The Oxford Murders (2008)

dir. Álex de la Iglesia

The Oxford Murders doesn’t just think it’s smart. It thinks it’s the smartest movie ever known to humankind. It thinks no one can handle just how smart it is. Unfortunately, no matter what The Oxford Murders thinks of itself, the truth is it might be one of the stupidest films ever conceived of. As Elijah Wood and John Hurt wander about Oxford trying to hunt down a killer, they don’t really speak in English so much as in unnecessarily obtuse phrases. From “I believe in the number pi” to “As sure as today is Wednesday,” not a single line sounds like an actual human being would ever say it. The murders make no sense and the motivations make no sense. The final reveal of the true killer is so resoundingly idiotic that it’s hard to do anything except gape and babble in disbelief, although the movie would probably take that as proof that it’s simply too smart for everyone who watches it. It’s all offset by a truly ridiculous third act explosion, though. So there’s that.

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