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The Usual Suspects Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A near-classic blend of mystery, personality, humor and terror, laced with one stunning shock after another. [18 August 1995, Friday, p.C]

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Look out for everything, and listen, too, because Suspects is one of the most densely plotted mysteries in memory.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Dense with plot intricacies, thick with atmosphere, and packed with showy roles for a hip ensemble.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The Usual Suspects is an accomplished synthesis of noir elements and, as such, is an entertaining entry to the genre.

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  • See all The Usual Suspects reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Profane, violent crime thriller has novel twists.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is an abundance of obscene language, the F-word most prominent. Violence gets pretty severe too. In a flashback (which may not reflect actual events) children and a mother are murdered by their own husband/father. There is an overwhelming sense of film noir-style corruption, and even the police don't look terribly clean.

  • Families can talk about why this film has become so popular. Did you see the trick ending coming? Do you want to watch it a second time, knowing how it comes out? You could use this movie to turn kids onto tricky crime thrillers of yesteryear, going all the way back to The Maltese Falcon, Kiss Me Deadly, The Lady from Shanghai, and The Big Sleep (which didn't have to swear to hold viewers spellbound). What does the film say about the criminal mindset and power? "Keyser Soze," is the all-powerful crime lord who may not really exist and who is feared like an underworld boogeyman. Can you think of real-life parallels in the realms of the Mafia and international terrorism?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Nobody here is very noble, with just a hint that cop-turned-crook Dean Keaton was on the verge of mending his ways for his girlfriend's sake (but didn't). Even the police are portrayed as internally corrupt and bullying, using threats and intimidation on suspects.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Brief, stylized flashbacks of a rape. Characters beaten, shot at close range and in the head. Gasoline poured on an occupied police car, set on fire. A mother and children are murdered in a flashback.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Characters tell off-color anecdotes.

  • language false3

    Language: Lots and LOTS of swearing, especially the f-word, plus just about every other profanity from time to time.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke -- even through their stocking masks. Mentions of cocaine and other narcotics in terms of underworld drug deals.