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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting twist on a standard muder mystery, Dec 31 2010
This review is from: Oxford Murders [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray)
It's easier to tell you what this movie is not. It is not an action crime drama, but you probably expected that since it's set in Oxford university, England. It's not an Agatha Christie murder where all the possible murderers are introduced at the beginning and at the end the how done it reveals the who done it. It is however, a standard plot line used in many mysteries where it's either the first or the last person you would expect to be the killer. What's fascinating is the subplot of the murderer being a"fan" (the detective suggests the murderer loves the philosophy professor (John Hurt) and the intricacies of the red herrings created by John Hurt, a great British actor who carried the movie)

The red herrings are all tied up in the philosophical idea of "can we ever know the truth?", but then it is set in Oxford. The young man who worships the professor is a mathemetician. This creates interesting notions of mathematicas as the only knowable truth or is it? So what's philosophy and mathematics have to do with murder? That's the interesting red herrings. It is titled Oxford Murders. Is there a serial killer on the loose in Oxford? How important is the professor's formula for murder? In the end it turns out to be a rather simplistic murder mystery with all the clues on any other murder mystery and of course, we meet the killer or is it killers?

If you are a fan of John Hurt this is for you. If you are a mathemetician this is for you. If you like British mysteries this is for you. If you like complicated subplots there here. Unfortunately, I wouldn't buy it because once the how done it is presented and the who done it is revealed all the excess mathematical formulas and philosophical propositions melt away and the viewer is left with a formula mystery. Once solved it doesn't offer sufficient intellectural stimuli or character driven storyline to watch several time. Glad I rented it first and highly reccommend you rent it too, then decide if you want to buy it. I'm a big fan of mysteries and studied writing in university so perhaps what is see as Obvious will not be true for you.

Hurt's performance is commendable and the red herrings are terrific and I got lost in the complications of the murder. It's worth watching. The supporting cast are rather two dimensional, but they do present themselves as persons with motives. For me it wasn't the mathimatical formulas that were too simple, it was the formula of the storyline. The ending is complicated and offers more than one solution to the crime. It was only the next day that I realized the simplicity of the murder under all the twists and turns. Enjoy!

Oh yes, for you who actually watch the extras there's the making of and more info about Oxford.Oxford Murders [Blu-ray]
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