Murder By Numbers
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Murder By Numbers

3.1 6
Director: Barbet Schroeder, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt

Cast: Barbet Schroeder, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt


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When a pair of bright-but sociopathic teens conspires to commit the perfect murder, a troubled cop teams with her eager new partner to solve the case that left the community in fear and the police without a clue. High school ladies' man Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling) and outcast Justin Pendleton (Michael Pitt) have no motive to commit murder, but they soon conspire to


When a pair of bright-but sociopathic teens conspires to commit the perfect murder, a troubled cop teams with her eager new partner to solve the case that left the community in fear and the police without a clue. High school ladies' man Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling) and outcast Justin Pendleton (Michael Pitt) have no motive to commit murder, but they soon conspire to choose a random victim and pin the crime on local pot dealer Ray (Chris Penn), under the guise that the police will never suspect them of such a brutal act. Determined Det. Cassie Merriweather (Sandra Bullock) is assigned to the case, and quickly becomes suspicious of the elusive teens despite the doubts expressed by her superiors and her lack of solid evidence. Soon entering into a dangerous test of wills with the increasingly desperate and dangerous teens, her investigation leads her down a disturbing path that will test her skills as a detective and her will to survive.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
In yet another bid to shed her girl-next-door image, Sandra Bullock tackles a difficult role in Murder by Numbers, a riveting psychological thriller directed by Barbet Schroeder (Single White Female), and under his guidance she delivers one of the finest performances of her career. Bullock portrays a brilliant, hard-charging homicide detective whose single-mindedness masks a deep-seated anxiety -- emotional baggage she carries as a result of trauma suffered long ago. Her new partner (Ben Chaplin) doesn’t understand Bullock any better than her other co-workers can, but he learns to appreciate her abilities when they are assigned to investigate a baffling murder. Two relative newcomers, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt, are positively bone-chilling as the intelligent teenage misfits who stage a perfect crime and then play cat-and-mouse with the detectives. Clearly inspired by the Leopold and Loeb child murder of the 1920s (dramatized in the 1959 film Compulsion), Murder by Numbers updates the theme in an entirely credible manner; given the barbaric crimes committed these days by some teenagers, the murder depicted here by Schroeder isn’t nearly as incomprehensible as the Leopold-Loeb killing seemed to Roaring '20s America. Shrewdly concocted and convincingly told, this lurid melodrama sports a heart-stopping climax of Hitchcockian suspense -- an altogether fitting wind-up for one of the year’s most engrossing films. The DVD adds a feature-length commentary by Schroeder and editor Lee Percy.
All Movie Guide
This Sandra Bullock vehicle is a decent thriller that tries to avoid being by-the-numbers, but staggers in its pace and in its ability to get beyond a cookie-cutter protagonist. This is not to say that Bullock is bad, but rather her tough, troubled cop character (and those of her rookie partner Ben Chaplin and other fellow cops) is weakly developed and fails to step out from standard movie-detective clichés. She also can't equal her unconventional adversaries in the film: a pair of white-collar high-school teenagers (Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt) -- one a brainy nerd, the other a handsome ladies' man -- who attempt to commit the perfect murder. The eerie idea that two bright articulate youths could resort to such heinous violence seems unbelievable until the memories of the Columbine massacre come to mind, an idea which shades the film in a disturbingly different light. Bullock's bullish detective is on to the deadly duo's murderous scent immediately, but again, the script falters in not giving her some concrete evidence for suspecting the boys. She only goes on instinct which isn't enough in light of evidence that points to another suspect and results in the usual clash with police brass. Of course, things come full circle and the daring Bullock is the only one around when it counts as the film comes to a rousing, but expected climax. Overall, the picture is slow-moving, but entertaining, and features good performances and solid direction by Barbet Schroeder, who has directed and produced a string of similar thrillers, most notably Single White Female. A script with sharper focus on the police duo could have made this one much better.
Village Voice
As long as Schroeder stays with the kids, the film musters a good deal of restless tabloid intensity, and even the occasional twinge of pathos. Dennis Lim
USA Today
After an uncertain start, Murder hits and generally sustains a higher plateau with Bullock's memorable first interrogation of Gosling. Mike Clark

