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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
Cast
John Hurt
Elijah Wood
Leonor Watling
Alex Cox.
Directors
alex de la Iglesia.
Screenwriters
Running Time
minutes

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The Oxford Murders
Sadly, nothing to do with Inspector Morse


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Plot
Set at Oxford University, Professor Arthur Seldom (Hurt) and his student Martin (Wood), join forces to discover the truth behind a series of puzzling murders...


Review
The Oxford Murders
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A mathematician/philosopher (John Hurt) and a would-be disciple (Elijah Wood) are thrown together at the scene of a murder which seems to be the first of a string of serial killings committed in answer to the professor’s declaration that there is no such thing as a purely intellectual murderer.

Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia presents a weird, skewed vision of British university life, and offers a mystery which would like to be profound but comes across as a knock-off of UK-TV staples like Morse, Marple and Messiah.

Wood is disastrous in a key role, especially since other characters’ obsession with him is key to the plot, but Hurt waffles like a pro, and there are scene-stealingly bizarre red herring turns from Burn Gorman and Alex Cox as demented mathematicians. Extra points for the sexy Spanish nurse who whips up spaghetti while nude but for an apron and then drips it on her breasts so Wood can gobble it up.


Verdict
Not so terrible that you can understand why it’s been practically buried by its distributors, but you can get better ridiculous whodunits on TV.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Oxford Murders
Empire Star Rating

awful in almost every respect ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spirals at 23:02, 20 March 2009 | Report This Post


John Turd and Elijah Crudd

What a truly abysmal film with a ridiculous premise and a stupid ending which thinks its clever when it just doesnt make sense. The scene stealer is where the leads are using cluedo pieces to solve the crime. I cant believe i wasted my bandwidth downloading this pile of turd. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jono31 at 14:30, 21 May 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Horrendous

It is hard to know where to begin with this film.  The premise is that Elijah Wood plays an American doctoral student who arrives in Oxford looking for a particularly eminant Oxford professor, played by John Hurt to tutor him.  Their paths cross as murders begin to take place and symbols begin to appear at the scene of the murders.   The acting throughout is particularly clunky with only John Hurt's rich vocal work saving himself from the fate of the other actors, however, on... More

Posted by Groovy Mule at 16:12, 12 May 2008 | Report This Post


RE: Horrendous

Is it just me the review's not showing for? ... More

Posted by matty_b at 10:08, 26 April 2008 | Report This Post


Horrendous

Sorry, I just have to let people know -this is the most terrible film I can remember seeing in the cinema. It's the script mostly, but also the performances: Policeman (after the first murder): "So are you saying there will be more murders" John Hurt: "I'm afraid so...." The script is funny, but the performances are painful to watch, because everyone seems to be taking it so seriously.... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ianrickard at 09:11, 26 April 2008 | Report This Post


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