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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Murder By Numbers (2002)



Reviews and Comments

There have been a few different movies based, implicitly or explicitly, on Leopold and Loeb, two men who committed murder as a way of proving their freedom and intellectual superiority. Alfred Hitchcock's Rope is the best. Compulsion is interesting though severely flawed.

With is in depth examination of the relationship between the two killers, Murder By Numbers is most similar to Compulsion, substituting an action climax for the naive courtroom speech and adding a whole separate dimension with the complex character arc of the detective on the case, played convincingly by Sandra Bullock.

The film is too gruesome and demented to work for me as entertainment and, despite its complex characters, doesn't say enough for it to work for me as social commentary. I did, however, like the crime-solving aspect of the film and the psychological game between the two killers and between them and the investigator.