1. The Usual Suspects
Its Influence: Rashomon (1950)
The Usual Suspects is basically a surface level retelling of Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950). Similarities include an eyewitness (who may or may not be trustworthy) recounting a crime, separate realities illuminating the story and an underlying murder(s) mystery shrouding the narrative with the natural intrigue of classic genre-filmmaking. I’m not the biggest fan of Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects—I found his characters shallow and uninteresting and his story beats grandiose and overly self-serious—but it’s hard to deny that the mixture of Rashomon’s text and The Usual Suspect’s shadowy neo-noir provides us with nothing less than new avenues for telling familiar stories and doorways to revisit an old master.