Conundrum (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Also known as Frame by Frame.

Conundrum is a made-for-cable cop procedural that turns out to be a much better movie than you first expect. You are led to believe that the basic storyline is going to consist of a battle between the stereotypical man and woman buddy cops and an assortment of corrupt officials and Asian gangsters. Just below the surface is a cute little flirtation between the partners. Even though he's married and about to be a father for the first time, she's got a crush on him. He doesn't seem to notice and she, for her part, keeps it under wraps because he and his wife seem to be deliriously happy. 

If this were an episode of Hunter, that would all play out predictably, and that's what I expected, but the film takes a dramatic twist. His pregnant wife is murdered.

After the murder, with both of them in emotional states, the partner cops end up in bed together, and everything gets very, very complicated. In fact, that is merely the beginning of the complications. She eventually discovers that he was not capable of having children, and that therefore his wife was pregnant by another man. Worse still, she finds that two other recent murder victims were the (1) wife's lover,  and (2) the hitman who killed them both.

She must entertain the thought that her long-trusted partner, the gentle guy who is also her girlish crush turned lover, is a brutal multiple murderer. If that turns out to be true, and if he figures out that she knows, she could find herself as the next target. Or maybe she's just being paranoid ...


  • There is no Region 1 DVD
  • There is no English-language or English-subtitled DVD of any kind
  • There is a Region 2 DVD, but the only soundtrack consists of dubbed
    German, and there are no English subtitles.



Marg Helgenberger shows the entire front side of her body in the bathtub, in good light, although one hand is in her lap, covering most of her pubic hair. She later exposes her breasts in a sex scene.

Michael Biehn shows his bum in the sex scene.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews on file

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C. Much better than expected. It is on very familiar turf and lacks production values, but the interesting plot twists, some dramatic tension, and a surprising ending kept me focused all the way.

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