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Feature-length commentary by director Barbet Schroeder and editor Lee Percy; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sandra Bullock Det. Cassie Mayweather
Ryan Gosling Richard Haywood
Michael Pitt Justin Pendleton
Agnes Bruckner Lisa Mills
Chris Penn Ray
R.D. Call Rod
Ben Chaplin Sam Kennedy
Tom Verica Al Swanson
Janni Brenn Ms. Elder
John Vickery Restaurant Manager
Michael Canavan Mr. Chechi
Krista Carpenter Olivia Lake
Neal Matarazzo Male Officer In Flashback
Adilah Barnes Lab Technician
Jim Jansen Lawyer
Paula Scarpino Female Officer In Flashback
Brian Stepanek Parole Board Marshal
Sharon Madden Nurse
John Doolittle Fingerprint Technician
Dennis Cockrum Criminalist at Ray's House
Eric Saiet Criminalist at Ray's House
Nancy Osborne Richard's Mother
Ralph Seymour Paramedic
Christine Healy Justin's Mother
Nick Offerman Uniformed Cop
Todd Leatherbury Cop
Bruce Babcock Conductor

Technical Credits
Barbet Schroeder Director,Producer
Deva Anderson Musical Direction/Supervision
Chad Atkinson Makeup Special Effects
Mark Banich Special Effects Supervisor
Howard Berger Makeup Special Effects
Kamar Bitar Makeup Special Effects
Dustin Blauvelt Camera Operator
Sandra Bullock Executive Producer
Frank Capra Asst. Director,Co-producer,Executive Producer
Thomas D. Causey Sound Mixer
Peter Clemens Set Decoration/Design
Harvey R. Cohen Musical Arrangement
Val Crawford Makeup Special Effects
Richard Crystal Producer
Howard Feuer Casting
Tony Gayton Screenwriter
Ron Goodman Camera Operator
Antoinette J. Gordon Set Decoration/Design
Bob Gorelick Camera Operator
Constance Grayson Makeup Special Effects
James Hall Makeup Special Effects
Steve Hartman Makeup Special Effects
Chiz Hasegawa Makeup Special Effects
Susan Hoffman Producer
Norman Howell Stunts
David Hyman Asst. Director
Garrett Immel Makeup Special Effects
Daniel R. Jennings Set Decoration/Design
K.N.B. EFX Group Makeup Special Effects
Clint Mansell Score Composer
Gregory Nicotero Makeup Special Effects
Valli O'Reilly Makeup
Carol Oditz Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Patton Makeup Special Effects
Lee Percy Editor
Randol Perelman-Taylor Asst. Director
Brian Rae Makeup Special Effects
Jennifer Reiss Asst. Director
Nicholas Renbeck Sound Editor
Delphine Robertson Musical Direction/Supervision
Hilton Rosemarin Set Decoration/Design
Steve Saklad Set Decoration/Design
Laurie Smith Makeup Special Effects
Kurt E. Soderling Camera Operator
Jeffrey Stott Executive Producer
Luciano Tovoli Cinematographer
James F. Truesdale Set Decoration/Design
Tom Valentine Art Director
David Wogh Makeup Special Effects
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Murder by Numbers
1. Coastal Credits [2:43]
2. Derange the World [4:45]
3. Crime Scene [4:16]
4. Workmates [5:04]
5. Dealers and Victims [4:52]
6. Nice Detective Work [6:37]
7. The Profile [2:57]
8. Kids Like That [4:49]
9. Way Too Involved [6:28]
10. Looking at Justin [5:03]
11. Suspect Named [3:01]
12. Attacked [1:24]
13. What Lisa's Like [4:53]
14. Losing it? [4:23]
15. Trash Haul [2:41]
16. Stick Together [:32]
17. Part of it [2:30]
18. Good Cop's Request [4:02]
19. Dual Inquiry [3:13]
20. Murder Scenario [5:15]
21. Talking Game [7:35]
22. Stand up and Face it [2:17]
23. Hidden Below [5:20]
24. "Wish I Met You First" [2:43]
25. Suicide Pact [3:24]
26. Over the Edge [3:28]
27. Reaching out [3:36]
28. Justin's Act [2:01]
29. End Credits [5:28]


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Murder By Numbers 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sandra Bullock is surprisingly good in this role. Don't get me wrong, I loved her other roles. They were sweet and charming and often laugh-out-loud funny. But this role was dark and edgy. Cassie Merriweather has a lot of skeletons in her closet. Other than Sandra's great performance, this movie was disappointing. The movie began well. Ryan Gosling was a very believable villain. This surprised me because I've seen some of his other work. (He played a young Hercules, for God's sake!) I will admit that he looked pretty cute. However, I was a little surprised when Cassie referred to him as the cutest boy she'd ever seen. Yeah, okay. Anyway, the climax was disappointing and just a bit predictable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was only good enough to merit watching once. The opening scenes set up the killers as perfect criminals, but as the movie unfolds you start to realize that they arent't fit to even copy a real killer. To take away from the villian takes away from the hero. And so, Sandra Bullok, while a great actress, couldn't deliver a good enough act as the hero.
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