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The Oxford Murders [Blu-ray] (2010)

Elijah Wood , John Hurt , Alex De La Iglesia  |  R |  Blu-ray
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elijah Wood, John Hurt
  • Directors: Alex De La Iglesia
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2010
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003X82CYS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,145 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A woman is murdered in Oxford. Her body is discovered by two men, Arthur Seldom (John Hurt), a prestigious professor of logic, and Martin (Elijah Wood), a young graduate student who has just arrived at the university hoping to study with Seldom. It quickly becomes clear that this is the fi rst in a series of murders, all of which are announced by the murderer with strange mathematical symbols. Professor and student join forces to try and crack the code, and thus begins an elaborate puzzle, in which nothing is as it seems and the truth is elusive.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oxford is a Dangerous Place July 29, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I wonder what people who actually live in Oxford think of all the murderous activity associated with that locale in British detective mysteries? Oxford would have to rank right up there with St. Mary Mead and Midsomer as being among the most dangerous places to live in all of England.

Once again murderous forces are at work in Oxford but this time seems to focus on mathematics and mathematicians. The story is well crafted and held my attention all the way through. The acting is good and involves the viewer in the activities and emotions of the characters although it was not easy to identify with any of them. The major roles are well done with Elijah Wood as the graduate student, John Hurt as the famous professor, Leonor Watling as the significant female interest, Julie Cox as the frustrated female interest, and Jim Carter as the determined police inspector.

The scenery and settings do a great job of enhancing the mood of the movie and all work together to create an entertaining evening's viewing. There is some partial nudity and bedroom activity which limits it to adult audiences. This one is not for children. All told it is a well done British mystery.
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You Can Cut this Class October 30, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
It's a snobbish cliché to pronounce the book on which any film material was based as being much better than the film. But in this case, I'm not trying to demonstrate my literacy with the recommendation. It's my sincere opinion.

This movie just doesn't make the grade. It graduates from the merely pedantic to the completely far-fetched. Like the book, it posits a serial killer who is playing abstruse mathematical games with Professor Seldom and his protégé at Oxford's Mathematical Institute. However, the film throws in all sorts of extra glancing mathematical references - to Fermat's Last Theorem, to Fibonacci's series, and to chaos theory. A lot of these references don't exist in the book or else are more integral aspects of the book. So the movie is like a Koosh ball, sprouting all sorts of alien little rubbery protrusions that make it briefly tantalizing, but that ultimately just cause it to come off as silly.

The movie reminds me of Tom Stoppard's play "Arcadia." While that play was acclaimed, when you thought about it logically, you realized that all its talk about chaos theory was completely adventitious and unnecessary.

There are other problems with this movie. Scenes that were treated more realistically in the book become grotesqueries in the movie. The film tries to combine the most garish elements of "The DaVinci Code," a CSI episode, and "The Zodiac Killer."

Whereas in the book, the protagonist's Russian roommate is just a normal person, in the movie he is portrayed by an actor who inexplicably chews up the scenery like a rabid dog.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The truth is not mathematical August 19, 2010
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Murders are committed for love, money, hatred, justice or revenge -- but not usually as an intellectual exercise. Yet Álex de la Iglesia approaches such a string of deaths in "The Oxford Murders," adapted from mathematician Guillermo Martinez's novel. Elijah Wood and William Hurt have magnificent chemistry and give excellent performances, but the script has a lot of flab.

Martin (Wood) is a young American student at Oxford who is writing his thesis; he hopes to have the famous mathematician Arthur Seldom (John Hurt) advise him... only to have his hopes dashed.

But when Seldom visits the house where he is boarding, the two men find Martin's landlady dead -- and while at first it appears to be natural causes, the police discover that she was murdered. And when Seldom reveals that he was sent a strange message warning him about the murder, he and Martin begin speculating that they're dealing with an "intellectual serial killer."

At the same time, Martin finds himself in an odd love triangle between his landlady's neurotic daughter (Julie Cox) and a sexy Spanish nurse (Leonor Watling). But his mind is fixed on unraveling the pattern that may lead him and Seldom to the murderer -- and the greatest puzzle is one that no one may be able to figure out.

