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Murder by Numbers (2002)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  19 April 2002 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 36,761 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 288 user | 136 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Two gifted high school students execute a "perfect" murder - then become engaged in an intellectual contest with a seasoned homicide detective.

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Title: Murder by Numbers (2002)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ray Feathers
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Captain Rod Cody
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Asst. D.A. Al Swanson
Janni Brenn ...
Ms. Elder
John Vickery ...
Restaurant Manager
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Mr. Chechi
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Olivia Lake, the Victim
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Male Officer in Flashback
Adilah Barnes ...
Lab Technician
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Lawyer
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Storyline

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. When the plotting boys both dig class-mate Lisa Mills, their unnatural bond comes ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The only flaw in their plan was her. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, a sex scene and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foolproof  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$262,841 (Australia) (1 November 2002)

Gross:

$685,907 (Australia) (15 November 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, the camera pans briefly across a cinema that is showing The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933). That film was directed by Frank Capra whose grandson, Frank Capra III is first assistant director of this film. See more »

Goofs

Cassie's robe is tied loosely around her neck, then jumps to being tightly tied between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Richard: Shall we say the words one last time?
Justin: One cannot live fully without embracing suicide in crime.
Richard: Say it.
Justin: A pact made with relentless fire that requires that, while some live, others die.
Richard: On three...
in unison: One, two, three
[gun shot]
See more »

Connections

References Compulsion (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

What Led Me to This Town
Written by Karen Grotberg, Gary Louris, Timothy O'Reagan and Marc Perlman
Performed by The Jayhawks
Courtesy of American/Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Gripping despite being overly familiar
4 August 2005 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

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.


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