106 Min. | Crime – Drama – Mystery | August 1995
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Director: Bryan Singer
Staring: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
The Usual Suspects Review: Subtlety is a very important thing in any good thriller. Not only does subtlety reduce the ridiculous amount of “in-your-face-quality” that today’s thrillers seem to love, which effectively makes then just plain old action movies, subtlety shows that a film has respect for its audience. It doesn’t feel like it has to explain everything at every step of the way since it knows that an interested audience will be on the lookout for hints as to what is going on. That’s what makes films like this enjoyable. In fact, that what makes any film enjoyable. It isn’t just a barrage of images, but rather an engaging sequence of them.
This sequence can be unchronologically organized or in any number of ways obscured to create suspense, but as long as it is engaging, the audience will be happy. “The Usual Suspects” is such a thriller. It can be enjoyed with the eyes as much as the brain. There are numerous hints as to what is really going on and the final climatic twist is really a great one. Even then, upon seeing the whole film, the second viewing only gets better as that is when a keen viewer will pick up on all those subtleties that hint at the result which they are now familiar with. These subtleties are not just obscurely placed props but are woven into the film’s montage with clever camera angles along with certain key objects seen on screen. The Usual Suspects is a thriller worthy of Hitchcock or the best of DePalma.
Nothing is in needless excess and even the profanity is well written and there are no pointless macho wisecracks. Simply put, everything works in The Usual Suspects. And it works very well. Even upon multiple viewings the film captivates with its clever composition and that can only be a good sign. Overall, The Usual Suspects is an excellent film.
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