on February 22, 2003
One of my favorite films of all times, The Usual Suspects is an exeptionally strong ensemble cast work. In particular Gabriel Byrne's cynical and beaten down reformed criminal gone bad role is played so ernestly that you forget you are watching a film. Kevin Spacey's Verbal Gint character is terrific to watch as well. Benicio del Toro steals scenes with his bizzare choice of character in an otherwise nothing role. Even Steven Baldwin turns in a good performance as does Kevin Pollack in a somewhat different role than he usually plays.
All the acting is terrific and more importantly, the script is nearly flawless as is the direction. The plot moves along in it's multi-threaded fashion while keeping viewers entertained and involved enough to pay attention.
The ending will either annoy or delight you depending on how you view films. I loved it and on second viewing the forshadowing of events are right in front of you like a good murder mystery although The Usual Suspects is much more than a mystery film or buddy flick or crime caper film while being a little bit of each.
It's great to see a film that isn't high budget and relies on acting and a good script to move the film along. Although embraced by hollywood this is as independent as you will find in it's easy tone and believable characters.
There is simply nothing worth complaining about. Get this DVD, it's additonal content is a lot of fun to watch and helps understanding The Usuual Suspects as more than a film but a project and labor of love that works on all fronts.
on November 21, 2007
Ah, the Usual Suspects. My personal favorite movie of all time. Don't let my bias be a fool. Perhaps it's not THE best movie ever, but it's one that I never get tired of.
If you like flash and bikinis and breath-taking camera angles, you won't find them here. Usual Suspects is not an "epic," and it doesn't pretend to be. It's a modestly-budgeted piece by a fresh director (who later went on to do the X-Men movies, a FAR departure).
A great, gritty script, beautifully-acted characters, and what many have called the greatest movie ending of all time, are some of the shining qualities that make the Usual Suspects an object worthy of praise above its humble-looking shell.
The casting is very unusual but somehow fits perfectly. Gabriel Byrne is convincing as the ex-con trying to build a new life when he gets drawn back into his old life. Stephen Baldwin has the role of his career as the smart-mouthed and cocky professional. Kevin Pollak takes a big departure from his usual good comedy self to take a more dramatic role. Benicio del Toro literally takes a one-dimensional character with absolutely nothing in the script to give him character, and he fleshes it out with brilliant mannerisms and memorable mumbling to show incredible acting creativity. Kevin Spacey as we know him was born from this movie. His manners and fast-talking yet shy gimp nature are a treat to listen to throughout the flick.
Without giving away the plot, the best and most genius parts of the movie are the subtleties. After you see the ending, and the truth hits you like a ton of bricks, you have to watch it again. On the second time through, you'll jump up and point at the screen whenever you spot a clue you missed the first time. It's even possible to watch the movie multiple times and see something new with every viewing. It's that attention to detail that make the deceptively innocent-looking Usual Suspects one of the greatest movies of all time.
on January 28, 2009
What can I say about 'The Usual Suspects' that hasn't already been said? The star-heavy cast is excellent, the story is gripping and intricate and unlike other "surprise ending" tales, this one is well worth watching again.
The video and audio quality is very good on this Blu-ray version.
However, the disc is completely lacking in extras. Not even so much as a directors commentary. If the studio had actually put some effort into this release (commentary, behind the scenes, discussion with the writer, etc.) , I could easily see it getting a 5-star review - the movie is good enough to deserve that kind of effort.
on August 3, 2002
"And like that...he's gone."
Chilling words from one of the most chilling scenes in this brilliantly written, acted and directed film. The Usual Suspects is the original Memento, as time is not a factor and the scenes are like a patchwork quilt, pitching you back and forth between what happened and what is happening. Confusing, yes, but genius to write it as Christopher McQuarrie did. He deserved the Oscar he received. As did Kevin Spacey.
