Murder by NumbersApril 19, 2002
Two gifted high school students execute a "perfect" murder – then become engaged in an intellectual contest with a seasoned homicide detective.
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 5.9/10 (26,878 voted)
Critic's Score: 50/100
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling
Richard Haywood, a Californian high school's coolest kid, secretly teams up with another rich kid in his class, brilliant nerd Justin 'Bonaparte' Pendleton, whose erudition, specially in forensic matters, allows them to plan elaborately perfect murders, just for the kick, for which they set up Richard's marijuana supplier, their school's janitor Ray Feathers, as a psychotic serial killer. The case is assigned to detectives Cassie 'the hyena' Mayweather, who carries a sequoia-size chip on the shoulder from her previous life, and her brilliant new partner, Sam Kennedy, who just transferred from the vice squad; they can work together very well, and even fit romantically, but fall out over different professional attitudes towards the investigation, which Captain Rod Cody and her understandably vindictive abused ex, Assistant D.A. Al Swanson, soon ban her from when she disobeys instructions and hand to him…
Jessica Marie Hudson
Captain Rod Cody
Asst. D.A. Al Swanson
Olivia Lake, the Victim
Male Officer in Flashback
The only flaw in their plan was her.
Release Date: 19 April 2002
Filming Locations: Altadena, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $9,307,394
(21 April 2002)
(30 June 2002)
Did You Know?
In one scene, the camera pans briefly across a cinema that is showing
The Bitter Tea of General Yen. That film was directed by Frank Capra whose grandson, Frank Capra III is first assistant director of this film.
When Sam is driving Cassie home for the first time, we see his vehicle turning before we hear her voice telling him where to turn.
Shall we say the words one last time?
One cannot live fully without embracing suicide in crime.
A pact made with relentless fire that requires that, while some live, others die.
One, two, three
Gripping despite being overly familiar
As a hard-nosed cop investigating an apparently motiveless murder, and
appearing to unravel as she does so, Sandra Bullock does something
approximating to real acting in Barbet Schroeder's overly familiar
thriller. Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt play a couple of high school
kids who commit a Loeb/Leopold style crime, planting a number of false
'clues' so that the police will build up a picture of the killer. They
even have a suspect lined up. Of course, the one thing they didn't bank
on was Bullock's chip-on-the-shoulder uberbitch detective.
Schroeder does not build his film visually. It has a conventional TV
movie feel to it and, despite being well played, Pitt's nerdy
all-knowing geek is a bit too formulaic. But the film holds you
nevertheless. Schroeder displays a storyteller's gift for how things
should develop, (though a subplot involving an earlier violent event in
Bullock's life seems like an unnecessary intrusion). And as the
cock-of-the-walk arrogant yet vulnerable rich kid killer Ryan Gosling
is the real McCoy. He can convey charm and menace in equal measure and
often in the same moment and confirms his status as one of the best
young actors in movies at the minute.