Justin (Michael Pitt) and Richard (Ryan Gosling) believe themselves to be highly intellectual and superior people. They decide to murder a woman without motive and the reasoning that they simply can. The investigation into the murder follows Cassie (Sandra Bullock) as she pieces together the mysterious clues.

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In the end Murder By Numbers fails to ignite.

Barbet Schroeder returns to Hollywood filmmaking after his low budget digicam outing Our Lady Of The Assassins which we saw here last year, he directs Sandra Bullock as the forensic expert of Murder By Numbers.

Justin Pendelton (Michael Pitt) and Richard Haywood (Ryan Gosling) consider themselves to be superior beings. Justin is extremely intelligent, while Richard is both rich and good looking. Like Leopold and Loeb in 1920s Chicago, Haywood and Pendelton decide to kill a young woman, for no other reason but that they can. Policewoman Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock), who has traumas of her own, is in charge of investigating the killing, assisted by her inexperienced partner, Sam Kennedy (Ben Chaplin). Chief suspect is Ray (Chris Penn), but the investigation is a bumpy one.

Director Barbet Schroeder stages some suspenseful scenes in this at times intriguing film, but somehow the overall result is disappointing. Perhaps it's because the motivations of these two evil young men are never made very clear, or perhaps it's because Sandra Bullock isn't entirely convincing as the investigator. There's a certain amount of suspense, and a very good performance from Agnes Bruckner, as a girl with whom the men become involved, but in the end Murder By Numbers fails to ignite.