The body of a young woman is found in a ditch in the woods of the small California coastal town of San Benito. SANDRA BULLOCK ("Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood," "Miss Congeniality"), stars as Cassie Mayweather, the... more » seasoned homicide detective and crime scene specialist assigned to the case along with her new partner San Kennedy (BEN CHAPLIN - "Lost Souls," "The Thin Red Line"). The two dectectives 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.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 12/6/2016...
Above average who done it with quality acting and writing. Ryan Gosling is surprisingly effective as a young creep who leads his buddy (Michael Pitt) on a murdering lifestyle until cop, Sandra Bullock figures out the relationships and who did it.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jennifer D. (jennicat) from ST AUGUSTINE, FL Reviewed on 1/3/2015...
I liked this movie, I like Sandra Bullock.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 8/31/2014...
Not too bad of a murder crime mystery with an ending you will not expect. I'll admit it was extremely slow and boring but kept you watching as they unravel clues and even though it's boring, you can't stop watching because you have to know the end. It's definitely worth watching once. :)
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nancy W. from CHARLOTTE, NC Reviewed on 1/1/2011...
Good movie. She has had previous drama in her life and is not always facing it. Makes it more real I think.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A thrilling film!
shankar_k | Indianapolis, IN United States | 04/16/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, Sandra Bullock has acted in a good film! Ever since I saw her in 'Speed', I always thought that she was a talented actress. But then 'While you were sleeping' and 'Hope floats' were thoroughly cliched and made me wonder if she was just a one-film wonder. Well, she did prove me otherwise in 'Murder by numbers'.If you thought from the title or the trailer that this film is about a serial killer, you are wrong (I did that same mistake too!). This film is about the perfect crime or what the killer(s) think will be a perfect crime. As is the case with all killers, they do one simple mistake and that is enough for Casey (the cop played by Sandra Bullock) and her partner Sam to solve the case. Even though there is no actual suspense in the film, I will not spoil the plot by telling who the killers are. The director does not attempt to hide the identity of the killers, it is fairly clear who the killers are right from the first or second scene. In spite of this, the film continues to gather momentum, with Sandra Bullock and her partner doing their detective work meticulously. Where the film lacks in suspense, it more than makes up for it in the tight story-line and the excellent acting by all the actors.Sandra Bullock is very convincing as the troubled cop who has a checkered history of her own and that comes to light as the film progresses. Ben Chaplin, who plays Bullock's partner Sam is good too, but the best acting in the film comes from the two young men played by Ryan Gosling (who plays Richard) and Michael Pitt (who plays Justin). Gosling is nothing less than brilliant in his portrayal and his future as an actor sure looks bright.The film drags a bit towards the end, with the climax being a bit cliched. But this is surely a film that is worth seeing!"
Should I Go See This Movie?
C. A. Luster | 04/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Critics gave this only a couple stars. Fans give it four. If you go to movies to evaluate an art form, stick to the stupid boring movies the critics love. If you want to get good value for your entertainment dollar, go see this movie. This is the serious side of Sandra Bullock. And it is a good one. Not the funny, girl next door of While You Were Sleeping, or Miss Congeniality. More on the level of Practical Magic. Not so serious as Hope Floats. She gets a lot of on screen time, which is what her fans pay the money for. The story - two teenagers with too much time on their hands and not enough hobbies think they can get away with murder. Sandra uses her gut instincts far more than her forensic training to read right into their soul and sniff out the rats for what they are. There are some twists and turns in the story but the characters are not developed well at all. There is a "deep, dark secret" that motivates her cop character that really get lip service rather than providing any insight into her motivations. Still, it is a one dimensional romp showcasing Sandra's great looks and engaging voice. Very well worth the price of admisssion. I have seen many worse movies that critics swooned over and even gave Oscars to, so don't put much stock in what they say. If you like Sandra Bullock, you will like this show."
