Zodiac - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zodiac Reviews

Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
There are no tidy, last-minute plot twists to make you feel good in Fincher's Zodiac, just focus -- to keep an audience focused -- and the most disciplined filmmaking you've seen in forever.
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The New Republic
September 18, 2008
[W]here Se7en, with its stygian gloom and theatrical executions, inflated the serial killer genre to gothic proportions, Zodiac lets the air back out. It is methodical rather than macabre, clinical rather than cruel.
Top Critic
Mark Bourne
Film.com
January 8, 2008
Fincher, more subdued ... and aching for a return to smart suspense films from the likes of Sidney Lumet and Alan J. Pakula, pulls us by the collar into the frame and cranks the sense of menace taut without cheap tricks or cop-out gimmicks.
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
October 18, 2007
Gyllenhaal always manages to present a person of some sensitivity without leaning on actorish resources.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 15, 2007
I think this is a great film.
Top Critic
Ben Walters
Time Out
May 17, 2007
Several bravura suspense sequences - can't help but recall slasher convention.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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David Denby
New Yorker
March 12, 2007
Any honest neurotic could probably tell you: the emotional payoff of an obsession is not attaining some longed-for goal -- it's the obsession itself, which fulfills certain needs.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
March 5, 2007
Zodiac is long -- over two and a half hours -- but when it's over, you almost wish it had gone on for another 20 minutes.
Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
March 3, 2007
Low-key but all the more compelling for it, Zodiac is the first must-see movie of 2007.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
March 3, 2007
Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 3, 2007
A modern American masterpiece.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/6
Top Critic
Calvin Wilson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
March 3, 2007
Zodiac, the latest film from director David Fincher, is among his best
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
March 2, 2007
It makes you want to study it even more closely, in search of things you might have missed, trailing after leads that flash by in the relentless momentum of going nowhere fast. If you're not careful, it might make you obsessed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 2, 2007
David Fincher's grim but mesmerizing Zodiac offers the puzzle-solving addictiveness of a detective story, the shivers of a thriller and the allure of a character study, all presented with a dash of newspaper drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 2, 2007
For all its dramatic flaws, Zodiac deserves praise for not choosing the easy route.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 2, 2007
For a director whose earlier films include the influential Seven and cult-fave Fight Club, the results are merely good -- not great.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
March 2, 2007
Without a persuasive ending, Zodiac is an exercise in frustration.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 2, 2007
Fincher and screenwriter James Vanderbilt, who spent more than a year researching the script, have made one of the most detailed, factually scrupulous crime dramas to ever come out of a Hollywood studio.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
March 2, 2007
The most perverse thing about Zodiac isn't that its Hollywood's umpteenth serial-killer flick, when such crimes are rare in reality. It's that Zodiac, though based on actual crimes, is one of the dullest of these films to date.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 2, 2007
The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 2, 2007
The Zodiac killer was never found. Dealing with a murder mystery that's still unsolved gives Fincher shaky enough ground for drama. Add in a protagonist who seems driven by a vacuum, and you pretty much have a movie about nothing going nowhere.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
March 2, 2007
Zodiac is not only smart and calculated -- it's in it for the long haul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
March 2, 2007
Fincher has told a sprawling story about crime and fear and those whose lives are transformed by both.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 2, 2007
Have no doubts, director David Fincher makes movies that rattle. Even when they're not wholly successful.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 2, 2007
What makes Zodiac authentic is the way it avoids chases, shootouts, grandstanding and false climaxes, and just follows the methodical progress of police work.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
March 2, 2007
A long work of completely sustained suspense and dark humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
March 2, 2007
David Fincher's magnificently obsessive new film Zodiac is part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is a testament to this cinematic savant's gifts.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
March 1, 2007
Overlong and lacking dramatic focus, the film nevertheless captures the dark allure that the unsolved crimes had on the region over a 22-year period.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
March 1, 2007
Zodiac is all about Fincher's personal enthusiasms and obsessions. It takes a mighty big ego to steal the show from a serial killer. Apparently, Fincher's just the guy for the job.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 1, 2007
David Fincher's sprawling, lavishly produced Zodiac is, in my estimation, more than a good movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 1, 2007
Obsession is the real subject here, and obsessing about anything briskly doesn't count. Yet the film also feels self-obsessed, an intriguing drama that slowly devolves into a bleak meditation on the absence of dramatics.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
March 1, 2007
You'll feel a chill in the theater, and in your blood.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 1, 2007
With its unhurried pace and cerebrally engaging plot, Zodiac is an unusually haunting and compelling horror film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 1, 2007
Zodiac is fascinating and engrossing and realistic and every bit as unsatisfying as real life and real police work often are.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 1, 2007
A film that is both emotionally and intellectually unsettling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 1, 2007
The doggedness of the pursuit, the painstaking accumulation of clues, has its own inherent drama.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
March 1, 2007
Fincher leads us down little dark alleys and side streets, and we're never quite sure who might jump out to be the killer. After three decades, details of the case have faded from public consciousness, so the movie is surprising at times.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 1, 2007
It's fascinating and unexpected both in its simple, looming images and its storytelling priorities, which may not intersect with the priorities of audiences who couldn't get enough of Se7en.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
March 1, 2007
The movie, directed by David Fincher, is not without value, if it's largely without drama.
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
March 1, 2007
The movie provides a crackling chase narrative that should please fans of the dozen or so police procedurals already on TV, but it can't deliver what it doesn't have.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 1, 2007
Zodiac runs long, about 21/2 hours, but it also runs fast, at a heart-pounding pace over four major characters and 22 years. There's not an ounce of fat on any sequence or performance.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
March 1, 2007
Overall, the movie's a sprawling mess. But its twitchier particulars dare you to hold them up for further, if cautious, scrutiny.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 1, 2007
Fincher does keep this bubbling along, ably assisted by a cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, Elias Koteas, and Philip Baker Hall.
Top Critic
Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 1, 2007
Staying true to its real-life scenario, the film gets mired in the inevitable red tape of police investigations, [and it] switches focus enough times to make you think it's three movies instead of one.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 1, 2007
Make no mistake, you will be hooked and creeped out big time.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 1, 2007
Patient viewers will be rewarded; others may wish for something with less subtlety and more verve.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
February 28, 2007
Mr. Fincher's flair for casting is the major asset of his curiously attenuated return to the serial-killer genre.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 28, 2007
[A] stark, terrifying and magnificently directed and researched crime thriller.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 28, 2007
Zodiac leaves us haunted by the knowledge that he's looking for something that can't be found: a way to make the monsters go away.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
February 27, 2007
At nearly three hours, and without a single hobbit in the cast, Zodiac is the sort of vast, richly involving pop epic that Hollywood largely seems incapable of making anymore.
Top Critic
Nathan Lee
Village Voice
February 27, 2007
This relentlessly swift film super-charges every minute with a maximum of minutiae. Dizzyingly dense, intricate in the extreme, Zodiac is the most information-packed procedural since JFK.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
February 26, 2007
The movie holds you in its grip from start to finish.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
February 26, 2007
Zodiac certainly has its moments, but it's no masterpiece.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 26, 2007
I don't think Fincher can relate much to moral outrage. What occupies him is how to send you home antsy, unsure of what you've seen but sure it was worse than you think. He gives you the existential willies.
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
February 23, 2007
Conveying an astonishing array of information across a long narrative arc while still maintaining dramatic rhythm and tension, this adaptation of Robert Graysmith's bestseller reps by far director David Fincher's most mature and accomplished work.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
February 23, 2007
The stars align in David Fincher's chillingly effective hybrid thriller.