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A promising debut for writer/director Jake Kasdan, Zero Effect overcomes its flaws with its off-kilter humor and likeable leads.
All Critics (50)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (32)
| Rotten (18)
| DVD (3)
Zero Effect drones on for two hours unraveling a convoluted blackmail plot of zero interest.
There's an idiosyncratic talent at work here with the potential to blossom into bigger, better and more accomplished films.
Kasdan's is a very promising debut, its own dearth of feeling offset by able writing, engaging playing and a sure sense of pace.
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.
Try as it might, "Zero Effect" just doesn't amount to much.
It turns out to be disappointingly ordinary.
Filmmaker Kasdan, working from his own screenplay, delivers a lackadaisically-paced drama that remains entertaining throughout...
A strong debut, and a very fun movie.
Daryl Zero is a movie character for the ages.
A hidden gem.
A charmingly off-center little film with intriguing plot twists and engaging characters.
Awesome mystery with quirky characters and great twists.
Starts off a little slow but once it gets going, it really goes. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
A satisfactory entertainer in the veins of Sherlock Holmes.
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.
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.
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