Follow the crumbs
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 10/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sandra Bullock does a great job of playing a detective looking for a murderer. The clues are a bit to neat to suit her and she begins to look deeper. This movie was borderline Hitchcock style murder mystery and very smoothly done. Just a little stronger acting by Ben Chaplin and Ryan Gosling and it would have been a major hit. They do a good job but they are not the caliber of Ed Norton in "Primal Fear". If they were they would have got at least oscar nominations if not awards. I still think they turn in fine performances and were not appreciated. I personally think the whole movie was underrated. I think it improves with additional viewings. You begin to truly appreciate the performances and the story. A Hitchcock air about it that makes you think of "The Rope" and "Vertigo". I bought the DVD and I recommend it. Most fans of movies like "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider" will enjoy it."
A solid movie with an amazing Sandra Bullock
Frank Neumann | Germany | 07/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the past Sandra Bullock never had a role with a deep psychological background like Jodie Forster or Meryl Streep. Now she has this kind of role.
The film is about Cassie Mayweather, a female cop, who chases after two young boys (brilliant: Pitt and Gosling) to find the truth about the murder of a young woman.
The characters of the boys are well written but the character of Cassie is not. I had no business caring about her. But I did because of Bullock. How does she do that? She's very low key. She's so natural she seemes to be remembering a scene rather than playing it. She never overacts. She creates a sensation that although a scene may seem absurd to us, it seemes perfectly real to her. And we buy it. The movie is effective in slow and silent way but still I liked it.
And finally Bullock proved that she is a serious actress and if she ever get a great screenplay we may need seat belts"
Saved by two outstanding performances
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 04/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Murder By Numbers" is merely the latest version of the old Leopold and Loeb story, wherein two amoral youths plan and execute a cold-blooded murder for the sheer intellectual challenge of seeing if they can get away with it. Alfred Hitchcock had a go at the tale back in the 1940's in a film called "Rope," and now it appears to be Barbet Schroeder's turn this time around. Aided by writer Tony Gayton, Schroeder focuses on Richard and Justin, two high school buddies living in a bucolic seaside community in Northern California, who commit murder in order to prove Justin's thesis that the courage to carry through with a crime is the ultimate form of human freedom. Anyone who has read "Crime and Punishment" will know immediately that this is not a particularly original philosophical position and, in fact, the film even makes some heavy-handed allusions to that famous novel in the fact that one of the characters in the movie keeps referring to Justin, the mastermind of the plot, as "Napoleon" (Napoleon serves as the inspiration for the novel's main character, Raskolnikov). Richard is the pretty little rich boy, popular in school for both his good looks and his attitude of cool detachment, while Justin is the nerdy intellectual, dismissed by most of his peers as creepily eccentric, who has made an exhaustive study of just how to "get away with murder" by circumventing all the forensic techniques used in modern crime scene investigation. "Murder By Numbers" is definitely at its best when it is focusing on the two youths and the strange relationship between them - and clearly at its worst when it is viewing matters from the opposite perspective, that of the criminal investigating team led by Cassie Mayweather, played by Sandra Bullock. Cassis seems to come equipped with all the standard baggage common to lead female characters who happen to be working in a predominantly ugly (i.e. male-dominated) profession. The brusque demeanor with which she confronts most of her colleagues has earned her the affectionate nicknames "Hyena" and "Scorpion" (the former because hyenas apparently have a pseudo-penis and the latter for more obviously symbolic reasons). Not only is this beautiful young woman (as always) unattached (why are such attractive people in movies never in relationships?), but she drives men away by her refusal to let any of them get truly near to her. The filmmakers have tried to apply some psychological depth to her character by having her suffering from the effects of a traumatic event in her past, but this whole aspect seems strangely unconvincing and tacked on - and rather distracting when what we really want to be doing is following the much more interesting drama taking place between the two boys.Although Bullock is never less than competent in the lead role, the scene-stealers turn out to be Ryan Gosling as Richard and, most especially, Michael Pitt as Justin. These two fine actors command our attention every time they appear on the screen and lift this rather routine script to the level of high drama more frequently than it surely deserves. Pitt, in particular, beautifully underplays the role of the social outcast, a boy so intellectually brilliant that he cannot connect with the flesh-and-blood people around him. Yet, the single finest aspect of the screenplay is that it does not portray Pitt as a hopelessly twisted maniac. He is, in fact, capable of both compassion and fear - a fact which helps to make his character compelling and complex enough to pique our interest. "Murder By Numbers" is, in a way, an appropriately named movie. But thanks to sharp performances by Gosling and Pitt, the film has more to offer than it otherwise might."