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Bullock plays seasoned cop Cassie Mayweather, who links the murder of a young woman in Los Angeles to two high-school students. Cassie and her partner (Ben Chaplin) engage in the obligatory game of cat-and-mouse with the two teenagers before the ludicrous finale. It could have been a good film, but Murder by Numbers continually misses the interesting point that this was a crime committed by highly intelligent young men simply for the intellectual thrill of it; instead, it serves up a by-the-numbers thriller with all the trappings of a TV movie. The performances are solid (especially that by Ryan Gosling, who plays one of the murderous teens) but there are so many gaping holes in both plot and logic that the film pretty much manages to disappear into them.
On the DVD: Murder by Numbers gets a by-the-numbers DVD release. The normally commentary-friendly Ms Bullock is absent from the chit-chat here, and the director and editor really don't throw up anything of significant interest beyond discussing an extra scene that they claim is included on the DVD but in fact seems absent and giving the reasons why they couldn't use the high school locations originally planned. The DVD also includes the trailer. A good sharp transfer and strong Dolby 5.1 mix are the plus points. --Jon Weir