6.1/10
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300 user 133 critic

Murder by Numbers (2002)

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2:10 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder

Writer:

Tony Gayton
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Popularity
2,961 ( 505)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandra Bullock ... Cassie Mayweather / Jessica Marie Hudson
Ben Chaplin ... Sam Kennedy
Ryan Gosling ... Richard Haywood
Michael Pitt ... Justin Pendleton
Agnes Bruckner ... Lisa Mills
Chris Penn ... Ray Feathers
R.D. Call ... Captain Rod Cody
Tom Verica ... Asst. D.A. Al Swanson
Janni Brenn Janni Brenn ... Ms. Elder
John Vickery ... Restaurant Manager
Michael Canavan ... Mr. Chechi
Krista Carpenter ... Olivia Lake, the Victim
Neal Matarazzo ... Male Officer in Flashback
Adilah Barnes ... Lab Technician
Jim Jansen ... 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murd3r 8y Num8ers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$31,874,869, 30 June 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard's car, a Mustang, is the same type of car driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt (1968). Ryan Gosling suggested that the car be used, as he is a fan of McQueen. See more »

Goofs

When Cassie wakes up in the hospital, the nurse leaves and the sound of the door closing is heard. Yet when the camera focuses on Sam in the chair, the door behind him is open. 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

Featured in The Andrew Klavan Show: Sleaze-Bob No Pants (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Smooth Rock
Written by Chris Goulstone
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Murder By The Book...
1 October 2002 | by loogenhausenSee all my reviews

There's something frustrating about watching a movie like 'Murder By Numers' because somewhere inside that Hollywood formula is a good movie trying to pop out. However, by the time the credits roll, there's no saving it. The whole thing is pretty much blown by the "cop side" of the story, where Sandra Bullock and Ben Chaplin's homicide detective characters muddle through an awkward sexual affair that becomes more and more trivialized the longer the movie goes on. Although Bullock is strong in her role, it's not enough to save the lackluster script and lazy pacing. Ben Chaplin's talents are wasted in a forgettable role (he did much better earlier in the year in the underrated 'Birthday Girl') as well as Chris Penn, who has a role so thanklessly small you feel sorry for a talent like him. Anyway, the plot really isn't even a factor in this movie at all. The two teen killers played by Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt are the only real reasons to see this movie. Their talent and chemistry work pretty good and they play off of each other quite well. It's too bad they weren't in a much better all-around film. Barbet Schroeder is treading way too safe ground here for such a seasoned filmmaker. Bottom Line: it's worth a rent if you're a genre fan, but everyone else will live a fulfilled life without ever seeing it, except maybe on network TV with convenient commercial breaks.


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