MURDER BY NUMBERS     - A Narada Film Review

 Cassie (Sandra Bullock) in 
 a potentially deadly predicament.  
 Justin (Michael Pitt) with  
 distaff interest 
 Lisa (Agnes Bruckner).
    Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin) 
    and Cassie examine the 
    gruesome evidence.
Murder By Numbers , Directed by Barbet Schroeder Produced by Richard Crystal. 990033

      Viewed On 08 June 2002 .

      A Bright, Resourceful Cop is assigned to a bizzarre murder.    Bright Cop gets a new partner because, we soon find out, Bright Cop doesn't work well with others.
       Bright Cop becomes too close to the case, identifies with victim, spends inordinate amount of time pursuing what everyone else says is an open and shut case.   Case becomes highly politically sensitive (enter antagonistic Assistant District Attorney).
       Police Chief threatens to take Bright Cop off the case.   Bright Cop , unfazed by Police Chief admonition, continues with unabated, fanatical zeal.
       Police Chief takes Bright Cop off of case, forbidding Bright Cop to even get near the case again, but, (...guess what?...) Bright Cop continues to pursue case anyway.   Bright Cop vindicated in end, was right all along.
      Does any of this sound familiar? Or perhaps I should ask, 'Is there ANY part of this that sounds unfamiliar?'    For unclear reasons, the movie was called Murder By Numbers; It should have been called "Hollywood Cookie-Cutter".    And the Bright Cop this time around is Cassie , ( Sandra Bullock ).  Her sometimes reluctant partner is Detective Sam Kennedy ( Ben Chaplin ).   The teenaged baddies, Justin ( Michael Pitt ), and Richard ( Ryan Gosling ) devise the perfect crime, and out of boredom born of growing up as rich, unsupervised brats, decide to go ahead with it.
      The ending was NEVER in doubt, and details on which the plot hinges are a bit too tenuous.   A great cast and good acting saved Murder By Numbers from being flushed down the bowl.

        Enduring Line Or Phrase:   "It doesn't work that way, Justin, you've got one life..."

Reviewed by Narada for Bangkok Eyes - 08 June 2002

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