The Usual Suspects

From 1995, The Usual Suspects is cunning entertainment. The story of five felons who become a top-flight crew after being tossed into a lineup lays its cards on the table, then reshuffles and switches decks without anybody noticing. The director, Bryan Singer, and his co-writer, Christopher McQuarrie, know how to hook an audience then twist. (They earned an Oscar for their script.) Although The Usual Suspects never goes off the metaphysical deep end, the mythic character of Keyser Soze brings back the spectre of encroaching evil that gave Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse movies the gleam of adult fairy tales. Among the criminal ensemble, Kevin Spacey is brilliantly jittery in his key role--his mental yolk vibrates under not-quite-hardboiled skin. (R) MICHAEL SRAGOW

Feb. 19-20, 7 & 10 p.m.; Feb. 21-22, 10 p.m.; Feb. 23-24, 7 & 10 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 25, 10 p.m., 2010

 
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