I haven't seen all of Sandra Bullock's movies, but I would imagine that this is one of her darker roles, in one of her darker movies. Murder By Numbers isn't a murder mystery, but rather about the mystery as to why people do what they do. Directed by Barbet Schroeder, a name I recognize and have a feeling is significant even if I can't place it, Murder By Numbers tells the stories of two poor little rich boys who try to commit the perfect crime. I figure the title comes from the fact that the teens basically do the crime by the book, although at no point do they literally use a numbered list. Am I nit-picking?
I think so.
Sandra Bullock does a good job here. It's not a great job…it won't really turn heads, but it's a good job. I'd like to see her do more serious roles, maybe slightly better written or fleshed out roles, to see what she could do. Don't get me wrong, I love her in the romantic comedies. She's always reliable in those, While You Were Sleeping being one of my favorites. I just think maybe she should keep trying something new, this being a step in the right direction.
Michael Pitt plays Justin, the more sensitive of the two teens. I found his character strangely likable, and his performance very good. Agnes Bruckner plays Lisa. Let's call her a friend of both of the teens. She does a fine job, but more importantly to a perv like me, is a real cutie. But she may only be like twelve, so I'll refrain from further comment.
For me, the star of this flick is Ryan Gosling. He gives an amazing performance. He perfectly captures every emotion, and his delivery is dead on. I've heard really great things about his performance in a movie called "The Believer", but I never saw that, and due to it's subject matter, really wouldn't want to. But Gosling's performance here is so good, I just may have to check it out.
I found Murder By Numbers to be a little slow, but overall I think it was pretty good.
I think crime drama fans will enjoy it, and for metal heads like me, there's even a little Maiden!