Zero Effect - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zero Effect Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 2, 2011
Starts off a little slow but once it gets going, it really goes. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2011
A satisfactory entertainer in the veins of Sherlock Holmes.
Super Reviewer
½ July 19, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2007
Steve Arlo: Why are we talking on the phone?
Daryl Zero: I told you. We can't be too careful. Two guys in an airport... talking? It's a little fishy.

Very cool comedy-noir film.

Bill Pullman stars as Daryl Zero, a detective that predates Monk in being a very quirky detective, when on the job he is amazing. He is very smooth, knows exactly what he is doing, and follows his methods. When put into other situations, he has problems keeping that cool. He is somewhat socially awkward, does drugs, and doesn't really go outside.

Ben Stiller also stars as his sidekick/representative. This was back in the 90s when Ben Stiller was playing in more low budget flicks as smart characters, opposed to the whole neurotic guy thing he's become more known for.

The movie itself is a quirky character comedy with some romantic and dramatic moments, but it is also a good detective story with a well written mystery plot.

The soundtrack is particularly good, combining some choice tunes with a nice and fitting score for the detective theme.

Its a lot of fun just to watch the interplay between Pullman and Stiller, but when Pullman reveals a little more about himself, its great to see a real believable character from another angle.

The plot itself is more something that needs to be seen, so as not to reveal too much of what actually happens, but suffice it to say that the twists unfold rather nicely and in a witty way.

If there is any problem, it is that the movie starts to move slower and focus more on some of the dramatic angles of the story about halfway through, but that doesn't stop this from being a well made, witty detective story, with good characters.

Gregory Stark: Is this your kid?
Steve Arlo: Nope. Just a rental.
Super Reviewer
½ October 27, 2006
Started off pretty well, but lost it's oddness as it went on.
stevetheman1236
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
The first 45 minutes of Zero Effect are some of the best 45 minutes I've ever seen in a movie. It's so stylistic and exuberant that it's impossible not to enjoy yourself. The characters are great (especially the lead performance from Bill Pullman) and interesting, the soundtrack is fabulous, and the story is pretty involving. It starts off like any detective movie, but it takes the road less traveled; a road that leads more towards drama than it does thrills.

But as the movie goes on, it loses steam. The first half is so great but it is also very misleading. You think that you're getting into a good crime-caper film, when, in reality, things get real quiet real fast and everything's just going to end like you imagined.

And a little predictability never hurt anyone. There are plenty of movies out there that recycle the same formula that's been done a thousand times and they somehow manage to pull it off. But you just can't start off so originally and then end so... well, plainly. I just kinda lost interest in the final minutes. I'm not asking for something mind-blowing; just something that I haven't seen before.

And I also didn't like how the film started on Ben Stiller's character and then ended with Pullman's character. Stiller wasn't even really in the second half of the movie at all. Sure, I liked his character a lot less than Pullman's, but that doesn't mean I want him gone.

Now, the high points of Zero Effect are three things. First off, the wonderful soundtrack by the Greyboy Allstars. It's a smooth blend of jazz and funk, and it's just a pure pleasure to the ears, keeping up right on pace with the action. Second, the camerawork. I'm not a big fan of static shots, so I like seeing the camera move. Especially when it's in angles that I've never seen before. And thirdly, the lead performance from Bill Pullman. Why wasn't he nominated for a Golden Globe or something? It's such an energetic and charismatic performance that is just a treat to watch.
Super Reviewer
June 10, 2007
Constantly compelling mystery, courtesy of Pullman's brilliant recluse.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2011
The first 45 minutes of Zero Effect are some of the best 45 minutes I've ever seen in a movie. It's so stylistic and exuberant that it's impossible not to enjoy yourself. The characters are great (especially the lead performance from Bill Pullman) and interesting, the soundtrack is fabulous, and the story is pretty involving. It starts off like any detective movie, but it takes the road less traveled; a road that leads more towards drama than it does thrills.