Pythagorus, the principle of uncertainty, sequential math and mathematical order versus chaos. "The Oxford Murders" feels a bit like a mathematical episode of "Masterpiece Theatre" -- vast venerable colleges, the tangled motives, and some seemingly impossible murders.And the idea of murder warnings based on sequential mathematics is a fascinating one...

... which becomes a problem, because we end up with endless, pompous discussions about truth, reality and philosophy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars JUST ANOTHER MURDER MYSTERY October 22, 2010
Format:DVD
The Oxford Murders is a quasi-sophisticated murder mystery attempting to combine philosophical mathematics with a series of murders. The movie has the feel of an attempt to emulate the Da Vinci Code without the action and excitement. The writer of the script clearly misused chaos theory in professor Seldom's lecture. Being able to predict hurricanes has nothing to do with the limitations of mathematics as the script would have us believe, but is rather a failure of our inability to gather enough data points to the precise measurement that is required to make those calculations. Anyway, This is a murder mystery who-dun-it. As such it is best just to list the characters then to speak profusely about the plot:

Martin (Elijah Wood) is an American at Oxford wanting to be sponsored by the famous Arthur Seldom. He is a border at Ms. Eagleton.

Arthur Seldom, retired professor, author of philosophical mathematics. WWII decoder.

Mrs. Eagleton- Wife of a colleague of Seldom's. She is in a wheel chair, terminal, and the first victim. Her husband and Mrs. Seldom died in an auto accident some time ago. Seldom apparently rejected Mrs. Eagleton as a would be lover/ second wife as he prefers younger women, although they remained close friends.

Beth, Ms. Eagleton's daughter and caretaker. She inherits her mother's wealth. She is in love with Martin, throws herself at him, and he rejects her. She plays a cello and is clearly unbalanced, imagining a relationship with Martin that does not exist.

The guy who studies with Martin- He is also a bit crazy. He hates Seldom and claims his ideas have been stolen. For some reason his lips clearly don't match what he is saying most of the time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
All the mathematical jargon is simply that. Although I was surprised at the end it was a very sad somewhat pointless movie. An intellectual exercise in proving absolutely nothing.
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Actually the acting is somewhat dragging for me but the story is a good one. Would say it is an intriguing detective story.
Published 5 days ago by bisdak
4.0 out of 5 stars nice twist
I might have not liked the movie, but for some interesting twists. Provide some thought providing idea, some which might be unsettling to some people.
Published 5 days ago by icprofit6000
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast for the eyes and the intellect!
I cannot recall the photography of a movie that embraced faces the way the camera does in "Oxford." It moves in to Elijah Wood's blue eyes which are like the painting of Vermeer... Read more
Published 5 days ago by P. B. Sharp
1.0 out of 5 stars Hardly worthwhile even rating...
We opened this because the storyline sounded provocative - a mystery at Oxford. It was not very intriguing starting out, but... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Joanne
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Cast But Weak Story
This could have been much better. I wanted to give it two stars, but John Hurt, Anna Massey and Elijah Wood give a good performance, as do the other cast members, hence the three... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Rudy
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as much fun to watch as Inspector Lewis or Inspector Morse
Not as much fun to watch as Inspector Lewis or Inspector Morse. This is worth watching, but maybe I'm spoiled by the enchanting characters of Lewis, Hathaway, Morse. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Linda
3.0 out of 5 stars A little slow for me.
Ok, a little slow moving, but interesting topic. I found the characters very believable and they did a great job, The Story is a good one too.
Published 19 days ago by Diane Shipley
1.0 out of 5 stars elijah wood at his worse
don't waste your time--i can't believe i did...is elijah wood's character was unbelievable because he looks like he's about 14 and there is no way that nurse would have hit on him... Read more
Published 20 days ago by jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Acting and an OK Mystery in this Period Piece
How can a mystery set in Oxford not be good? That said, this one wouldn't be as good were it not for the strong acting talents of John Hurt and Elijah Wood. Read more
Published 22 days ago by R. N. Enrick
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