The Usual Suspects is one of the greatest mystery films ever made. The movie follows a group of five criminals who team up after being rounded up for the same crime. However, they soon find that they have crossed a very dangerous and mysterious crime figure known as Keyzer Soze.
The movie is filled with great performances and a killer script from Christopher McQuarrie. While the mystery and the iconic twist get most of the attention, the film also has a lot of great quotes. Some will have you laughing while others will give you the chills. Here are the most memorable quotes from The Usual Suspects.
10 "I Can't Feel My Legs… Keyzer"
The first scene of a mystery film is very important as it needs to hook you immediately and make you want to know more. The Usual Suspects achieves this with a very intriguing start that sets the stage for a lot of questions to be answered.
We see the aftermath of a deadly confrontation aboard a boat. One man, Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) remains and is soon confronted by an unseen man. Keaton seems to know the man and casually remarks, "I can't feel my legs… Keyzer" before seemingly being killed. It's a bold way to start a movie by having your audience be left so in the dark but it leaves you desperate to know more.
9 "Flip You. Flip Ya For Real"
Though he has the smallest role out of all the "suspects", Benicio Del Toro nearly steals the whole show as Fenster. Rumor has it that the role was originally written for an older man, but Del Toro was so impressive he got the role. He also decided that since much of his dialogue didn't matter, he would speak in a way that no one could understand him.
Del Toro's odd fast-talking mumbling is so unusual it becomes fascinating. You keep wanting him to speak again even though you can't understand a thing he's saying. In the early interrogation scene, Fenster keeps trying to threaten the cops but they have no idea what he's saying.
8 "Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself, Einstein?"
Despite being a fairly dark and violent movie, The Usual Suspects has a lot of humor. Most of that comes from Kevin Pollack who plays Hockney. He is a sarcastic, abrasive and uncaring man who does not back down from insulting even the toughest of foes.
The scenes where he is being interrogated by the cops provide some of the funniest moments. As these arrogant cops try to break him, Hockey just throws everything back in their faces. When one cop says they can place him in Queens the night of the crime, Hockey replies "Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself, Einstein?"
7 "Whoever's Sleeping Is Your Man."
The film has a very unique and interesting framing as almost the entire story is told from a police interrogation room. Detective Kujan is interrogating Verbal Kint about what happened on the boat and we then see the story play out through Verbal's retelling.
Though Kujan is not an active participant in the bigger story, he is a great character to put against Verbal. Early on, Kujan explains how he learned to spot a murderer by arresting the suspects and holding them overnight. The one who sleeps is the killer. It establishes Kujan as someone who can break Verbal which makes the twist all the better.
6 "One Cannot Be Betrayed If One Has No People."
The movie starts as a compelling crime film then gradually becomes an engrossing mystery with the introduction of Keyzer Soze. It is a name that has become iconic in films and, despite remaining a mystery for much of the movie, he is a character that always feels present in the story.
The suspects are first told of Soze by his associate, Kobayashi. From the very beginning, Soze is made to be a larger than life being that is unstoppable. As Kobayashi explains, he is a man who eliminated all weaknesses and is therefore untouchable.
5 "Yeah, I Was About To Tell You To Shut Up."
Verbal Kint is a very interesting character and not just because of the final twist. He serves as the film's storyteller and is one of the few characters we might feel some sympathy for. By his own admission, he does not belong with the other suspects.
As the five men are held in a jail cell, they begin talking. Verbal is shy but finally introduces himself to the others and explains he earned the name Verbal because he talks too much. Hockney dryly replies "Yeah, I was just about to tell you to shut up." It's a funny line and makes Verbal out to be the guy who gets kicked around a lot.
4 "How Do You Shoot The Devil In The Back?"
Two key aspects of the film are setting up Keyzer Soze as the ultimate boogeyman of the crime world and setting up Verbal as a pathetic and weak man who is caught up in this mess. These aspects help to make that final twist all the more mind-blowing.
This is summed up perfectly in one quote while Verbal is explaining how Keaton was killed by Soze. Kujan questions why Verbal didn't shoot Soze and save his friend. Verbal questions how you shoot the devil in the back before holding up his deformed hand and asking "What if you miss?"
3 "I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze."
There are many mysteries to unpack throughout the film including whether or not Keyzer Soze actually exists. The movie keeps making you question it, presenting Soze as such a larger-than-life character that the stories couldn't possibly be true. But there is clearly someone powerful at work behind the scenes.
When Kujan asks Verbal if he believes Soze is real, he sums it up in a brilliant and chilling way. He explains "Keaton always said, 'I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.' Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze."
2 "Hand me the keys you f***ing c***sucker."
Sometimes the most memorable moments in a movie come about purely by accident. When all the suspects are first brought in to a police lineup, they are asked to read the line "Hand me the keys you f**king c**ksucker."
One by one the men step up and read the lines. When Fenster steps up, the men all break out laughing. Apparently, this is a genuine blooper as Del Toro kept farting during the scene and the actors couldn't keep a straight face. It helps to make these men seem more like career criminals who have been through this kind of thing before.
1 "The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled Was Convincing The World He Did Not Exist."
It's impossible to talk about this movie without talking about the stunning ending. After we are taken on this complex and thrilling journey, the rug is suddenly pulled out from under us and we realize it was all a lie.
Watching the film again, it becomes clear that Verbal aka Keyzer Soze was laying out his plan the entire time. He explains to Kujan that a man like Keyzer Soze is only going to pop up rarely. He says "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist." The lines echo back as Keyzer Soze finally reveals himself before disappearing forever.