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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 »

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Cast

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

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Foolproof  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The high school scenes were originally slated to be filmed at San Luis Obispo High School. The superintendent changed his mind before filming could take place due to the content of the script. See more »

Goofs

The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, not "tetrahedral chloride" as identified in the film, other than the comparison to pot, the character's description of absinthe is otherwise correct 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 The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

The Number of the Beast
Written by Steve Harris (as Stephen Percy Harris)
Performed by Iron Maiden
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group/EMI Records Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Murder By The Book...
1 October 2002 | by See 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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