Murder By Numbers Review

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Cassie, a tough cop with a secret, throws herself into solving the vicious murder of a young woman by two gifted high school students. But her superiors are increasingly mistrustful of her judgmentà


Like his previous Hollywood suspense-thrillers, Barbet Schroeder's latest is entertaining, but doesn't quite break the bonds of mediocrity. Bullock's maverick homicide detective is a crude extension of Clarice Starling, hiding a violent trailer park past behind a veneer of tough-talking and empty sexual congress.

Cliched though she is, Bullock is as likeable as ever, though new partner Chaplin serves as little more than token male totty.

More interesting are the high schoolers they are pursuing. Gosling and Pitt are excellent, their post-Columbine nihilism both sinister and curiously effecting, while the implicit homo-erotic power-play between them adds layers that are lacking elsewhere.

Much, however, is left unexplained, although moments of flair and intrigue build to a diverting, if not entirely surprising, denouement.

An interesting game of cat and mouse spoilt by a shortage of real tension. Nothing new, then, but enjoyable and competent Saturday night entertainment.