Murder by Numbers

I have to say I was impressed: homoerotic tension, twisted seduction, manipulation, tortured pasts and a nod to Hitchcock made this film better than the average Hollywood production.  Two teens, Justin Pendleton (Michael Pitt) and Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling), have too much freedom, time and money o­n their hands.  In a weird twist of fate the brainy outcast and the rich pretty boy team up and plan the perfect random murder together.  They implement their plans and sit back, wait to see if things will go as planned.  They could have gotten away with their sensless murder if they were dealing with o­nly average cops eager for the easy, prepared answer but they are dealing with Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock), a homicide detective with a haunted past that pushes her to be the best.  Even when everyone else o­n the police force is ready to close the case, even Cassie's new partner Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin) but she cannot ignore the subtle inconsistencies.  There was a nice influence of film noir, Bullock's character being the biggest mystery of the film.  The role was amazingly detailed and  played with great skill. The director, Barbet Scroeder, used every instance of suspense and drama he could wring from the plot, developing the storylines without hurry until the film crashed to a pretty good ending.  Justice was served, the wrong were punished, the world righted and our heroine was now ready to face her past.  The acting, plot and overall attention to detail were so well done I am overlooking the fifteen minutes of 'cheese' at the end – ascribing it as a nod to the Hitchcock model of suspense.

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