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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.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder

Writer:

Tony Gayton
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4,586 ( 646)
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:

The only flaw in their plan was her. 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

Gross USA:

$31,945,749

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,714,147
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

This is the fourth Hollywood film adaptation of the infamous 1924 Leopold-Loeb murder case. The first was Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), the second Richard Fleischer's Compulsion (1959) and the third Tom Kalin's Swoon (1992). See more »

Goofs

This happens in the two times (the same scene twice along the movie) that we see the finding of the corpse (that it is revealed after she is alive; not Olivia). The first time the police woman takes the arm of the body and look at her partner on the upper side and is him who reveal she (the corpse; not Olivia) is alive because she moves her fingers. The second time the police woman takes her pulse and looking and her, the woman wrapped in plastic, says that she is alive; and it is presumed that it is the same scene. 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 Six Feet Under: I'll Take You (2002) 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

 
The numbers don't really add up
14 January 2003 | by stefan-144See all my reviews

It's a swell thriller: a reasonably sophisticated plot, with some neat twists and turns, good camera work, and a kind of satisfactory ending. But just as with the murder story in question, the flaws become apparent at closer examination.

Most important, the characters are not sufficiently presented and explained. The deadly duet shows a very close relation, but not what keeps it so close. It would be easy enough to understand, if they were lovers. Then their quarrel over a girl also makes sense. Since they are not - as far as the movie shows us - their relation remains a mystery.

The same, to a lesser extent, is true about the detective duet. Bullock is not really able to convince with her tough exterior to hide inner wounds, although that should be easy for an actor of her experience, and her male colleague gets no room in the film to show us why he stands her, after what she puts him through the very first days they work together.

Although it's mainly a thriller, I guess this movie would have needed some additional efforts on the drama of it, the emotional processes included in it. Maybe it's all too logical - like numbers.


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