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The Oxford Murders (2008)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  2 July 2010 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 21,354 users  
Reviews: 91 user | 71 critic

At Oxford University, a professor and a grad student work together to try to stop a potential series of murders seemingly linked by mathematical symbols.


(as Alex de la Iglesia)


(screenplay) (as Alex de la Iglesia) , (screenplay) (as Jorge Guerricachevarria) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Cox ...
Alan David ...
Mr. Higgins
Defense Lawyer
Ian East ...
Howard Green
Howard Green's Wife


Martin, a PhD student in mathematics, enrolls at Oxford in the hope of meeting his mentor, Professor Seldom. The young man manages to find lodging at Mrs. Eagleton's but in this house a stifling atmosphere prevails due to the landlady's attitude. Indeed Mrs. Eagleton, who happens to be a friend of Seldom's, is a haughty and unsympathetic woman who also stifles her daughter Beth. At the university, things do not fare much better as Martin is put in his place by his idol during one of Seldom's lectures. But his private life changes for the best as he starts an affair with Lorna, a beautiful girl he met during a game of squash. One night Seldom and Martin who find themselves at Mrs. Eagletons's discover her dead body. They are interrogated by the police. Soon afterwards they decide to lead their own private investigation... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content/nudity and some violence/disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

2 July 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los crímenes de Oxford  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,191 (USA) (6 August 2010)


$3,607 (USA) (13 August 2010)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the initial introduction between Martin (Elijah Wood) and Mrs. Eagleton (Anna Massey), they speak about her replica of the German Enigma cipher machine. Mrs. Eagleton states everything was done manually to break the Enigma messages. Mrs. Eagleton states "there were no computers in those days (World War II)" and "calculations were done by hand." Actually, the British, working in Bletchley Park, did build a computer called Colossus by January 1944. Colossus was constructed with up to 2,400 vacuum tubes and programmers used approx. 1" wide paper tape to store programming. By the end of the war, Bletchley Park was using 10 Colossus computers to break various German cipher machines, including Enigma. See more »


(at around 14 mins) In the classroom scene, Martin announces that he believes in the number pi, and explains that by this he means the golden section, related to the Fibonacci sequence. The goof is that this number is universally referred to as phi, not pi, which is reserved for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. See more »


Arthur Seldom: Of all the vast mountains of knowledge that as of yet you have not scaled, Martin, this slope is one of the most slippery. Be careful.
See more »


Referenced in Teen Wolf: The Tell (2011) See more »


Ricercar A 3
Performed by Barthold Kuijen
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment Spain
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User Reviews

A worth seeing mystery movie
19 January 2008 | by ( – See all my reviews

Fresh out of the cinema I have a very good feeling about the movie. My first impression is that it is definitely worth seeing. Alex de la Iglesia (the director of for instance "El Dia de la Bestia" or "La comunidad") makes this time a mystery movie following the classical parameters. A nice plot, specially for those who like mathematics or logic in general, with intricate moves and very nice dialogs by John Hurt and Eliah Wood (who, by the way, looks like a pretty solid actor. I had only seen him playing Frodo and was a bit worried about him getting stuck on that character, not at all) who basically follow the classical thoughts about "the perfect murder" and in the philosophical search for absolute truths.

Being a fan of de la Iglesia, whose sense of humor is well known and pretty easy to recognize, I am quite happy to see that he is also able of making a genuine mystery film, with everything you expect to see on it, twisted arguments, funny characters ("Podorov", and of course, Dominique Pinon from, among others, Delicatessen) and a extremely good film-making, nice sequences, good mystery music, etc.

To me, being a bit of a geek, the mathematical references are too obvious, the series shown are too well known, they are nice nonetheless, but for instance why to talk about Fibonaci numbers (which were also in the 'Da Vinci Code' when one can talk about many other nice and funny series? On the other hand being a mystery movie's lover one always enjoys the sequences which are clear homage's to previous classics, pay attention and you'll enjoy.

Let me end up by mentioning the very nice work of Leonor Watling (you may have seen her before in, for example Almodovar's "Talk to her", her meaning she), who, apart from being a really good actress, of being extremely beautiful and attractive is also a pretty good singer! It was quite a pleasure, being Spanish myself, to see her playing an important role with such a great casting!

So, watch it by yourself, the first "serious" Alex de la Iglesia movie, and he does a pretty good job!

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