During the boat scene near the end of The Usual Suspects, Keaton and McManus encounter each other in the engine room. It's clearly unplanned, since they both almost shoot the other.

During their conversation, Keaton says:

There's no coke...I've been in every fucking room. There's nothing!

The next scene shows Arturo Marquez, watching as the door to his room opens, and a crewman falls dead in front of him. Presumably, Keyser Soze has found his target, and executes him.

Obviously there could have been coke hidden in the room where Marquez was hiding. So Keaton must have missed at least that one room. It's likely he missed other spaces too, since the crewman appeared to have been killed just prior to the door opening.

Why does Keaton claim to have searched the whole ship?

  • Is this a continuity error in the movie, where the scenes are just ordered incorrectly?

  • Is this an intentional error in Verbal's story that's supposed to give us an early hint as to the story's veracity?

  • If it is a hint, did Verbal include it on purpose? Possibly to make it look like Keaton was lying to McManus, which could further reinforce Agent Kujan's belief that Keaton is Keyser Soze?

  • Is there any way that Kint could have even known the contents of this conversation?
    – jscs
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 17:35
  • 5
    You have to remember that there is no evidence that anything in Verbal's story is actually true - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/10511/…
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 16:45
  • 3
    If one of you (or anyone else) posts "it's 100% made up so it doesn't matter", and it's the only answer, I'll reluctantly accept it. But I was hoping for something more. Even though Verbal's story is fiction, it had a purpose: to secretly support Agent Kujan's belief that Keaton=Soze, while also convincing Kujan that Verbal didn't know Keaton=Soze. Including a line like "there's no coke" in the story would make Keaton appear less powerful/knowledgable, and thus seem be counter to Verbal's ultimate goal. Am I making any sense? Or do I need to "take the blue pill" and stop overthinking it?
    – LevenTrek
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 3:14

2 Answers 2


I agree with you on that point LevenTrek. Just because Kent tells a story with false names doesn't make the story itself false.

The bodies would probably back that up. But the entire story is designed to further cast suspicion away from himself and towards Keaton of whom Kujan already believes is the real Kaiser Soze.

So small details like that in his story, can sound like something that was overlooked, but in reality, it's supposed to further convince Kujan, like a subliminal message.

It makes it seem like he couldn't be trusted in his own crew, and that he had a different end game after all.


Here's a story about a real coke bust on a ship:

After months of drug busts, Coast Guard unloads 26 tons of cocaine

OK, this is $715 Million worth of cocaine. In the film's case we "only" have about 1/7 of that ($91 Million). This would still equate to about 3 tons of cocaine.

So even if Keaton hadn't visited Marquez's room, it's likely he would know if there was any "f-ing" coke on the boat.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .