Murder mysteries have forever been a genre of film that instantly captures the attention of audiences, using suspense and plot twists to immerse us into the deep storylines. The idea of trying to figure out the answers before everyone else is incredibly engaging, and if a film cannot capture that idea, then they will lose the grip that they hold on the viewers entirely.
Unlike most murder mysteries, however, Sandra Bullock’s Murder By Numbers tried to be like all the iconic classics we know and love today, like Se7en and Memento. But judging by its 6.2 IMDB rating and its 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear that critics weren’t a fan of this 2002 predictable thriller. The film just scraped breaking even with a budget of $50 million, only bringing in a comparatively minuscule $56.7 million at the box office.
Bullock plays a homicide detective who, alongside her partner, are elbow-deep into a murder investigation that points the blame towards Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt in this thriller that, ultimately, leaves us disappointed with the predictable ending. Despite its age and a slightly embarrassing collection of negative reviews, however, somehow it has gained popularity on Netflix and is now on their most-watched list. With the weekend approaching, who knows how much more popular it might get.
In a 2002 interview, when asked about her character, Bullock told the BBC, “Often films glorify it. Which is wrong. In the media, we need to be more responsible on how we represent it. Violence should be shown as violence. Because that’s what it is. It should frighten you and be shown as what it is, rather than helping perpetuate it.”
Although not Bullock’s first rodeo in Hollywood, Murder By Numbers is certainly not her best. Her more notable performances in other films such as The Unforgiveable, Gravity, Miss Congeniality, and The Blind Side are just a small slither of fantastic movies that Bullock has been a part of. Netflix subscribers, however, have disregarded the two-decade-old reviews and turned this murder mystery into one of their most watched on their platform.
Check out the trailer below.