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->''"One cannot live fully without embracing suicide and crime."''
''Murder by Numbers'' is a 2002 mystery/thriller film directed by Barbet Schroeder, starring Creator/SandraBullock, Creator/MichaelPitt, and Creator/RyanGosling.
Detective Cassie Mayweather (Bullock) suspects more at work than an unplanned act of violence when a young woman is found strangled to death in a ditch. Her gut instincts get her in trouble with her supervisors, but they lead her [[ReverseWhodunnit correctly]] to [[SmugSnake privileged, smug]] high school student Richard Haywood (Gosling)... and from there to brooding StrawNihilist Justin Pendleton (Pitt). The connection between the two boys is more than imagined, and as their mind games played with the police and with each other grow still more complicated, Cassie attempts to find some way to put an end to their plans.
!!This film provides examples of:
%%* EmoKid: Justin.
%%* FairCop: Cassie.
%%* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:[[EvilAllAlong Psych!]]]]
* InMediasRes: The film opens with a scene from about its middle.
* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: [[spoiler: Richie uses this trope during an attempted suicide pact with Justin. It fails majestically.]]
* NoSenseOfPersonalSpace: Richard doesn't really care about personal space around Justin. He invades it on a daily basis and makes a point out of hugging him any chance he gets. [[HoYay Not that Justin seems to mind all that much.]]
* OutlawCouple: Face it, this film is built on HoYay.
* PrisonersDilemma: The detectives try to pull a classic Prisoner's Dilemma in the interrogation scene, but the trust between the prisoners and the arrival of the lawyers prevents the defection.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Justin and Richie, for given values of [[EmoKid sensitive]] and [[JerkAss manly]].
%%* SmugSnake: Richie.
%%* StrawNihilist: Both boys, but predominantly Justin.
* ThatOneCase: It haunts Cassie's career and clouds her judgement, since her current suspect reminds her of the perp. [[spoiler:That case being her own attempted murder at the hands of an abusive husband.]]
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Very, ''very'' vaguely inspired by the Leopold and Loeb case.
* YouTasteDelicious: Richie licks Cassie's face during their last scene together.