Zero Effect - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zero Effect Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 10, 2017
the film does drag along for a while but the overall film is quite interesting. pullman is well cast in the lead and delivers the performance needed for such a role. if you watch the trailer and walk into this you will feel robbed as this isn't your usual slapstick comedy. treading in coen territory i enjoyed this film alot and wish it had made a bigger dent in the indie cinema circuit. Stiller is fantastic in an early support role and it's a shame he dedicated most of his career to slapstick, as he clearly has the capabilities for dramatic characters. If you walk into this film with the expectations of a riot comedy, you'll be quite annoyed. This is a quirky drama film with interesting twists and turns that unfold right until the conclusion. Kasdan directs carefully, not letting the comedy overlap the story. This a cult film awaiting discovery, I'm sure the fans who have found it shoot high praise. 10-12-2017.
½ September 21, 2017
I love the blend of comedy and mystery, and that seems to be what Zero Effect is attempting. It?s not hilarious, but there?s enough situational comedy that I was entertained. In many ways the quirky over-observant Daryl Zero reminds me of a TV character that I loved, Adrian Monk. I like this idea of the guy with the awkward personality using his abilities to solve crimes. I wish they could have shared a few more of the clues that he was using to piece things together, because it sometimes felt like he was jumping to a conclusion that I was never given a moment to ponder. However, it worked to establish him as something special, with a mind that we couldn?t fathom. His strange hyper-paranoid behavior made for some laughs as well, so I think he worked as a different kind of detective than the typical Sherlock Holmes types that we see on film.

I?m just not sure Bill Pullman was the right actor for the lead role in this movie. He is such a bland and monotone actor that I couldn?t connect with him as the oddball. Meanwhile his exasperated assistant is played by Ben Stiller, and even though I?m not that big of a Stiller fan, he?s on a different comedic plain. I genuinely think a simple swapping of roles would have made a world of difference in Zero Effect, because Pullman would be perfect as the straight man to Stiller?s wackiness. The other flaw in this casting is Kim Dickens, as a sort of femme fatale. I have never been a fan of her acting, and this role just reminded me why. In every single scene I felt like she was bored or annoyed. She is surprisingly flat and emotionless throughout, and it hurts the film particularly in the climax. But the shining star of the cast is Ryan O?Neal who is just amazing in his role.

Aside from the missteps by the casting director, I thought Zero Effect was a good film. The mystery was puzzling, and it was constructed in such a way that I didn?t always know what mystery they needed to solve. When all is revealed I was surprised, and didn?t figure it out ahead of time, which is rare for me since I watch so many TV detective shows. Speaking of which, this kind of felt like the pilot for a regular detective show, or like it was based on a series of detective novels. It laid some nice groundwork so that you could go on to show the continuing adventures of Daryl Zero. They even fit in a sort of origin story for the main character, which is handled smoothly in one conversation and some voice-over instead of making a whole movie about how he came to be this guy. I?d probably recommend Zero Effect to others, even though it wasn?t perfect, because it was simply a fun time.
August 2, 2017
Haven't watched lately so fudging the rating, donating VHS
November 22, 2016
longer drug out. Ben Stiller plays off the other charaters well.
August 26, 2016
Outstanding updating of the Sherlock Holmes character with Pullman as Holmes and Stiller as his Watson and Dickens a very effective Irene Adler.
½ July 30, 2016
Great modern Sherlock Holmes that was completely underrated by critics and overlooked by audiences. Fine performances from all the actors and a good story make this well worth watching.
August 26, 2015
This is one of my favorite movies.
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.
½ August 17, 2014
(First and only viewing - In my mid-twenties)
½ July 26, 2014
However entertaining, you might find yourself wanting for laughs. An interesting take on the Arthur Conan Doyle style of detective story. Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller work well as a Sherlock/Watson duo, and a crafty use of deduction and observation that, thankfully, doesn't get spread too thin.
You will find it hard not to be engaged by the end, but one can't help thinking that a combination of Stiller, Pullman & Jake Kasdan (Dewey Cox: Walk Hard) should have had you in stitches, but the poker-faced relationship between slightly spaced out Kim Dickens and Pullman will tug on the heart strings come the credits.
March 26, 2014
another revbiew lost-ty flixter
February 24, 2014
My favorite movie of all time. Very tightly-written, very understated. It's everything you DON'T expect from a movie that has Ben Stiller in it.
½ February 14, 2014
Slowly-paced and only interesting up to a point.
½ December 1, 2013
Decent and odd film that succeeds on performances rather than plot.
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
May 30, 2013
One of my favorites, it flew completely under the radar. It's amazing.
½ May 29, 2013
More clued out than clue-driven--Phony, Fake, Cliche, Immature!!
March 8, 2013
Still my favorite movie of all time
February 23, 2013
Unusual but witty Sherlock Holmes adaptation. I really liked it.
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