The numbers don't really add up

Review of Murder by Numbers (2002)

Review of Murder by Numbers (2002) movie, by Stefan Stenudd


It's a swell thriller: a reasonably sophisticated plot, with some neat twists and turns, good camera work, and a kind of satisfactory ending. But just as with the murder story in question, the flaws become apparent at closer examination.

       Most important, the characters are not sufficiently presented and explained. The deadly duet shows a very close relation, but not what keeps it so close. It would be easy enough to understand, if they were lovers. Then their quarrel over a girl also makes sense. Since they are not — as far as the movie shows us — their relation remains a mystery.

       The same, to a lesser extent, is true about the detective duet. Bullock is not really able to convince with her tough exterior to hide inner wounds, although that should be easy for an actor of her experience, and her male colleague gets no room in the film to show us why he stands her, after what she puts him through the very first days they work together.

       Although it's mainly a thriller, I guess this movie would have needed some additional efforts on the drama of it, the emotional processes included in it. Maybe it's all too logical — like numbers.

Stefan Stenudd
14 January 2003


More Reviews



Ever Young

Ever Young. Supernatural fiction by Stefan Stenudd. Supernatural fiction
I have lots of opinions on storytelling, since that is also my own profession. Here is a story of mine:

       Caroline witnesses the agonizing death of her twin brother, when they are no more than 15 years old. Horrified, she feels that nobody should ever have to die. Then she discovers a hidden visitor in her home, who has the ability to live forever without aging at all. And this ability can be transmitted. But she finds that there are grisly downsides to such longevity. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).



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About me
I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.