Murder by Numbers

Rated 2.0 An FBI profiler (Sandra Bullock) matches wits with two teenagers (Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt) who think they’ve committed the perfect murder. There are underhanded echoes of Columbine High School in the two villains, but Tony Gayton’s script is full of big black holes—for example, a major plot point hinges on Bullock’s character having joined the FBI under an alias. Director Barbet Schroeder sets the pace at a tired plod and—perhaps realizing that Gayton’s dialogue barges into self-parody and never looks back—has his actors speak in stiff-lipped mumbles (at times it sounds as if the cast has been drawn from a troupe of amateur ventriloquists). What is Bullock thinking? She becomes her own producer, and all she wants to do is to turn herself into Jack Webb? That’s not what she does best.