|Murder By Numbers|
Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt, Agnes Bruckner, Chris Penn
Widescreen; closed caption; audio commentary by director Barbet Schroeder and editor Lee Percy; cast and crew information; theatrical trailer.
|In a welcome change of pace, Sandra Bullock ("Miss Congeniality") stars not in a lightweight romantic comedy, but in a smart, tight, twisted mystery thriller that takes some of its cues from the historic Leopold & Loeb murder case. Barbet Schroeder, director of psychologically astute films such as "Reversal of Fortune," "Single White Female" and "Maitresse," brings incisive, cerebral substance to "Murder by Numbers." It's set in an upscale Southern California community, where two bored, disaffected students (Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt) decide to kill someone just to commit the perfect crime and get away with it. In convincing fashion, Bullock plays homicide detective Cassie Mayweather, a crime scene specialist with a major chip on her shoulder. She's well paired with Ben Chaplin, who's cast as her straitlaced, less experienced new partner. The cops' forensic chess game with the dastardly kids is exhilarating, and an awkward Hitchcock homage as endgame can't sully what goes before.|