-producer
Michael McDonnell .... producer
Bryan Singer .... producer
Original Music by
John Ottman 
Cinematography by
Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John Ottman 
Casting by
Francine Maisler 
Production Design by
Howard Cummings 
Art Direction by
David Lazan 
Set Decoration by
Sara Andrews 
Costume Design by
Louise Mingenbach 
Makeup Department
David P. Barton .... special makeup designer (as David Barton)
Michelle Barton .... special makeup effects crew: Modus
Michelle Bühler .... key makeup artist
Chris Cantley .... special makeup effects crew: Modus
Raqueli Dahan .... assistant hair stylist
Raqueli Dahan .... assistant makeup artist
David Greathouse .... special makeup effects crew: Modus
Kim Greene .... makeup swing (as Kimberly Greene)
Richard Maybery .... special makeup effects crew: Modus
Barbara Olvera .... key hair stylist
Yolanda Squatpump .... special makeup effects crew: Modus
Production Management
Vicky Herman .... production supervisor
Jane Raab .... production manager: New York
Michael Tinger .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Athena Alexander .... second second assistant director
James D. Deck .... first assistant director (as James Deck)
Kenneth Kokin .... second unit director
David Marcellino .... assistant director: New York (as Dave Marcellino)
Alan Steinman .... second assistant director
Art Department
Angel Acosta .... assistant property master
William Bastiani .... set construction laborer
Charles Billen Jr. .... set construction laborer
Tony Bonaventura .... property master
Peter Borck .... lead person
John Coven .... storyboard artist
Joseph W. Grafmuller .... swing (as Joseph Grafmuller)
Steven Ingrassia .... swing
Maria Jaramillo .... scenic artist
Mark Meloccaro .... art department coordinator
Celia Parker .... set construction laborer
R.A. Tony Poland .... set construction laborer (as Ray Poland)
Thomas Power .... shopper
Thomas Power .... swing
Scott Saunders .... assistant property master
Phillip Schneider .... lead scenic
Liz Shaner .... set construction laborer
Diane Taylor .... set construction laborer
Lorri Wakefield .... art department production assistant
Caroline Wallner .... set construction laborer
Francis Whitebloom .... on-set dresser
Chris Forster .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Thomas R. Grace .... props (uncredited)
Christopher Patrick Nolan .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Behle .... recordist
George Berndt .... adr supervisor
Richard Burton .... sound effects editor
Rick Canelli .... adr recordist
Claudette Cucci .... foley artist
John T. Cucci .... foley artist (as John Cucci)
Robert Deschaine .... foley mixer (as Robert Deshaine)
Sukey Fontelieu .... dialogue editor
Leigh French .... adr coordinator
Don Givens .... foley recordist
Jack Keller .... recordist
Jonathan Klein .... foley editor
Tricia Linklater .... assistant sound editor
Robert J. Litt .... re-recording mixer (as Robert Litt)
Chuck Michael .... supervising sound editor
Nash Michael .... sound effects editor
Thomas J. O'Connell .... adr mixer
Mark Pappas .... foley supervisor
Paul Parsons .... assistant sound editor
Geoffrey Patterson .... sound mixer
Randy Piotroski .... foley mixer (as Randy Petroski)
Charleen Richards .... adr mixer
Greg P. Russell .... re-recording mixer
David Spence .... dialogue editor
Greg Steele .... adr recordist
Donald Sylvester .... adr editor
Tami Treadwell .... foley recordist (as Tammy Treadwell)
Elliot Tyson .... re-recording mixer
Karen G. Wilson .... sound effects editor (as Karen Wilson)
Craig Woods .... boom operator
Beau Baker .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Roy L. Downey .... special effects coordinator (as Roy Downey)
Greg Hendrickson .... special effects foreman
Thomas R. Grace .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
