The Usual Suspects is a rare mix of intricate storytelling and masterful directing, with one of the best twist endings ever. The movie would be worth it just for the ending, but the ending would not be significant without the rest of the story. Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin, and Benicio Del Toro star in the intriguing movie from Bryan Singer.
The first time I saw this movie, I hated it. The second time, I loved it. The weird thing is that when I first saw it, I found it extremely confusing and somebody had to tell me what the ending meant. The second time I saw it, I wondered how I had found it confusing. Singer lays clues and foreshadowing throughout the movie, and it is almost impossible to miss the conclusion. But somehow I did, and by the reactions from others, they did too.
The movie is confusing, I'll grant it that. It switches back and forth between the present and the past from Verbal's perspective, and sometimes how the movie progresses from one scene to the other is strange. To me, it seemed like the group teamed together to enact revenge on the NYPD, but they then end up doing jobs as professionals.
Still, the directing is superb, the acting is excellent, and the story is interesting. The Usual Suspects is not the fastest movie in the world but it is definitely recommended. If you don't like it the first time, you'll like it the second time. I did.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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