But as the movie goes on, it loses steam. The first half is so great but it is also very misleading. You think that you're getting into a good crime-caper film, when, in reality, things get real quiet real fast and everything's just going to end like you imagined.

And a little predictability never hurt anyone. There are plenty of movies out there that recycle the same formula that's been done a thousand times and they somehow manage to pull it off. But you just can't start off so originally and then end so... well, plainly. I just kinda lost interest in the final minutes. I'm not asking for something mind-blowing; just something that I haven't seen before.

And I also didn't like how the film started on Ben Stiller's character and then ended with Pullman's character. Stiller wasn't even really in the second half of the movie at all. Sure, I liked his character a lot less than Pullman's, but that doesn't mean I want him gone.

Now, the high points of Zero Effect are three things. First off, the wonderful soundtrack by the Greyboy Allstars. It's a smooth blend of jazz and funk, and it's just a pure pleasure to the ears, keeping up right on pace with the action. Second, the camerawork. I'm not a big fan of static shots, so I like seeing the camera move. Especially when it's in angles that I've never seen before. And thirdly, the lead performance from Bill Pullman. Why wasn't he nominated for a Golden Globe or something? It's such an energetic and charismatic performance that is just a treat to watch.
kylemydude
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2007
Jake Kasdan's debut film is a quirky yet stylish underrated gem. Pullman and Stiller are terrific.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2008
A film that's deliberately quirky and works. It's always great to see Pullman in a lead role and he is great as the freakish Daryl Zero. Stiller is also fantastic in this constantly entertaining film.
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2008
Another one of those films you'll either love or hate.
½ May 14, 2015
The group I went to see this with had a wide range of opinions on this film with me being in the fairly poor movie crowd.
October 28, 2013
I don't see brilliance here, but I do see earnestness tho, which is still not strong enuff to overcome the films flaws.
Nice first effort for the young Kasdan, but the gushing reviews here seem as if they sucked helium during the movie or something - okay first effort, no big deal overall.
½ June 4, 2013
I never even finished this because it rubbed me the wrong way. Back when I used to watch movies on a job, I would watch anything to kill tie. I rented Zero Effect and it just lacked from the opening frame. Hey Bill Pullman is acting loco but he's a great detective and we also have Ben Stiller trying so hard you can see his straining. A huge cinematic turd
December 27, 2011
A quirky and clever modern take on the Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson partners dynamic, Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller create a brilliantly eccentric and successful detective duo that will make you hungry for more of their adventures together. This movie would have made a great TV series pilot!
July 31, 2007
A little overwritten, and definitely feels like an amateur filmmaker trying to show how stylistic he can be, but the promise of a filmmaker with potential is evident here.
August 2, 2011
I was expecting this to be a comedy; but this movie was so much more. It starts off a bit quirky, but when the movie progresses it becomes quite serious and by the end you'll be so invested in the story the time will pass by. This was a great movie that's depressingly forgotten. This is Jake Kasdan's first movie and he's made a well written and well made movie, that's really cool because he's known more for just directing comedies now. This may be my favorite performance by Bill Pullman, he does a great job in this as well as Ben Stiller as he's playing a straight-forward character. And the most charming part of this movie is that most of this movie is set in my home city Portland, Oregon, so it was tight seeing P-Town depicted as a bright and sunny city, most movies set here will only show how rainy and cloudy it is hahah.
July 23, 2011
Crap in every way possible. Spot in the back of the world cries for everyone to eat Kiwis and not whine about all of their problems to the nuns who are sitting on the park benches reading the digest and secretly planning their escape from their respected cathedrals
½ January 21, 2011
I honestly think this movie is where the idea for House came from for TV. A drug addict, who has zero social skills, but yet is the best in the world at what he does. great movie
March 27, 2010
I rented it out of boredom and now it's one of my all time favorites. Ben Stiller is smart enough to know when a line is funnier delivered straight faced than with overt comic mannerisms. Quirky, original, and loved by everyone I've forced to watch it.
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