Murder By Numbers (2002)

BARBET SCHROEDER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2002.  Warner Bros., Castle Rock Entertainment, Schroeder Hoffman Productions.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , Barbet Schroeder.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Two high-school students, one rich and popular (Ryan Gosling), the other a sullen outcast (), plot the perfect murder and expect perfect results (i.e. never getting caught), but they have a top-ace homicide detective (Sandra Bullock) on the case, and she smells trouble when clues lead away from the two misfits and towards an innocent janitor (). This tricky little thriller boasts an interesting and intricate plot set-up, but with Barbet Schroeder’s lackluster direction guiding it there’s not much else to recommend it. Bullock is good at her savvy-cop scenes but otherwise her work falls flat (and it doesn’t help that the character isn’t all that three-dimensional either). The subplot involving her relationship with her new partner () is an especially dry one in a film that is already far too slow for its subject matter.

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