Zero Effect (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Zero Effect (1997)



Critic Consensus: A promising debut for writer/director Jake Kasdan, Zero Effect overcomes its flaws with its off-kilter humor and likeable leads.

Movie Info

Jake Kasdan made his feature film directorial debut with this oblique thriller about eccentric private detective Daryl Zero (Bill Pullman) and his sardonic front man partner Steve Arlo (Ben Stiller). After the two are hired by blackmail victim Gregory Stark (Ryan O'Neal), Zero sets up a sting operation and soon focuses on his suspect, Gloria Sullivan (Kim Dickens), a woman he met at a health club. Thinking Zero is an accountant, she asks him to look over her tax return. Clues form a trail to hitman Kragan Vincent (Matt O'Toole), who could be Gloria's father. Amid the romance and revenge, Zero manages to write a few songs (actually written by Pullman and Kasdan).more
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jake Kasdan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 7, 1998
Warner Home Video


Bill Pullman
as Daryl Zero
Ben Stiller
as Steve Arlo
Ryan O'Neal
as Gregory Stark
Kim Dickens
as Gloria Sullivan
Matt O'Toole
as Kragan Vincent
Robert Katims
as Gerald Auerbach
Tyrone Henry
as Staffer No. 1
Aleta Barthell
as Staffer No. 2
Tapp Watkins
as Firefighter
Wendy Westerwelle
as Motel Clerk
Lauren Hasson
as Little Kid
David Doty
as Officer Hagans
J.W. Crawford
as Convention Employee
Luisa Sermol
as Waitress
Marvin L. Sanders
as Astronomer No. 1
Doug Baldwin
as Astronomer No. 2
Robert Blanche
as Paramedic No. 1
Margot Demeter
as Clarissa Devereau
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Zero Effect

Critic Reviews for Zero Effect

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (14)

There's an idiosyncratic talent at work here with the potential to blossom into bigger, better and more accomplished films.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Kasdan's is a very promising debut, its own dearth of feeling offset by able writing, engaging playing and a sure sense of pace.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Kasdan is onto something, but he needs to develop it. If he tries to bring Daryl Zero back for a sequel, maybe he'll have a better idea of what to do with his eccentric private eye.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Try as it might, "Zero Effect" just doesn't amount to much.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

It turns out to be disappointingly ordinary.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

This is one of those movies that creeps up on you, insidiously gathering power. By the end, I was surprised how much I was involved.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Zero Effect

Starts off a little slow but once it gets going, it really goes. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

A satisfactory entertainer in the veins of Sherlock Holmes.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


Little seen gem, this sleeper phenom is simply a must watch. Pullman is at his best and the character he creates is simply wonderful to behold. Great performances. Excellent brain teaser. Funny. Intriguing. Watch this movie,...NOW.

Dean L

Super Reviewer

Zero Effect Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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