The Usual Suspects

What's it About

After a deadly explosion in an L.A. harbor, police inspector Kujan (Palminteri) interrogates hobbled, chatty con artist "Verbal" Kint (Spacey) about his criminal associates: bad cop Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), ornery weapons expert Hockney (Kevin Pollak), wise guy McManus (Stephen Baldwin), and flashy mumbler Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), all presumed dead. Verbal reveals how, after being rounded up for a police line-up five days earlier, the men hatched a heist scheme and became involved with a mysterious, mythical underworld figure named Keyser Söze.

Why We Love It

Singer's ingenious noir thriller takes a twisty, complicated plot about betrayal and recrimination and turns it into a dark fable about the things we fear most: what we can't see and don't understand. Spacey won an Oscar for his unnerving portrayal of Verbal Kint, a man at once physically vulnerable and intellectually devious, but the entire cast-Byrne, Pollak, Baldwin, and a hilariously indecipherable Del Toro-bring their gallery of quirky deviants to vivid life. Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie push the mystery past the tidy, clichéd conclusion into a most unexpected realm, making these "Suspects" anything but usual.

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