David B. Long .... digital playback supervisor
Billy Bates .... stunt player (as William Bates)
Ken Blazer .... stunt player (as Kenneth Blazer)
Michael Carr .... stunt player
Ashley Casino .... stunt player
John Casino .... stunt player
Fernando Celis .... stunt player
Max Daniels .... stunt player
Joe Dunne .... stunt player
Diamond Farnsworth .... stunt player
Alex Gaona .... stunt player
John Gillespie .... stunt player
Bob Havice .... stunt player
Ethan Jensen .... stunt coordinator: second unit
Gary Jensen .... stunt coordinator
Billy Judkins .... stunt player (as Bill Judkins)
Pat Millicano .... stunt player
Ryan Patrick Ross .... stunt player
Harry Wowchuk .... stunt player
Michael Goetz .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Amerian .... gaffer: second unit
Ken Beymer .... grip
Robert Bonilla .... electrician
Arthur Borquez .... electrician
Craig A. Brink .... electrician (as Craig Brink)
Caroline Burton .... still photographer
Robert C. Carlson .... first assistant camera (as Robert Carlson)
Jad Carmona .... camera loader
Linda R. Chen .... still photographer (as Linda Chen)
Kevin Dean .... grip
Paul DeMarte .... camera loader
Joseph Dianda .... key grip (as Joey Dianda)
Andrea Dorman .... first assistant camera: New York
Shawn Ensign .... company grip
Michael A. FauntLeRoy .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Mike Fauntleroy)
Gergely Fonyó .... first assistant camera: steadycam
Gregory Franklin .... grip
Jim Frohna .... electrician
David Gamerman .... best boy
Eric J. Goldstein .... director of photography: second unit (as Eric Goldstein)
Ross Guidici .... grip
Bruce Hamme .... dolly grip
Amy Hergoth .... camera loader
Matt Jackson .... grip
Bruce Douglas Johnson .... additional photographer
John Johnson .... still photographer
Greg Kidd .... first assistant camera: second unit (as Gregg Kidd)
Steve Lynch .... key grip: New York
Michael Stewart Maahs .... electrician (as Michael Maahs)
Jerry L. Mandley .... electrician (as Jerry Mandley)
Richard Maxey .... grip
William J. McDevitt .... grip (as William McDevitt)
Daniel McMahon .... grip
Mike Parsons .... electrician (as Michael Parsons)
Scott Patten .... best boy grip
Linda Perry .... grip
Reinhart 'Rayteam' Peschke .... gaffer
Lockwood J. Pierson .... first assistant camera: second unit
Darrin Pulford .... electrician (as Darrin Pullford)
Shawn Rhodes .... electrician
Lance Rieck .... second assistant camera: New York
P. Scott Sakamoto .... Steadicam operator (as Scott Sakamoto)
P. Scott Sakamoto .... director of photography: second unit (as Scott Sakamoto)
Richard Sobin .... second assistant camera
Chris Squires .... Steadicam operator
Mary F. Stankiewicz .... electrician: second unit (as Mary Stankiewicz)
Baird Steptoe .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
James M. Teiper .... electrician (as James Teiper)
Paul Janossy .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kathy Driscoll .... casting associate
Judie Fixler .... extras casting: New York
Lisa Miller Katz .... casting associate (as Lisa Miller)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Erin Beck .... additional costumer
Lori Eskowitz-Carter .... costume supervisor (as Lori Eskowitz)
Prudence Moriarty .... wardrobe supervisor: New York
Caitlin Shamberg .... costume assistant
Tara Spurlock .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Roger Fenton .... assistant editor
Jennifer Flynn .... post-production coordinator
Andrew Gorry .... apprentice editor
Gloria Kaiser .... color timer
Kelley Pate .... apprentice editor
Mary Beth Smith .... negative cutter
Location Management
Ashley R. Friedman .... location manager (as Ashley Friedman)
Jun C. Lin .... location assistant (as Jun Lin)
Chanel Salzer .... location manager
Greg Schnabel .... location manager: New York
Music Department
Dan Abernathy .... music mixer
Dan Abernathy .... music recording engineer
