Singer, like Tarantino, is less into mining new film themes than in re-inventing old ones. And the way he does so shows full well that there is still a bit of life in the old mob movie yet.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
It stands up brilliantly to repeat viewing, to the extent that you may never fully solve the riddle. But don't let that put you off; it's the ultimate whodunit.
It's a film that demands to be watched again and again -- this is good old-fashioned pulp fiction told in the slickest 1990s style.
| Original Score: 5/5
Give director Bryan Singer credit for providing a plot that is not resolved by an exchange of gunfire, but don't expect the movie's glib punchline to stay with you for very long.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
An imaginative, entertaining crime mystery with plenty of nerve and vigor.
Metaphysical mumbo-jumbo? Of course -- but the thrill of The Usual Suspects is that, after years of movie demythologising, it re-mythologises the crime movie.
If the pleasures of The Usual Suspects are the more superficial ones of ingenuity and style, those are abundantly available. The twists and turns of the plot are an awful lot of fun, while the ending is genuinely satisfying and surprising.
The most attuned devotee of crime mystery will be hard-pressed to guess the outcome of this stylish thriller. It is riddled with machine-gun dialogue and kinky implications at every turn.
In a season of fat blockbusters, a picture as brainy, bitter, and compact as this one comes as a shock and a treat.
The then 27-year-old Bryan Singer eclipsed most other '90s crime movies with this brilliantly slippery, cerebral thriller.
It's a nerve-shredding suspense movie about corruption, a bravura actor's show full of deliciously twisted cops and robbers, and a complex riddle packed with unexpected turns.
| Original Score: 4/4
It may ultimately make sense; no one could tell without at least four or five viewings. What is totally commanding, however, is the level of ensemble acting [and] the adroitness of the storytelling.
A little red herring is one thing. But don't smack me in the face with it, all right?
For many true movie fiends, noir is the key American movie type, and the most fun when it's done right. The Usual Suspects is done right.
A masterpiece of the modern film noir genre, a terrific performance piece for everyone involved and an absolutely outstanding directorial effort.
| Original Score: 9/10
While it's fair to call The Usual Suspects a gimmick in search of a movie, one could say something similar of, say, an Agatha Christie mystery. [Blu-ray]
Anything but usual, Singer's movie is pretty damn near untouchable. Next to this, most other crime films feel petty.
Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie's tough-guy dialogue and Bryan Singer's crisp direction give the ensemble cast every opportunity to shine, and they do.
| Original Score: 3/4
I didn't believe this story for a minute, even in movie terms -- though it's less offensive than a piece of junk like Apt Pupil, Singer's subsequent feature.
Bryan Singer's poker face is worthless at best.
| Original Score: 1/4