For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “The Usual Suspects.”
“The Usual Suspects” was a 1995 mystery thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It started an ensemble cast of Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Spacey.
The film was first shown at competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and was initially released in a few theaters. After receiving favorable reviews, it was eventually given a wider release. McQuarrie won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. The Writers Guild of America ranked the film as having the 35th greatest screenplay of all time.
Told through the interview of one Verbal Kint (Spacey), a conman with cerebral palsy, The Usual Suspects followed a group of five men who were called by the police to participate in a line-up for the hijacking of a truck. When they were later released, they worked together to pull a heist as revenge on the NYPD. That heist resulted in the men netting millions of dollars in emeralds and getting over fifty cops arrested.
Their criminal antics eventually got them the attention of the infamous Keyser Soze, a mythic crime lord who hired them to pull off a multi-million dollar heist that ended with an explosion in the Port of Los Angeles. Most of the group perished, and Verbal Kint, who was one of only two survivors, was interviewed by the FBI. However, it turned out that Verbal Kint was not the man the FBI interviewer thought he was. I can’t say anything more without giving away the movie’s truly stunning climax.
I was captivated by this movie from beginning to end. I think you might be, too.