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The Usual Suspects Review

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by AVForums May 1, 2002

    The Usual Suspects Review
    Writer Christopher McQuarrie and director Bryan Singer were catapulted into the upper echelons of Hollywood following the release of this, one of the most lyrical, beautifully constructed, and ultimately satisfying thrillers of the last two decades. Following a gunfight on a boat in San Pedro Harbour, the sole surviving member (Spacey) of a team of criminals involved in a multimillion dollar heist finds himself locked in an interrogation room guiding his questioners (and us) through a Chinese puzzle box of a story as they attempt to find out exactly what went on. Brilliantly acted by the ensemble cast, and saddled with a script that continues to throw up new clues and ideas every time you watch it, it's no wonder that The Usual Suspects is held in such high regard by cinema fans.
    However, the history of The Usual Suspects on DVD has not been a happy one. The original release by Polygram in the UK was less than satisfactory. The film was cropped to 4:3, only featured a stereo mix, and the only extras were filmographies and a trailer. Following on from this was a belated US release through MGM. While the transfer was again lacklustre it was at least framed correctly at 2.35:1 but it was still not anamorphic. This time though, there was a commentary track present. Well, some three years after it first arrived in DVD shops in the UK, The Usual Supects is back, and this time around it's the disc we had all hoped for in the first place. The best really has got that little bit better.