The Usual Suspects revolves primarily around Spacey, casting him as Verbal Kint, a gimped man with an odd, pigeon toed like walk. The walk is brilliantly executed, as it causes the audience to feel sorrow, but at the same time have a deep-seated suspicion that something is going on, primarily because of his monotone voice and his occassional outburst that makes him seem to break from character. Kint is the only survivor of a harsh firefight and a series of explosions that leave many dead...and one man teetering on the brink of death, repeating the words "Keyser Soze" over and over again. Eventually, the detective heading the investigation (Chazz Palimentri in a flawlessly executed performance) gets the story (or lack thereof) out of Verbal about all the occurred before the fire in the night that left so many charred bodies in its wake. It is a story involving drugs, deception and a lot of money.
By the end, everything comes together, but your brain is tied up in knots, as one question is hovering overhead..."How?" The Usual Suspects is a chilling look into the consequences of greed and trust in a situation where no one deserves such a luxury. It is a brilliantly written film with dynamic performances by Spacey, Palimentri, Kevin Pollak and Stephen Baldwin. It is funny, chilling, suspenseful and action packed, making for an awesome movie experience.
It will leave you breathless.
on February 4, 2002
The film The Usual Suspects is a modern classic full of great performances all around. I noticed amazon.com doesn't have any extras listed for the special edition (arriving in April). I thoguht I would list them.
First of all the transfer will be anamorphic, and the sound track will be 5.1. Both are improvements from the first released DVD.
Other extras include:
Audio commentary with director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie and a second commentary with editor and composer John Ottman (already on the first release)
Deleted scenes with commentary by Ottman
"Pursuing The Suspects" documentary
"Doing Time With The Suspects" documentary
"Heisting Cannes With The Usual Suspects" documentary
"Keyser Sose: Lie Or Legend?" featurettes
A gag reel with Singer intro, trailers and TV spots.
This isn't a re-release of a DVD with an added trailer or two, this is a full blown special edition. It's a must for fans of the film, and a must for anyone who has interest.
on June 12, 2000
It's been five years since the release of The Usual Suspects, so you should have gathered by now that there's a bit of a twist at the end. (Don't worry - nothing shall be given away.)
The first time you see this film, it's the twist that will blow you away, leaving you gasping for air on your sofa, unable to stop grinning at the sheer brilliance of the final loop-the-loop in the rollercoaster ride that is the incredible script. You'll notice the acting and the dialogue, of course, but it's the ending that will stick in your mind.
Wathc it again, however, and it's a whole new experience: just take a look at the little titbits that were missed the last time round but can be enjoyed even more now that you know how it turns out. The twist will still hit you, but it's not as strong.
The third time, however, is the real turning point. This viewing will ensure that the dialogue is imprinted on your mind, and the fantastic performances won't be forgotten in the fog of amazement that the ending pumped out the first couple of times. When it comes, the denouement won't be such a thrill any more, but on the plus side, you'll enjoy the two hours or so that precede it even more.
If you haven't watched it yet, buy it quick and prepare to be blown away, and if you have watched it, watch it again.
And again ...
on May 11, 2001
Lock the door. Destroy your telephone. buy the kids a Playstation and send them to the basement. Throw the dog outside, and put your spouse on stealth mode. If you don't get distracted by anything, you will see one of the greatest movies possibly ever made. People who say they figured it out before the ending are either LIARS, or just got lucky. You can't, with any reason figure this movie out until the end, so don't spend your time trying. Just sit back and enjoy. The story could be difficult to follow at times but well worth it. If you enjoy movies with some thought to them, this is for you. If you liked Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels then you will thoroughly enjoy this. A lot has been said about Kevin Spacey's performance (deservedly so!), but Benicio Del Torro, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin (how he could make Biodome after this I'll never know), and Kevin Pollack, all give amazing performances. Even so the real star is the storyline. Oh and there is no secret ending...
on February 25, 2000
Sometimes a movie really surprises you, really blows you away for some reason. I saw "The Usual Suspects" not really expecting anything interesting. Well, I was wrong. Instead I got to see a terrifically exciting movie featuring outstanding acting and a plot twist that actually caught me by surprise.
