Usual Suspects, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3 1/2

A boat believed to have $91 million in cocaine on board is blown up at a dock just south of Los Angeles. Twenty-seven die in the blaze leaving only two survivors, a Hungarian gangster clinging to life in the hospital's burn unit and Roger Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), a crippled con-man from New York. It all begins six weeks earlier when a truckload of gun parts is hijacked in Queens. Five felons are brought in for questioning and held overnight. They include Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), the ex-cop turned thief, Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak), a bomb and hardware specialist, Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), a fiery-tempered entry man, Kint, the man with the plan, and lastly, Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), McManus' unpredictable partner. The five criminals find that the one thing they have in common is knowledge of Keyser Soze, believed to be the mastermind behind the dockside massacre and so feared even they quiver at the mention of his name. The clock ticks as Kint tells the twisted scheme of the five to the D.A., while an FBI sketch artist franically struggles to complete the dying Hungarian's description of Soze. This film will keep your attention.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS is a bloody, violent and downright obscene film. It is meant to portray the lives of violent killers. There are rarely five minutes that pass without someone getting a bullet in the head. And most disturbing is a series of flashes of Soze's wife being raped and his child's throat being slit. At that point, Soze determines his whole family should die, and he proceeds to shoot his wife and two other children to death. This is a sick plot. It is filmmaking at its worst. When will Hollywood realize that these kinds of films desensitize humanity? It simply should not be seen. With over 100 obscene, crude and profane words, the only time the characters are not vocalizing obscenities is when they are committing them. Unfortunately, it seems that filmmakers are now trying to outdo PULP FICTION, which set a precedent in the grotesque and appalling scenarios. Write Gramercy Pictures if you agree that THE USUAL SUSPECTS is dangerous to the mental health of this country.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: USA Films (Gramercy), 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 6, Moderate 11
Obscene Language: Many (97) times - F-word 71, s-word 16, other 10
Profanity: Regular (GD) twice
Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (many graphic shootings, shots to head, a child's throat cut, another's throat cut then shot; bodies burned, man knifed in back, fist fight, property destruction; graphic view of burn victims; woman raped)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: Implied once in joking manner
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Several times (references to intercourse)
Drug Abuse: Several (smoking cigars and cigarettes; drinking beer)
Other: Man urinates on body
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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