The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Memorial Day Binge Watch began last night with a movie that I had never seen before, but one that I had heard a lot about… The Usual Suspects.

Unfortunately, I knew the ending of the film which took a little bit of the magic away from it.  Still, this movie was filled with great performances and a well organized narrative that keeps you glued to your seat.

This is one of the best films from director Bryan Singer, whose inventiveness shows here in a much more effective manner than some of his other more big time attempts.

The police have brought in a group of five con men as suspects in a truck hijacking, but none of them are involved.  However, this group has something more in common than this suspicion.  They have all done something, inadvertently, against the legendary ghost and mastermind criminal Keyser Söze.  Söze’s associate approaches the men with a job that would square them up with the criminal, and he gives them little choice about accepting.

The great cast included Oscar winner Kevin Spacey as Roger “Verbal” Kint, the crippled con man, Gabriel Byrne as Keaton, a former dirty cop trying to go straight, Kevin Pollak as the thug Hockney, Benicio Del Toro as flashy crook Fencer and Steven Baldwin as thief McManus whose temper gets the best of him.  Throw in Chazz Palminteri as police detective Dave Kujan, Pete Postlethwaite as Söze’s associate Kobayashi, and our ever beloved Agent Coulson, Clark Gregg as Dr. Walters and you can say that this is a fantastic ensemble cast.

However, the main performance is from Kevin Spacey, which, with what we now know about Spacey, can be difficult to watch.  If you cannot divorce yourself from the person Spacey has shown himself to be, then The Usual Suspects would not be for you since he is all over the movie.  If you can remove the real life issues permeating this actor, then you should be able to enjoy this film.


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