The plot? Following a bloody shoot-out aboard a ship moored at a Santa Monica pier, the police question a hood by the name of Verbal Kint in an attempt to learn about what happened. We see several different possibilities and the final answer we get is a real surprise.
Typically movies rely upon special effects, left-field plot twists, and brand-name casting to get the job done. "The Usual Suspects" relies on an excellent script, good direction and wonderful acting from people who might not necessarily be household names. Look at this cast- Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollack, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Dan Hedaya, and Pete Postlethwaite. This is some serious acting talent to behold. They all are great, but in particular Gabriel Byrne (Dean Keaton) and Kevin Spacey (Verbal Kint) deliver exceptional performances. Neither man is quite who they seem to be. Spacey won a well-deserved Oscar for his performance in this film.
Director Brian Singer does a brilliant job coaxing terrific acting performances from his cast. This was a tought movie to make and he pulled it off in spades.
Go see "The Usual Suspects" and find out why it is one of my favorite films.
on April 16, 2002
THE USUAL SUSPECTS took the world by storm back in 1995. The film crackles with great performances by a top notch cast. The film is aq truly a unique crime drama/mystery, that for those who have never seen it, will leave you guessing until the very end of the movie. The plot revolves around 5 criminals, who are wanted for questioning, after a crime is comitted in New York City.. I know that doesn't sound like much of description, but that's really all you need to know about the plot, any more would ruin the film. The script by Christopher McQuarrie is filled with a lot of twists and and turns. I do not praise the script lightly. No wonder it won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The chemistry of the cast is evident from the start. Directed by Bryan (X-MEN) Singer, the film is complex and fun. Repeat viewings are a must, because each time you see it, you will gleefully find out something that you may have missed before.
MGM has put together a dandy new Special Edition that warrants (re?) purchase. New to the mix are never before seen deleted scenes, some wonderful featurettes with Cast and Crew and a funny gag reel. The commentary track from Singer and McQuarrie is lifted right from the previous DVD release and is among the best I've heard. There is a brand new commentary from Editor/Composer John Ottman that is pretty good. Rounding it all out are the trailers/tv ads and nifty Easter Eggs The 2 sided disc has the movie on side A and the features on Side B. It also gives you a choice between Pan and Scan and Widescreen formats
on April 21, 2004
Every now and again a film comes along that is described as a gem. This is because the film just like a gem is a surprising pleasure to find esecially amongst the mass expanse and typical rubble of moviedom.
The Usual Suspects...
is just such a gem!
The film is described as a classic by all who have seen it even though it was released as recently as 1995. The title of the film itself is said to be borrowed from the much earlier classic, Casablanca.
When the film was released, it contained a host of 'unknowns'. However, do not associate the word 'unknowns' with 'untalented'; as is proved by the star of the film, Kevin Spacey, who picked up an Oscar for his mesmerising performance as Verbal Kint.
I confess that I will not try and give you a detailed synopsis of the film as I do not want to spoil your viewing (or perhaps more appropriately I would not know where to start my synopsis!)
Five Criminals Are Brought Together In A Police Line-Up...
If you are going to see the film for the first time, you will notice that when you ask for the film at your local video store, a smile will mould itself onto the owner's face. Why?
Because he knows just as everyone else who has seen the film that you are letting yourself in for something special.
And, I guarantee you that the next time you go into your local video store and catch a glimpse of the now 'oh-so-famous' cover of the film out of the corner of your eye you will notice that whereas before the film camouflaged itself against all the other films, it now seems to shine just like a self-assured individual stands out from a crowd.
If you are going to see the film for the second/third/whatever time. I hope you enjoy the film again and have fun trying to answer the immortal question:
WHO IS KEYSER SOZE?