the reason'The Usual Suspects' leaves such a long-lasting impression on the viewer is that it takes advantage of the gullibility of the audience. For the first 100 minutes we are delivered an intriguing and complex story to which there seems no easy answer. When the final piece of the puzzle seems to be in place the entire film is turned on its head. This final revelation initially leaves you speechless and then shortly after the audience realises that they have fallen for a brilliantly inspired trick. The second great trick that this film plays on its audience is making us think that by watching it again we'll be able to understand slightly better what was really going on. The truth is that the more you try to make sense of it, the more confusing it becomes. It's probably best not to try to look for any concrete answers and just accept that we fell for the filmmaker's tricks. The success of the film is mainly thanks to the sense of satisfaction the audience is left with at the end of the film. I think that people love the idea of a story when you're not sure who you can really trust, along with the realisation that the film's most shady characters are the filmmakers themselves.
Aside from the twist the film is also unique in the way the narrative is presented. The majority of the story is told as a series of flashbacks by crippled con artist Verbal Kint (a performance which deservedly won Kevin Spacey his first Oscar). The film's other Oscar went to screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (who also directed 'The Way of the Gun' (2000)) for his brilliantly constructed screenplay. It's a testament to the director, Bryan Singer that he was able to combine all these elements and turn them into something which is nothing short of a modern masterpiece. His moody and stylish direction help to bring the film together and perfectly complement the film's dark tone. A mention should also go to John Ottman for his skilful editing and amazing score.
The Usual Suspects is more than just a film with a clever ending. It revealed an awful lot about film audiences and showed us that their expectations can be used against them
This is a fine piece of work - three bones at least. Some of the cutting and backtracking can seem gratuitous, but on the whole it's a felt evocation of the "escape the neighborhood" theme, admirably done and very well acted by the performers.
Let's get this out right away: the animation in this movie sucks. It looks like animatics for a Pixar movie, or perhaps a video game. (In fact, at the way video games are evolving, most look better than this four-year-old movie.) Fortunately, the look of the movie is not the ONLY thing required for it to work. The story of "Hoodwinked" is mildly entertaining (and definitely owes more than a little to "Shrek", turning a popular fairy tale on its head). And the great voice cast gives a personality to the characters that the animation just can't match. Under the Pixar banner (or even DreamWorks), this could possibly have been a masterpiece. As it is, it's hard to look at, but still kind of fun. Two bones.