Sunday, June 15, 2003


A Video Review of "Murder by Numbers"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Sandra Bullock is a very interesting actress. She really only has one mode, one act, one technique and yet she makes you watch her. You must follow her wherever she goes because of this quirky charisma. The camera loves this cute girl next door gig even when she's doing the complete opposite. This works even when she's in a crappy film. You always believe her even when you shouldn't. One wonders how she would fare in a villain part. I think she would be marvelous, on an Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector scale.

In Murder by Numbers Sandra plays a homicide detective matching wits with a pair of high school versions of Leopold and Loeb. Bullock does wonders with this hardcore version of America's sweetheart crossed liberally with "Profiler."

Barbet Shroeder does above average work and yet not up to previous potential. I was kind of disappointed actually. Ben Chaplin may as well have been a store mannequin for all the passion he put into his part. Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt do their best James Dean and Trent Reznor imitations while keeping with the Leopold and Loeb murder geniuses roles.

The story on the other hand ranges somewhere between a good 1970s "Columbo" and Seven, it tries really hard and succeeds. There are slow parts, mostly due to a lack of background music. I could have done without Bullock's backstory and the red-assed monkey but for the most part it is an excellent film. Nice detective works make you think and Murder by Numbers hits the bullseye.

Murder by Numbers is an excellent thriller and I can't wait to see what Sandra Bullock has next up her sleeve. She has the makings of a new Jodie Foster both on screen and behind it.

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