But I'm going to try to explain why you should see this movie without resorting to, OH MY GOD HOW HAVE YOU SURVIVED WITHOUT SEEING THIS? IT'S LIFE CHANGING! Emphasis on the 'try' there.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
The movie is told back to front. It opens on a man named Keaton (played by Gabriel Byrne), wounded and bleeding on the docks. He speaks to a man named Keyser, who then shoots him and sets the docks on fire, blowing up the ship behind them.
The next day, the FBI and U.S. Customs come in to investigate what really happened. They are left with two survivors of the incident; a man with cerebral palsy named 'Verbal' Kint (played by Kevin Spacey, which should be enough to make you go watch this movie all on its own) and a Hungarian criminal named Arkosh Kovash who is badly burned and will likely not survive.
Most of the story comes from Verbal, who is promised immunity for telling the story of what happened.
His tale begins six weeks earlier when he is taken in for a line up of the 'usual suspects' for a robbery. The line up consists of Verbal, Keaton, a man named McManus, Fenster, and Hockney. While the five of them are in lock up over night McManus convinces them all to go in on a robbery, carjacking the 'New York's Finest' taxi service. This is a group of corrupt policemen who will, for the right price, drive drug dealers, diamond smugglers, or whoever, through the city in order to keep them from being picked up.
The group successfully rob the diamond smuggler and fly out to LA to sell the loot through McManus' fence. When they get there they discover that it's not diamonds, but heroin and that the job was sent to them by Kobayashi, a man who works for Keyser Soze. Soze is, in the criminal world, a ghost story. A boogeyman. A Moriarty whom no one has seen but everyone fears.
Who is Keyser Soze? He's supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power.
Soze, through Kobayashi, forces the group to do a job for him. He claims that they all stole from him, so in order to pay him back and not die for the offense, they need to rob a ship sitting in harbor. The men do go and rob the boat, though it turns out that there's nothing on the boat to steal. Through Verbal's eyes we watch as every other man on the team is killed, ending with Keaton who is shot by a mysterious man in a fedora and trench coat. This brings us back to the beginning of the movie, where Keaton and Soze speak before Soze kills him and destroys the boat.
This is obviously a mystery movie, with the question at the heart of it being, who is Keyser Soze. This man who even hardened killers fear, who manipulates and uses people with ease. He's responsible for a slaughter at the boat, for so many instances of death and destruction. That is the question that everyone wants to get to the heart of in this movie.
And it's what makes this movie incredible. The way it is handled, the way it is revealed. You don't know, until the end, the answer. I clap and giggle Ever Single Time.
Who is Keyser Soze?
He's a ghost. He's the wind. He's the devil. He pops up, wreaks havoc and destruction in carefully choreographed dance, and then...
And like that...he's gone.