this is an interesting side-step for sandra bullock (one that i wish the insipid julia roberts would take some times). this is darker than average and raises questions about the nature of evil and guilt. while it isn't exactly suspenseful, it does manage to retain your interest for most of its running time. the cast are terrific - ryan gosling is a particular stand-out. bullock is good but she's saddled with a muddled character who's motivation doesn't ring true. the ending is weak too - going against the thoughtful approach adopted throughout the film and relying on an action set-piece that isn't worked for. i liked this film though and i would watch it again. it tries a little harder to be different and intelligent and for this it deserves praise.
Sandra Bullock stars as Cassie Mayweather, a tough police detective who's investigating a murder with the help of her new partner (Ben Chaplin). There are a lot of clues that just don't add up, until Cassie begins to suspect two smart, rich, and very arrogant high school students (Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt).
Actually, we know who did it from the first moments of the film; the fun lies in seeing how Cassie will connect the dots and catch them. This is terrific movie, full of suspense and action. Bullock's character wears a mask of bravado but is really quite wounded from a tragic incident in her past; this makes her vulnerable and very likeable, and she has great screen presence. Chaplin holds his own with her, mixing detective work with inevitable romance, and Gosling and Pitt are outstanding as the creepy teens who think they've committed the perfect crime. We've seen this same basic plot before in "Rope" and "Compulsion," and it's just as good here; a cat a mouse game that's intelligent and scary and kept me on the edge of my seat. Heartily recommended for fans of crime stories and of the talented Ms Bullock.
My 19 month old little boy loves this video. He has started to sing along with the tunes and can now count up to 10 ( in his own sweet way) completely unaided. The songs are great, the pictures and animation are wonderful - it's a real hit with us. The companion volume, Animal alphabet is just as good.
I was a little surprised to see so relatively few reviews on this Amazon page for the 2002 thriller 'Murder By Numbers', a movie which really made people stand up and take notice of young Ryan Gosling, who had been a child star in the title role of Young Hercules in he TV series of the same name. I decided to give it yet another watch last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it the fourth time around.
Based of the idea of the notorious real-life 1920s' case of American murderers Leopold and Loeb, of whom were to later inspire Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope', It's the old story of two privileged teenage friends who decide to commit a murder purely for the thrill of it. Confident that they won't be outsmarted by the law, Sandra Bullock, who is convincing as ever in her role, this time as a tough policewoman, is equally determined to bring these boys to justice.
The movie contains some brilliant flashbacks throughout it's run, which are actually connected to the case, and make the viewer realise why Bullock's character feels genuine empathy with the victim. Towards the end of the film, this lady of the law manages to overcome her own personal fears and painful memories of a man whose's actions towards her have never really left since, which makes 'Murder By Numbers' even more of an interesting drama
For me at least, it is the fresh-faced Ryan Gosling who effortlessly manages to steal almost the entire movie with his awesome performance of the smartly-dressed, cigarette smoking bad boy Richard Haywood, who is seemingly the more confident, cooler-at-school, and tougher of the murderous boys. The acting from his more intelligent friend Justin Pendleton, played by Michael Pitt is also very good.
I thought that 'Murder by Numbers' was a thoroughly enjoyable film with a good twist at the end. If you enjoy reasonable intelligent thrillers without a great deal of blood and gore, then it really is well worth watching.
The DVD contains the film's trailer, and an optional commentary with it's director Barbet Schroeder and editor Lee Percy as the extra features.