The Usual Suspects

August 16th, 1995

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The Usual Suspects

Bryan Singer in The Usual SuspectsStill of Dan Hedaya and Chazz Palminteri in The Usual SuspectsStill of Kevin Spacey and Gabriel Byrne in The Usual SuspectsStill of Stephen Baldwin and Kevin Pollak in The Usual SuspectsStill of Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin and Benicio Del Toro in The Usual SuspectsStill of Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Pollak in 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.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 8.7/10 (350,602 voted)

Critic's Score: 77/100

Director: Bryan Singer

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri

Following a truck hijack in New York, five conmen are arrested and brought together for questioning. As none of them is guilty, they plan a revenge operation against the police. The operation goes well, but then the influence of a legendary mastermind criminal called Keyser Söze is felt. It becomes clear that each one of them has wronged Söze at some point and must pay back now. The payback job leaves 27 men dead in a boat explosion, but the real question arises now: Who actually is Keyser Söze?

Stephen Baldwin - Michael McManus
Gabriel Byrne - Dean Keaton
Benicio Del Toro - Fred Fenster
Kevin Pollak - Todd Hockney
Kevin Spacey - Roger 'Verbal' Kint
Chazz Palminteri - Dave Kujan, US Customs
Pete Postlethwaite - Kobayashi
Giancarlo Esposito - Jack Baer, FBI
Suzy Amis - Edie Finneran
Dan Hedaya - Sgt. Jeffrey 'Jeff' Rabin
Paul Bartel - Smuggler
Carl Bressler - Saul Berg
Phillipe Simon - Fortier
Jack Shearer - Renault
Christine Estabrook - Dr. Plummer

Taglines: In a world where nothing is what it seems you've got to look beyond...


Official Website: MGM Studios [United States] |

Release Date: 16 August 1995

Filming Locations: City Hall - 200 N. Spring Street, Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $645,363 (USA) (20 August 1995) (42 Screens)

Gross: $23,272,306 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The Japanese characters on the outside of the meeting room where Kobayashi is talking with Edie Finneran and others say "Kobayashi" and "bengoshi" (attorney); the ones in reverse on the window read "seikou" (success), "chikara" (strength), and "zaisan" (assets).

Errors in geography: Planes landing in New York City from South America would land at JFK, not La Guardia airport. The arriving passenger was picked up at the departure section of the Delta building.

[first lines]
Keyser Soze: How you doing Keaton?
Keaton: I can't feel my legs... Keyser.

User Review

The most enjoyment you'll have seeing a movie for the *second* time

Rating: 10/10

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.

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