The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer, 1995)

Holding the spot of number 25 on IMDb's Top 250 voted by regular voters, this movie couldn't be more of an impostor than it actually is. Stealing from every cheap film noir that preceded it and using one of the most lazy plot twist of the mystery plot: the whodunnit. Lazy because almost anybody can make a whodunit. It is a film form that besides involving a main mystery doesn't really involve a character examination and more often than not uses stereotypes and worn out techniques of dissuasion and cover up. It is, for a younger audience a very entertaining film filled with many suspenseful elements and a detective oriented plot. When observed with a cinematic eye and appreciation this Bryan Singer picture looks pale and very 1990's television. Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie should have get some Agatha Christie novels beforehand and learn a little more about the whodunnit and its mastery.

I know I'm being rude about this and there are probably hundreds of its fans who'll disagree with my opinions but I would recommend another Noir inspired film like Rian Johnson's Brick ten times before I would recommend The Usual Suspects. One can compare this kind of film like a sweet bubble gum. It tastes good at first sight but after a little while it is tasteless more than anything else and you throw it away without really ever thinking about it.


  1. Well, I liked both The Usual Suspects and Brick quite a bit, so I'm not sure which group that puts me in. I tend to like whodunnits, even though I often figure them out ahead of time, like I did with The Usual Suspects. In this case, I was anticipating the reveal for a while and I thought it was a good payoff when it happened. My favorite story with this film is that after seeing the screening for it one of the actors angrily approached Soderbergh to complain that he thought HE was Keyser Soze and didn't realize he wasn't until he saw the completed film [names left out to prevent spoilers].

    1. This is a quite interesting fact here Chip. Personnally it ust didn't do it for me... But I can easily understand why it is a popular movie.

    2. I love a review that's different from the rest and you've explained yourself quite well. I HATE THIS MOVIE NOW... ok I don't but Brick is indeed quite unique.

    3. Thanks Squish! I think it is important to stay true to myself when I am writing a film review. I don't want to convince people to love/hate a movie but to share my appreciation and give my own intepretation of its place in film History.


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