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Murder By Numbers - Widescreen
Murder By Numbers (Soundtrack)

Murder By Numbers - Full (Double Sided)
Murder By Numbers - Full (Double Sided)
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Murder By Numbers Review

Directed By: Barbet Schroeder.
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Agnes Bruckner, R.D. Call, Ryan Gosling.

Synopsis: A tenacious homicide detective (Sandra Bullock) and her new partner (Ben Chaplin) uncover a trail of shrewdly concealed evidence that links two brilliant young men (Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt) to a murder.

Review: Finally. A Sandra Bullock vehicle I can sink my teeth into. In my observation, Bullock is one of those actresses that you either love or hate. I fall into the first category. I remember seeing a film called The Vanishing in 1993 and though an inferior and watered down version of the 1988 Dutch original; Bullock's doomed character haunted me for days (and let me tell you, finding a chink in this desensitized armour is next to impossible.) Since then, I have followed her career with interest, so you can imagine my chagrin when she fell into the romantic comedy trap. I suppose it was inevitable though, considering her down-to-earth demeanor.

Anyway, onto the film, as I can imagine all you Bullock haters are rolling your eyes right about now. What we are dealing with here is an average thriller. There are a couple of points I'd like to make though. Sandra Bullock has new ground to cover with this character. It's true that she has played flawed characters before, but none more than this one. I found myself almost wincing at some of her behaviour, but at least the movie offers some explanation later on.

The only scary thing about this film is just the plausibility of it all. Two bored, rich kids do a little research and then kill someone just to see if a) they can get away with it and b) see what it feels like. The two young actors Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt do a decent job of bringing this across. Other people floating around in the film are wide-eyed Ben Chaplin and Chris Penn. Barbet Schroeder, an Iranian director, who's been in the business for decades turning out films good and bad, is for the most part wasted. This is a renter to be sure.

Lastly, one of the trailers in front of this film was Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, another Sandra Bullock comedy. Murder By Numbers was Bullock's first non-comedic effort in about seven or eight outings, so unfortunately it seems that it will likely be a while before I'm back in theater with her again.

Copyright© Written By: Tom Servo

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Evil Ash

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