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Murder by Numbers (2002)

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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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2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Feathers
Asst. D.A. Al Swanson
Janni Brenn ...
Ms. Elder
Restaurant Manager
Mr. Chechi
Olivia Lake, the Victim
Male Officer in Flashback
Lab Technician


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


Let The Mind Games Begin See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foolproof  »


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,307,394, 21 April 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$31,874,869, 30 June 2002
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The old lodge on the bluff was constructed especially for the movie and was torn down after filming was completed. The interior scenes were shot on a set. See more »


After Justin slaps Richard, Richard embraces him with Justin's head high up on his shoulder - in the next scene Justin's head is "slumped" and lower against Richard's body. See more »


[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]
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References CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) See more »


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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pretty Cliche, and the kids get all the good scenes
29 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I predicted too many things in this movie and the only thing that kept my interest were the two young actors playing teenagers. They seemed to have the stronger and by far, more interesting scenes. They definitely seemed to have more to do than our star, Sandra Bullock.

Bullock always plays this independent character that lives alone and has predictable "back story" issues. I would like to see her do something a little more challenging.

Not bad, just not great. 6/10

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