The usual suspects

Executive Summary

Pass/Consider/Recommend/Highly Recommend


Explanation: The screenplay of 'The Usual Suspects' is a compelling narrative with a well-constructed plot and strong character development. Its non-linear storytelling and memorable dialogue make it stand out. While it could benefit from pacing adjustments and clearer motivations for secondary characters, its strengths in structure and character arcs make it a strong candidate for production.

See Full Analysis

USP: This intricate and captivating screenplay stands out in the crime genre through its unique combination of elements that create a gripping and immersive experience for the audience. The script features a diverse cast of morally complex characters who navigate a dangerous criminal underworld filled with high-stakes choices and unforeseen consequences. The innovative storytelling techniques, including unexpected plot twists, intense confrontations, and psychological mind games, keep the audience on the edge of their seats. This script promises a compelling journey into the depths of crime, morality, and the human psyche, leaving a lasting impression on those who witness its unfolding narrative.

Genres: Crime, Thriller, Drama, Mystery

Setting: Contemporary, Various locations in New York City and Los Angeles

Overview: The screenplay for "The Usual Suspects" earns a strong overall score of 8.46 due to its exceptional character development, intricate plot, unpredictable twists, and impactful emotional journey. The screenplay's strengths lie in its ability to captivate the audience with its mystery, suspense, and memorable characters. However, there are opportunities to enhance clarity in the non-linear narrative, further develop certain character arcs, and elevate the emotional impact of the resolution.

Themes: Crime and Corruption, Identity and Betrayal, Power and Control, Love and Loss

Conflict and Stakes: The primary conflict revolves around the characters' entanglement with Keyser Soze, a dangerous criminal mastermind, and the stakes involve their lives and freedom as they navigate a web of deception and betrayal.

Overall Mood: Dark, suspenseful, and mysterious

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

  • Scene 1: The opening scene sets a dark and suspenseful tone with the explosion and the introduction of the enigmatic Keyser.
  • Scene 17: The revelation scene with Verbal and Kujan is intense and emotionally charged, adding to the overall mood of the film.
  • Scene 23: The final confrontation on the boat creates a sense of urgency and danger, enhancing the suspenseful atmosphere.

Standout Features:

  • Twist Ending: The iconic twist ending that redefines the entire narrative and leaves audiences in shock.
  • Complex Characters : Memorable and multi-dimensional characters that add depth and intrigue to the story.
  • Suspenseful Atmosphere : The tense and suspenseful atmosphere created through clever storytelling and visual elements.
  • Mystery Elements : The intricate mystery elements that keep viewers guessing and engaged throughout the film.

Comparable Scripts:

  • Reservoir Dogs
  • The Usual Suspects
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Departed
  • The Wire
  • Breaking Bad
  • The Godfather
  • Goodfellas
  • Scarface
  • The Town
Market Analysis

Budget Estimate:$40-50 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of crime thrillers, mystery, and psychological dramas.

Marketability: Strong ensemble cast, intricate plot twists, and a cult following from fans of the genre.

Unique narrative structure, memorable characters, and a compelling mystery that keeps audiences engaged.

Strong critical acclaim, award-winning performances, and a timeless appeal that attracts both casual viewers and cinephiles.

Profit Potential: High, due to the film's cult status, critical acclaim, and potential for continued interest and sales in various formats.

Scene Level Percentiles
Script Level Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice in this screenplay is characterized by its crisp dialogue, vivid imagery, and tense atmosphere. The writer employs a distinct narrative style that immerses the reader in the world of the story and keeps them engaged throughout the screenplay.

Best representation: Scene 10 - Releasing Keaton. Scene 10 is the best representative of the author's voice because it showcases all the elements of the writer's style: sharp dialogue, vivid imagery, and a tense atmosphere. The scene is a gripping confrontation between two characters, and the writer's use of language creates a sense of suspense that keeps the reader engaged until the very end.

Memorable Lines:

  • Verbal: The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. (Scene 23)
  • Kovash: Keyser Soze. Keyser Sate. I've seen his face. I see it when I close my eyes. (Scene 17)
  • Kujan: The first thing I learned on the job, know what it was? How to spot a murderer. (Scene 10)
  • Jack Baer: Above all, I want to be sure that Dean Keaton is dead. (Scene 8)
  • Verbal Kint: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. (Scene 34)

Writing Style:

The screenplay exhibits a consistent style characterized by sharp dialogue, suspenseful atmosphere, and intricate plotting. The writing effectively creates tension and explores moral dilemmas, often within the context of crime and law enforcement settings.

Style Similarities:

  • Christopher Nolan
  • David Fincher
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Christopher McQuarrie
Other Similarities: The screenplay's writing style also exhibits influences from David Mamet, particularly in the use of gritty dialogue and realistic character interactions. Additionally, Martin Scorsese's influence can be seen in the exploration of corrupt cops and criminal enterprises.
Story Shape