Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 202 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Five career criminals in New York are rounded up for a standard police line-up. After release, they get together for a bit of revenge by pulling off a $3 million emerald heist. This scheme brings them to the attention of an underworld crime figure who convinces them to do a highly dangerous job.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. A near-classic blend of mystery, personality, humor and terror, laced with one stunning shock after another. [18 August 1995, Friday, p.C]
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    The Usual Suspects is an ironic, bang-up thriller about the wages of crime. A terrific cast of exciting actors socks over this absorbingly complicated yarn that's been spun in a seductively slick fashion by director Bryan Singer.
  3. A movie with style to burn, and, initially, that is this crime drama's most mesmerizing aspect.
  4. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    This thriller is like a game of life-and-death chess, with quick double-crosses and wild gambits.
  5. The Usual Suspects is a maze that moviegoers will be happy to get lost in, a criminal roller coaster with twists so unsettling no choice exists but to hold on and go along for the ride.
  6. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    Something quite different: A movie that's smarter than you are.
  7. 38
    To the degree that you will want to see this movie, it will be because of the surprise, and so I will say no more, except to say that the "solution," when it comes, solves little - unless there is really little to solve, which is also a possibility.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Feb 15, 2014
    "The Usual Suspects" runs second to "The Sixth Sense" for one of those movies you will enjoy watching more the second time. I won't give anything away, but there is not one but two twists you won't see coming. And for that sole purpose is a reason to watch this movie. Also, Kevin Spacey might be another reason. Expand
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    I'm not that much into cops and robbers and gangster movies, but this one was really good so even I like this one. It is a very well told story with an ending you will not see coming. You definitely should see this movie at least once. Expand
  3. Aug 10, 2013
    This film is just great. Great crime/gangster film but also so much more. Thrills, suspense, good acting, great script and very clever. I do believe that everyone should try and see this film. Expand
  4. Jan 7, 2013
    The Usual suspects is a smart well scripted. directed and, acted picture that is a classic for a reason. It has a twist ending that completes the movie precisely and the editing leaves nothing to be desired, it explains the storyline in full. Fantastic. Expand
  5. Feb 5, 2014
    Wow. This film is fantastic. Kevin Spacey and cast, as expected, are phenomenal. It lulls you into thinking you know how it will wrap up and then completely flips around. It is a tad hard to follow at the beginning, but wow does it ever pay off. Great film. Expand
  6. Oct 31, 2013
    Does not waste any time at all. Every minute is utilized to set up suspense and action. And when we reach the climax, everything suddenly becomes ambiguous. You are not sure about what really happened, just about the things that matter the most. Kevin Spacey acts splendidly. The first time I watched it the plot twist at the end made me a fan of the movie. But not so much on the second viewing after a gap of eight years. Frankly, apart from the awesome ending, it wasn't a very great script_ just a nicely plotted crime thriller but not very special. But I truly believe that everyone should watch it at least once, and don't talk about it before doing that because some smart-ass may spoil it for you. Expand
  7. Aug 25, 2011
    An ugly word that often gets unfairly tossed around in film criticism is manipulative. This word seems like sudden death for any movie, and is often used to describe a film that tries to play to the emotions of its audience. A more accurate way of using this term is a film that has little confidence in what it does and simply tries to throw things at the audience, hoping for validity. The Usual Suspects is a great example. While it certainly does paint an interesting picture, the characters are stock, and without interesting play between the players, it over compensates with plot twists and story holes, mixed rather uninspired interrogation scenes. There is little to enjoy in The Usual Suspects other than trying to put together its story, and once you do that you realize it is not even an interesting story, but simply feeds the audience so little, that there is little payoff to learning the surprises. Expand

See all 62 User Reviews