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The Usual Suspects (1995)

NOTE: These commentary tracks are only on the "Special Edition" Usual Suspects DVD, not on the original DVD release. The Blu-ray editions (both the original release from 2007 and the 20th Anniversary Edition from 2015) also do not contain any commentary tracks.

The Singer/McQuarrie track was also available on a special edition VHS release that included a second videotape with the commentary track on it.

There are rumors that a Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey commentary was recorded for a planned 2005 release that never happened, but that track has not been released.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie Rating:8.2/10 (30 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by tracicgrear on March 21st, 2007:Find all reviews by tracicgrear
Previously available as part of a special edition VHS release, Singer and McQuarrie's commentary is retained for the DVD, and with good reason. Simply put, it is sublime, and raised the bar early for everyone who followed (of dual-commentaries, only Raimi/Campbell and Carpenter/Russell are comparable). The long-time friends riff off each other, with Singer highlighting filmaking techniques and McQuarrie (what happened to him?) discussing in detail the genesis and differing drafts of the script. They are also comfortable enough with each other that they point out and gently make fun of their mistakes, e.g. airplanes changing type mid-landing, McQuarrie's initial opposition to Del Toro's casting. Amusing and informative in equal measure.
Reviewed by Pineapples101 on July 21st, 2011:Find all reviews by Pineapples101
Quite Simply one of the best commentaries to date. Singer and McQuarrie work extremely well together, their friendship clearly coming through on the commentary. The track is an audio feast for fans of the film.
One interesting thing to note is the in joke right at the end of the commentary track, once the credits start rolling the commentary audio is doubled up with two separate Singer and McQuarrie conversations, mimicking the overlapping audio of the bulletin board scene from the end of the film itself.
Reviewed by Agressor on October 14th, 2012:Find all reviews by Agressor
Solid commentary. Singer and McQuarrie has a nice rapport with one another and they seldom pause for breath. It's amusing that they don't shy away from any topic, commenting on everything from mistakes in the film (of which there are plenty) to difficulties with the shooting, a candidness that is truly admirable.

A serious complaint I have with this commentary however is that the sound level was very inconsistent and every now and then sound dropped so low that I couldn't distinguish the commentary from the dialogue of the film. I don't know if this is some sort of manufacturing error that only I have been privy to since no one else have mentioned it here but it was a major distraction that ruined a great deal of the commentary for me.
Reviewed by sedna on November 3rd, 2012:Find all reviews by sedna
As far as entertaining commentaries go - this is definitely one of them, no doubt. Though it really isn't all that special. It's funny, and most of that comes from both of them telling the viewer to watch out for a blooper or a mistake, but there's not a whole lot of moments where they DEEPLY dive into things, maybe there isn't much of it in this film and I'm fooling myself. Nor is there much of Singer or McQuarrie talking about their craft and process - which to me is always an interesting aspect besides the commentary's entertainment value.
Reviewed by Station51 on February 13th, 2016:Find all reviews by Station51
This commentary is the kibd that I sit through 30 hoping to find. Entertaining, interesting, informative, lively and often funny. They say so much it would be hard to try to capture much of it as a synopsis. Great movie with great commentary from both. They should teach commentary school.
Reviewed by Magneat-o on March 28th, 2017:Find all reviews by Magneat-o
I had actually listened to this one already and listened to it all over again. For some reason I had forgotten most of what I'd heard which is weird because it is truly excellent commentary and I think I would have remembered something this good. I love the unpretentious basic way they describe the effort in pulling this movie together. They poke holes at the film pointing out and laughing about inconsistencies. I also like how they describe scenes where the actors were constantly cracking each other up and could not stop laughing which makes it into the film. I 'suspected' there was a lot of improvisation which they confirm here. Benecio being unintelligble being worked into the script was interesting and shows just how open Singer was to being improv and experimentation. I think it was a good education for his later X-Men movies. Very entertaining commentary from both in a good give and take style conversation.
Reviewed by Magneat-o on March 28th, 2017:Find all reviews by Magneat-o
*open Singer was to improv.
Reviewed by grimjack on March 11th, 2022:Find all reviews by grimjack
An excellent track that succeeds at being informative and entertaining. The two understand that they made something special, and each acknowledges the fact that the writing and directing elevated each other, and they were surprised that it all worked out better than they expected for a pretty much first major film from both. I first heard this track a while back, actually on laserdisc.
Commentary 2: Editor and composer John Ottman Rating:6.9/10 (17 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Pineapples101 on July 21st, 2011:Find all reviews by Pineapples101
A dryer commentary than the other Singer / McQuarrie track, but no less interesting. Ottman's involvement as both editor and film scorer affords amazing insights into the development of the film. The most interesting sections of this track deal with how Ottman worked with limited shots and resources, crafting whole sections of the boat exploration sequence with random second unit footage and a lot of trickery. A fascinating commentary, especially for anyone interesting in the editing process.
Reviewed by Agressor on October 5th, 2012:Find all reviews by Agressor
The reviewer above me said it perfectly, with his double-role as composer/editor he really brings some unique insights with him, especially with the limited resources offered to the crew on this film.

He also shares some tips of the trade and reveals some of his own favorite editing techniques.

Another plus is that Ottman has a nice talking voice that is a joy to listen to.

This track makes me wish that more editors would do commentaries.
Reviewed by sedna on October 25th, 2012:Find all reviews by sedna
I won't repeat what the two reviewers above me have said, but I just want to say that this commentary will be extremely valuable for student filmmakers who are struggling with editing or want more insight into its theory. I agree wholeheartedly - more editors need to do commentaries. After all, they are the people who weave the images together into a cohesive subject matter. Very strong, and solid commentary. Highly recommended!