Zero Effect


Zero Effect

Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 50

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,812


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.5/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Zero Effect Photos

Movie Info

This comic thriller centers on private detective Daryl Zero and his partner Steve who are hired by a blackmail victim. They immediately set up a sting operation focusing on Zero's main suspect, Gloria. Clues lead to hitman Kragon, who could be Gloria's father.

Watch it now


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
View All

News & Interviews for Zero Effect

Critic Reviews for Zero Effect

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (12)

Zero Effect drones on for two hours unraveling a convoluted blackmail plot of zero interest.

Jan 9, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

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

Mar 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.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
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.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

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

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It turns out to be disappointingly ordinary.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Zero Effect

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

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

A satisfactory entertainer in the veins of Sherlock Holmes.

familiar stranger
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
Dean L

Super Reviewer

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.

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

Zero Effect Quotes

News & Features