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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Gangster > Thriller > The Usual Suspects (1995/MGM Blu-ray in DigiBook)

The Usual Suspects (1995/MGM Blu-ray in DigiBook)


Picture: B+     Sound: B     Extras: D     Film: B+



Whereas I can’t say everything Bryan Singer has created over the years has been solid gold, his 1995 The Usual Suspects is a classic.  Its solid storyline, ability to grab and hold the viewers’ attention, and its all around ‘tough guy’ attitude makes the film a memorable hit.  The film is dense and complicated, accumulating to a masterfully executed film.


The film at its core is a heist film, with $91 million stolen and an unwavering Customs Agent Dave Kojan (Chazz Palminteri) who sets out to get it back.  Making the heist even more catastrophic is the fact that 29 people died because of it; and with a mysterious underworld crime boss behind the event (Keyser Soze) the case becomes even more complicated.


Though the investigation seems to be in a state of chaos, the police force has managed to round up a handful of criminals who they believe were involved; and even further believe one of them is Keyser Soze.  Here we are introduced to the stunning cast of Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollack, the amazing (Oscar winner) Kevin Spacey, and Benicio Del Toro.  Spacey’s character is the ‘snitch’ and one willing to talk, as he spills the beans on how the events unfolded.  In a flash back manner the events which lead up to the event are recounted.  The crew of ‘usual suspects’ met 6weeks earlier in a similar police line up and agreed to set up the heist.  In order to put the job into action the crew employs the help of criminal kingpin Keyser Soze, who is so mysterious and unseen that no one is sure if he is man or myth.  The events take off from there having the audience focus on the nitty gritty details as the big picture flies right on by.


The film is amazingly constructed and a valuable asset to any Blu-ray film collection.


As this Digi-Book release seems to be the same disc as released in 2007 our sites previous reviews of the technical features still holds up.  For a more detailed look at film and its technical features, please follow the link below:





The picture again is presented in a 1080p MPEG-2 2.35 X 1 Widescreen that is very nicely done.  The colors are bright and pop off the screen, while the blacks do a splendid job in framing each gripping moment.  The picture is generally crisp, clean and clear with only the occasional graininess and softness to complain of.  In general the presentation is excellent, though not perfect with the items mentioned already and a (though intended at times) lighting issue here and there.  The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that is not quite as good as the picture, but does capture the atmosphere of the film quite well.  The film definitely has its moments where it is more than apparent that it was a low budget/indie film, but the dialogue comes forth nicely and the surrounds are employed well enough.


The extras are sadder as none exist; perhaps we will get the Criterion treatment one day; but that day is not today.


Nevertheless this is an excellent film and you are doing yourself a disservice but not seeing it, especially here on Blu-ray.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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