Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

The Usual Suspects (1995) – Classic Review


A convoluted tale regarding multiple homicides, a fallen boat and one surviver make up Bryan Singer’s second full length feature “The Usual Suspects”.
The deconstructive screenplay of Bryan Singer’s highly original 1995 crime/thriller/noir is a smorgasbord of minute clues, twists, turns and misleading deceitful stories retold by the twitchy, sarcastic and mysterious Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint (Kevin Spacey).

Subject to multiple spoofs and satirical re-enactments, “The Usual Suspects” is intensely engaging, memorable, definitive and exciting from the word go.
The police line-up, consisting of five crims, somewhat governed by the ultra cool Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) are argumentative and unable to truly gel as a unit. The inability to trust any of them amplifies the drama and suspense built up throughout this seemingly slow-burning mystery.
Highly original, tense and humorous at times, “The Usual Suspects” is incredibly engaging; full focus won’t get you anywhere.

usualsuspectsFor a murder mystery/thriller to be successful, it needs to be equally as engaging when watched the second time around; it shouldn’t matter that the audience goes in knowing who or what is responsible, “The Usual Suspects” succeeds without fault.
Produced during arguably the peak of Kevin Spacey’s career whilst being riddled with exceptional performances from lesser-known protagonists including Stephen Baldwin as the slick Michael McManus, Benicio Del Toro as the token foreigner of the group Fred Fenster and Kevin Pollak as Todd Hockney, this feature is impossible not to appreciate; it’s originality is scary.

Other recognisable faces include Pete Postlewaite as the strange and poker faced Kobayashi, Chazz Palminteri as the interrogating Dave Kujan and Breaking Bad’s Gus Fring, Giancarlo Esposito as FBI agent Jack Baer who unfortunately appears to be the weak link and under performing ‘good guy’ in this villain oriented story.

Tense, suspenseful, scary and highly exciting, “The Usual Suspects” is without doubt the highlight of Singer’s film career thus far. It will take a masterpiece grander and more original than this triumphant creation to surpass “The Usual Suspects”, a near-impossible feat to achieve to say the least.



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