Larry Groupé .... conductor (as Larry Groupe)
Larry Groupé .... orchestra contractor
Larry Groupé .... orchestrator (as Larry Groupe)
Darrell Harvey .... music mixer
Darrell Harvey .... music recording engineer
Lia Vollack .... music editor
Lawrence Czoka .... music preparation (uncredited)
John Ottman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dan Siegel .... session musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Joseph Aroesti .... transportation co-captain
Michael Banlowe .... driver
Jody Bingenheimer .... driver
Robin D. Bishop .... driver
Joe Cosentino .... driver
Joe Cosentino .... transportation captain
Pat Cosentino .... driver
Sherri Cosentino .... driver
Frances Culp .... driver
Angel Desanti .... driver
Sean Dugen .... driver
Eugene Farrington .... driver
Antonio Franchi .... driver
Johnathon Gorman .... driver
Geno Hart .... transportation coordinator
Glenn Knowlton .... driver
Mark McDermitt .... driver
Jeffrey L. Moore .... driver (as Jeff Moore)
Steve Nickolai .... driver (as Steve Nikolai)
Ken Plumlee .... transportation captain
Ron Pope .... transportation operations manager
William Smallwood .... driver
Jerry Snaiczuk .... driver
Randy Tenhaeff .... driver
Mike Welch .... driver
David D.B. Wilson .... driver (as David Wilson)
Brian Apt .... transportation office (uncredited)
William R. Peck .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Thomas D. Adelman .... production coordinator (as Tom Adelman)
John Alvarez .... security officer
Rachel Arno .... office production coordinator
Luke Bittel .... intern
Yvette Brestyanszky .... assistant to producers
Brad Carroll .... production assistant: New York
Wendy Dallas .... script supervisor
Robert Dawson .... title designer
Tony Estrado .... security officer
Matthew R. Eyraud .... key set production assistant (as Matthew Eyraud)
Jennifer Flynn .... assistant to producers and director
Ellen Francisco .... craft service
Michael Goetz .... stand-in
Andrew Gorry .... assistant: Mr. Singer
John Herget .... first aid
Lynn Hockin .... assistant accountant
Damon Intrabartolo .... assistant: Mr. Ottman
Josh R. Jaggars .... production assistant (as Josh Jaggars)
Jana Ludwigova .... script supervisor: second unit
David Markland .... office production coordinator
Mike James Masumoto .... set production assistant (as Michael Masumoto)
Haley McLane .... additional script supervisor
Douglas Morton .... assistant production coordinator
David Pollack .... unit publicist (as David Pollick)
Andrea Celandine Rice .... office production coordinator
Alexandra Schultze .... assistant to producers
George Sheanshang .... finance and distribution counsel
Deborah Tabak .... set production assistant
Johnny Tonini .... stand-in
Brian A. Williams .... production accountant
Petra Jorgensen .... script supervisor: second unit (uncredited)
Gary A. Martin .... production assistant (uncredited)
Bertram McCann .... marine coordinator (uncredited)
Carsten Meyer-Grohbrügge .... assistant: Francois Duplant (uncredited)
Scott B. Morgan .... intern (uncredited)
Abigail Sheiner .... first assistant accountant: preparation (uncredited)
Troy Waters .... marine crew (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Usual Suspects" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Rated R for violence and a substantial amount of strong language
106 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Neither Bryan Singer nor Christopher McQuarrie realized that the film's famous line, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist," was actually a quote from French poet Baudelaire.See more »
Continuity: Keaton's cigarette when he leaves the police station.See more »
[first lines]
Keyser Soze:How you doing Keaton?
Keaton:I can't feel my legs... Keyser.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Old MacDonald Had a FarmSee more »


