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MURDER BY NUMBERS

 
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At Theaters: 4/19/2002 On Video: 9/24/2002
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 1 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 409912
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Notes: 
Storyline Heading
Homicide detective Cassie Mayweather is a crime scene specialist on the trail of two young men, who may have committed the perfect crime. The young men believe that by combining one's cunning nature and the other's intellect, they have created the "perfect" criminal mind and can elude the law at will.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Suspense Thriller - Adult moviegoers, particularly women, are the audience most likely to enjoy this thriller. Older teens and younger adults may also enjoy, given the widespread appeal of star Sandra Bullock. Although the violence is generally not graphic in nature, a few intense sequences and the subject matter make the film inappropriate for younger viewers.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Sandra Bullock MISS CONGENIALITY, 28 DAYS, GUN SHY
Ryan Gosling THE BELIEVER
Michael Pitt THE YELLOW BIRD
Agnes Bruckner THE GLASS HOUSE
Chris Penn CORKY ROMANO, THE FUNERAL
R.D. Call LAST MAN STANDING
Ben Chaplin BIRTHDAY GIRL, LOST SOULS
Dir/Prod: Barbet Schroeder DESPERATE MEASURES
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Production Notes Heading
The Creative Team
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Occasional use of strong profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Briefly seen sex.
VIOLENCE: Murders, fights, a shootout.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol use.
ACTION: One shootout and ensuing fight.
COMEDY: None.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Above Average

The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.

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Entertainment Weekly   Full Review
Above Average "I count two movies in 'Murder by Numbers,' the newest Sandra Bullock vehicle in which the star appears to be tough and tomboyish, but reveals herself to be soft and all-girl when the right guy gets past her pj's.  But 'Murder by Numbers' is also a dirtier, darker crime thriller about a couple of cocky high school seniors who pride themselves on their ability to commit the perfect murder...''

James Berardinelli, Internet Critic  Full Review
Above Average "Although I can't quite recommend Murder By Numbers - at least not without qualifications - I will admit to having been pleasantly surprised by the film.  There are things to like about Murder By Numbers - but, in the end, the disparate elements don't gel.''

Roger Ebert  Full Review
Above Average "Bullock does a good job here of working against her natural likability, creating a character you'd like to like, and could like, if she weren't so sad, strange and turned in upon herself.''

USA TODAY  Full Review
Good "
At its weakest, neither Schroeder nor writer Tony Gayton quite manage to unify what sometimes feels like two or three different movies. But when they do, the result is two or three cuts above genre standard.''

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 270 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M)
20
High
85%
13-19Teens (F)
35
Fairly High
89%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
31
High
77%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
36
Fairly High
83%
30+Adults (M)
53
Fairly High
79%
30+Adults (F)
95
Fairly High
79%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

When you see this many opinions of "Good" and below with a minimal number of "Fantastic" opinions, it indicates a movie that a fairly large percentage of moviegoers found to be average at best. However, there were a good number of "Excellent" and "Very Good" opinions, so there were a lot of people who did enjoy it.

After seeing "Murder By Numbers," it's certainly not a bad movie, but it's not what I expected. I found it to be kind of slow, but still interesting and fairly entertaining.

I suspect the higher opinions came from those moviegoers who enjoy stories of crime investigation and didn't mind the lack of any action or edge-of-your-seat thrills. This is a slow investigative drama with a very dark and cruel act of violence, which is not actually shown, but it still affects you.

If this is the type of movie you enjoy, then by all means go see "Murder By Numbers." If you prefer more action and thrills you may want to skip this one or at least save a few bucks by going to a matinee.

Publisher Comments: (before opinions collected)
Sorry, I wasn't given an advance screening of this movie.


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
The body of a young woman is found in a ditch in the woods of the small California coastal town of San Benito. Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock), the seasoned homicide detective and crime scene specialist assigned to the case along with her new partner Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin).

The two detectives make their way through microscopic hints of evidence, which seem to indicate a random act of violence, but Cassie has a gut feeling that there is more to this murder than meets the eye. Something about this case reminds her of her past exactly at a time when she is asked to appear at a parole hearing on an old police matter. These events force Cassie to revisit the past.

Cassie pours her heart into solving the mystery. She intently focuses on the gathering and analysis of the available evidence and meticulously sculpts an image of the killer from the scant clues left behind at the crime scene. Her new partner Sam is smart and eager. His patience and inherent goodness compliment Cassie s razor sharp intelligence and dry wit. He seems happy to have such a brilliant mentor in Cassie and is willing to overlook her rocky history with partners.

Following the evidence leads the two detectives to a young man named Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling), whose unique pair of boots (which he reported stolen from his locker) may have been worn by the killer at the crime scene. Richard is very cooperative and has an airtight alibi. Cassie and Richard click in a way that really sets Cassie on edge. She suspects there is more to Richard's story lurking underneath his carefree exterior.

After meeting Richard, Cassie and Sam begin to view the evidence in two different ways. Sam continues to paint a picture composed of all the microscopic elements left by the killer. Cassie uncharacteristically seems to spin out on instincts, hunches and ghosts from her past. She swirls all of these elements together into a very disturbing theory that Richard Haywood and his secret friend, Justin Pendleton (MICHAEL PITT), came together to commit a perfect crime. Her belief in this theory cuts her off from Sam and eventually jeopardizes her authority on the job.

Solving this "perfect murder" forces Cassie Mayweather to face and free herself from the tormented past she buried long ago.

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