This sometimes too clever for it's own god
thriller stars Elijah Woods as Martin, a young man returning to
university in order to advance his academic career. At Oxford, Martin
seeks the tutelage of Arthur Seldom (John Hurt), a stuffy no prisoners
type attitude professor who prefers his mathematic research as opposed
to human company.
Attempting to convince Arthur to assist him with his
thesis, the unlikely duo soon form an uneasy friendship upon the
discovery of a body of a mutual friend. Pushing their differences aside,
both start their own amateur murder investigation as they collect the
clues and narrow their list of subjects. Unfortunately their
investigation is hampered by another murder.
There are also two women interested in
Martin, a musician
(Julie Cox) and a nurse (Leonor Watling) which lead you to believe that there may be
ulterior motives as opposed to just a flirty relationship but at times,
these relationships feel
too forced with no real explanation. Even so, the storyline does work
for the majority of time and Hurt and Woods are excellent actors.
It should be mentioned that this
sometimes predictable thriller is based on the novel by Guillermo
Martinez of the same name which attempts to draw the viewer into this
mystery on one of the worlds most prestige universities. The director
does a good job at setting up certain plot lines with it's theories and
suspenseful moments that try to throw the characters off the trail but
also a few aspects that unfortunately make no sense whatsoever. The lead
actors do get into headspace of their characters well, especially Hurt
but both are a little let down by the sometimes overcomplicated script.
Video, Audio and Special Features
The Oxford Murders looks good on Blu-ray
with sharp images and strong blacks. There's some great detail on full
HD, especially seeing the close-ups of the actors like Mr. Hurts well
travelled face. Another highlight of the video is the wonderful
cinematography and architecture of the locales that truly adds to the
Audio supports 5.1DTS-HD that is mixed well with clear dialogue
and a nice mysterious musical score to compliment the story and the
characters. In terms of special features, The Oxford Murders contains a
behind the scenes featurette or making of and the original theatrical
trailer. A little lacking when compared to other Blu-ray releases.
end, Oxford Murders is a decent attempt at a thriller that works in some
areas and fails in others but it's still worth a watch, especially as
the viewer attempts to pick up the clues, alongside with the characters.