If you enjoy The Usual Suspects, here are ten films to see.
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A noir-style drama starring an ensemble cast, an unreliable narrator, and/or a shocking twist awaits you. There are other options besides The Usual Suspects.
As one of the best noir styled mystery thrillers of the ’90s, The Usual Suspects established Bryan Singer as a filmmaker to keep an eye on. Benicio del Toro and Kevin Spacey rounded out the star-studded cast. Spacey plays Verbal Kint, a small-time conman who fabricates a story about a massacre on a ship.
Spacey won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Kint, and Christopher McQuarrie won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film. McQuarrie would go on to direct the Mission: Impossible film series. Moviegoers who enjoyed The Usual Suspects will enjoy a variety of films in the same vein, thanks to the film’s twisting and turning plot and unreliable narrator.
1. Shutter Island (2010)
Martin Scorsese’s 2010 horror/thriller Shutter Island featured an unreliable narrator and was directed by Scorsese himself. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel, the film follows two investigators who are sent to a psychiatric hospital to look into the disappearance of a patient.
When Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play detectives in Shutter Island, they arrive at a hospital to find out that nothing is what it seems.
2. The Prestige (2006)
Christopher Nolan made a more personal film in between working on the first and second Batman films in his trilogy. In 2006, Jonathan Nolan wrote the screenplay and Christopher Nolan directed the film, which was based on Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name.
The story revolves around Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, two stage magicians in late 1800s London. Former partners turned enmities after a magic trick killed the magician’s wife. There was a dangerous rivalry between Nikola Tesla (David Bowie) and Albert Einstein for years, and they spent years trying to outdo each other.
3. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Few films have done a better job of showing a gang of thieves getting together and then watching everything fall apart than Reservoir Dogs. This was Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, and it immediately established him as a major figure in the industry.
As soon as the police arrive, the heist goes horribly wrong for a group of crooks. To find out who the traitor is, the survivors gather in an abandoned warehouse. The cast is led by Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, and Tim Roth.
4. Fight Club (1999)
When it comes to unreliable narrators in movies, David Fincher’s Fight Club is probably the best example. The movie is based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and follows an unnamed protagonist (Ed Norton) who meets soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and the two of them start a fight club together.
The story revolves around men who are unable to accept their place in society, and how they deal with it. Neither the anonymous narrator nor Tyler Durden are exactly who they seem to be in this story.
5. Hero (2002)
Zhang Yimou’s 2002 film Hero capitalized on the popularity of wuxia cinema in the United States. Heroes took a different approach to the genre shortly after Crouching Tiger and the Hidden Dragon received a number of Oscar nominations.
After surviving several assassination attempts, a nameless warrior appeared in the film and recounted what had happened to the king. Like inUsual Suspects, the story is told by one of the participants, leaving it to the king to figure out what is true and what is not..
6. American Psycho (2000)
Based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, American Psycho tells the story entirely through the eyes of a singularly unreliable narrator. It’s impossible to tell what’s real and what’s just in Patrick Bateman’s head because the story is so shaky.
As Patrick, a yuppie in the 1980s, Christian Bale transforms into a serial killer sociopath in order to advance both professionally and socially.
7. Primal Fear (1996)
It wasn’t until 1996, with the release of Primal Fear, that Edward Norton made his big-screen debut and established himself as one of the world’s best actors. In the film, he played Aaron Stampler, a 19-year-old altar boy accused of murdering the revered Archbishop of Canterbury. Richard Gere, who plays the young man’s lawyer, is the movie’s star.
Even though he’s guilty, the case revolves around the possibility that he has two personalities. The archbishop sexually abused Aaron, and his other half, Roy, confesses to the crime in order to keep Aaron safe. Norton’s performance was nothing short of masterful, earning him an Oscar nomination.
8. The Third Man (1949)
Citizens Kane is the film that immediately comes to mind when people think of Orson Welles. The best movie he’s ever been in, on the other hand, wasn’t even a film he directed. The Third Man, a film by Carol Reed about an American (Joseph Cotten) who accepts a job in Vienna with a friend named Harry Lime (Welles).
He learns that Lime has died and decides to stay in Vienna. The man becomes entangled in a vast conspiracy after suspecting the killing was premeditated.
9. Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl, based on the best-selling novel by Harper Lee, was directed by David Fincher in 2014. As Nick Dunne, a teacher whose wife Amy (Rosemund Pike) has vanished, Ben Affleck plays the lead role. Even though Nicholas is doing everything he can to help authorities figure out what happened to his wife, he is now being held responsible for her murder due to his perceived lack of interest.
When Amy’s whereabouts are discovered, she decides to remain hidden and accuses her husband of her assassination.
10. Memento (2000)
Christopher Nolan first gained notoriety with the Dark Knight Trilogy, but he did so with the brilliant but difficult film Memoirs of a Geisha. What’s unique about this film is that it tells the story backwards, starting with the final scene to open the film and working through the story scene by scene until the very beginning, where everything comes together.
Guy Pearce suffers from short-term memory loss and keeps a collection of Polaroids and tattoos to help him remember his past.