The Usual Suspects (1995)

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The Usual Suspects is a 1995 American neo-noir mystery thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, and Kevin Spacey.

The plot follows the interrogation of Roger "Verbal" Kint, a small-time con man, who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. Through flashback and narration, Kint tells an interrogator a convoluted story of events that led him and his criminal companions to the boat, and of a mysterious crime lord?known as Keyser Söze?who controlled them. The film was shot on a $6 million budget and began as a title taken from a column in Spy magazine called The Usual Suspects, after one of Claude Rains' most memorable lines in the classic film Casablanca, and Singer thought that it would make a good title for a film.

The film was shown out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, and then initially released in a few theaters. It received favorable reviews and was eventually given a wider release. McQuarrie won an 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.