Were the events told from Verbal's perspective a lie?
Any recommendations for movies similar to "The Usual Suspects?"
Could someone else have been Keyser Söze?
See more »
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
"and like that...he was gone.", 21 November 2009
Author: Vishal Kumar from Sydney, Australia

Boasting petty criminal characters conceived so brilliantly they achieve near-mythological status, The Usual Suspects is known for riveting suspense and action, an intriguing plot line and a jaw- dropping twist at the end. It also features some of the most memorable lines of the 1990s: "How do you shoot the devil in the back--what if you miss?" The characters, Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fred Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak), Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) and Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite) have real character details and cues.

The film is set in the aftermath of a ship fire that totally burns the cargo and crew. Though meek and disabled, Verbal is the only survivor to walk away from the incident unscathed. He is taken into custody and grilled by the police. Brilliantly played in a characteristic, understated style that earned Spacey an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Verbal is cleared and allowed to leave. But before he can go, agent Kujan from US Customs shows up to interrogate him. Kujan is trying to build a case against Keaton and he wants Verbal to testify in exchange for immunity. Verbal refuses, but Kujan still bullies Verbal into recounting his story of Keaton, McManus, Fenster and Hockney, leading up to the explosion on the ship.

What follows is a fantastic yarn of lies and half-truths sprinkled within the facts of the case. It is all masterfully portrayed as a series of flashbacks while Verbal and Kujan sip coffee and talk in the LA police station. The story begins six weeks earlier in New York City as Verbal and the other four criminals are brought in to stand side-by-side in a police lineup. None of them are formally charged with a crime, and there are indications Keaton has actually gone straight prior to the roundup. But before they are released, the five hatch a plan to get revenge on the corrupt NYPD and make a large sum of money in the process by robbing a police-protected jewel smuggler and leaking news of the police involvement to the press. Keaton is reluctant and must be coaxed into it with the promise that no one will be killed in the heist. He agrees and the quintet pulls off the robbery to perfection. The acting and writing take chances that pay off, with each actor fully immersing himself in his role. Del Toro creates a uniquely colorful persona in his portrayal of Fenster, Baldwin conveys a reckless abandon and lust for violence, Pollak shows steely courage and resolve, Byrne is a complex mesh of toughness with motives pulling him in all directions. Each actor is at the top of his game.

The five criminals go to Los Angeles to lay low in the aftermath of the New York heist. There, they are enticed into another robbery that is also supposed to involve no killing. Unfortunately, this LA heist goes horribly wrong. As Verbal recounts this carnage, its aftermath and the growing problems and hostility in the crew, agent Kujan receives a tip from one of his colleagues who has a survivor pulled from the water near the charred wreckage of the ship. The witness is badly burned and cannot speak English, but insists that the man responsible for the destruction of life and property on the ship is named Kaiser Soze.

Whether it is attributable to lies in Verbal's yarn or odd casting decisions, several characters in The Usual Suspects add to the film's mystique. Chief among these is the Irish Postlethwaite cast as the Japanese Kobayashi. There is a strong clue at the end that the name Kobayashi is used solely to mislead Kujan. But Kobayashi is not the only instance of a character's name failing to match his appearance. Another example is McManus' contact in LA, Redfoot, which one would expect to be the name of a Native American. But Redfoot appears to be caucasian. Again, at the end there is an indication that Verbal used Redfoot to avoid giving Kujan a real name. Strange ethnic inconsistencies crop up constantly. Kaiser Soze is said to be Turkish, possibly with a German father. These mixed-up character portraits add a layer of complexity to the plot, but one must always consider the source, Verbal Kint, and his motives.

The dynamic between Kujan and Verbal itself is pure entertainment. A kind of cat-and-mouse game, nuances are thrown into the proceedings that make it more interesting and add depth to the characters. Even the way the interrogation is filmed is unique. Verbal didn't achieve his nickname for no reason. He knows how to run his mouth and Kujan has a difficult challenge in corralling him. Underlying the interrogation is Kujan's suspicion of Keaton and his belief that Keaton manipulated Verbal. But Verbal is hard to pin down and Kujan occasionally resorts to bully tactics. But who is Kaiser Soze? Did he orchestrate the police lineup in New York, and pull all the strings ever since? Is the cargo of the ship drugs or only human cargo? Why did Verbal survive unharmed while so many others did not? Did Keaton really die, as Verbal insists, or did he slip away, as Kujan believes? Is Verbal telling the truth? Much is revealed in the final moments of the film, which wash over the viewer like an enormous wave of recognition. Snippets of dialogue from earlier in the film are montaged over the complex score, providing spine-tingling clues about exactly what part of Verbal's yarn was fact and what was fiction. The final snippet of dialogue, followed by a fortissimo string finale is especially powerful: "and like that...he was gone."

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