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The Usual Suspects

Five Criminals . One Line Up . No Coincidence 

Year: 1995 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

The Usual Suspects is something completely different from your normal Hollywood fare. It looks at five criminals brought together at an identity parade, and then left alone in a room together... What happens in the following weeks ends in the title sequences of this truly astonishing film - a burning freighter with $91 million missing, 27 dead bodies on board and only two survivors.

Front then on you're led into a world where you can't be sure of anything. Only Verbal (Spacey), one of the original five, is in a fit enough condition to talk, but he goes in circles and doesn't seem to want to explain what happened. The reason is Keyser Soze; a figure of myth and legend who mightn't even exist, but who generates such fear as to dictate every action of the five - even now in the interrogation room. As the other survivor is critical in hospital, customs officer Ktijan (Palminteri) must squeeze the story out of Verbal bit by bit in a frantic effort to clear the matter tip before the deadline for his release.

This is a crime thriller of epic proportions. In a way it's very similar to Reservoir Dogs, with the flashback-style of' story-telling, hip and darkly funny dialogue and characters of ruthless proportions. It takes themes which have been covered before and reinvests them in a fresh, unique way.

But it even goes beyond that - whereas Dogs takes you along for a joyride, this involves the viewer in a complex plot of twists and turns which is ultimately far more rewarding. The full story doesn't untold until the very last frames of' the film, and builds up in such incredible style that you're kept right on the edge of your scat whilst it's doing it. I'd very much like to write more, but that's just going to spoil things for you. And you don't deserve that. Go in to see this with an open mind, see why the world-wide smash reviews are more than justified, and have something to talk about for a very long time to come.

Jon Webb

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Screenings of this film:

1995/1996 Spring Term (35mm)
1995/1996 Spring Term (35mm)
1995/1996 Spring Term (35mm)
1995/1996 Spring Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Summer Term (35mm)