Murder By Numbers
Sandra Bullock stars in this murder mystery as forensics detective Cassie Mayweather. Ben Chaplin plays her partner, Sam Kennedy, who’s new to the homicide squad. Investigating a woman’s corpse dumped on a creek bank, a shoe print leads them to high school student Richard Haywood, played by Ryan Gosling, who reported the shoes stolen. But other evidence points to Richard’s schoolmate Justin Pendleton, played by Michael Pitt. Justin, an intelligent, social misfit in the school would seem to have little in common with popular Richard, and both boys seem to have strong alibis for the murder. Can she and Sam prove they did it? This tense mystery thriller keeps audiences guessing as the detective mentally duels with the teen scholars.
Unfortunately, the dialogue has a large number of obscenities and crude sexual comments. Cassie seduces Sam in a graphic sex scene, although no nudity is shown. A video of Richard also shows a graphic sexual encounter. A schoolmate, attracted to Justin, shows him nude paintings of herself. Richard also buys marijuana from the janitor and drinks illegal alcohol with Justin. Some graphic violence occurs on screen as a monkey attacks and bites Cassie’s arm, showing a bloody mouth, and a graphic shooting occurs as well. Other scenes strongly suggest gruesome violence, such as cutting a finger from the corpse. However, both Cassie and the boys learn that they have to face up to what they’ve done in the past. MURDER BY NUMBERS earns its R rating with sexual content and obscenity-laced language.