Zodiac (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the 70s than he does on gory details of murder.

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Movie Info

Based on the true story of the notorious serial killer and the intense manhunt he inspired, Zodiac is a superbly crafted thriller form the director of Se7en and Panic Room. Featuring an outstanding ensemble cast led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Chloë Sevigny, Zodiac is a searing and singularly haunting examination of twin obsessions: one man's desire to kill and another's quest for the truth.
Rating:
R (for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images)
Genre:
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Jake Gyllenhaal
as Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo
as Insp. David Toschi
Robert Downey Jr.
as Paul Avery
Anthony Edwards
as Insp. William Armstrong
Brian Cox
as Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch
as Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette
as Zodiac No. 1 & 2
Bob Stephenson
as Zodiac No.3
John Lacy
as Zodiac No.4
Ed Setrakian
as Al Hyman
John Getz
as Templeton Peck
John Terry
as Charles Theiriot
Elias Koteas
as Sgt. Jack Mulanax
Candy Clark
as Carol Fisher
Tom Verica
as Jim Dunbar
Doan Ly
as Melvin Belli's Housekeeper
Joel Bissonnette
as Insp. Kracke
Zach Grenier
as Mel Nicolai
Charles Fleischer
as Bob Vaughn
Clea DuVall
as Linda Ferrin
Paul Schulze
as Sandy Panzarella
Adam Trese
as Detective No.1
June Diane Raphael
as Mrs. Toschi
Thomas Kopache
as Copy Editor No.1
Donal Logue
as Ken Narlow
Ciara Hughes
as Darlene Ferrin
Patrick Scott Lewis
as Bryan Hartnell
Pell James
as Cecelia Shepherd
Philip Baker Hall
as Sherwood Morrill
John Mahoney
as Riverside Captain
Matt Winston
as John Allen
Jules Bruff
as Catherine Allen
John Ennis
as Terry Pascoe
J. Patrick McCormack
as Police Commissioner
Adam Goldberg
as Duffy Jennings
James LeGros
as Off. George Bawart
Penny Wallace
as Mulanax's Secretary
Michel Francoeur
as Man on Marquee
Dermot Mulroney
as Capt. Marty Lee
Lee Norris
as Young Mike Mageau
Charles Schneider
as Cabbie Paul Stine
Jason Wiles
as Lab Tech Dagitz
Jimmi Simpson
as Older Mike Mageau
Barry Livingston
as Copy Editor No.3
Christopher John Fields
as Copy Editor No.4
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News & Interviews for Zodiac

Critic Reviews for Zodiac

All Critics (234) | Top Critics (56)

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.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
NPR.org
Top Critic

[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.

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 8, 2008
Film.com
Top Critic

Gyllenhaal always manages to present a person of some sensitivity without leaning on actorish resources.

October 18, 2007
The New Republic
Top Critic

I think this is a great film.

October 15, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 25, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Zodiac

½

A weird trend in films emerged during this time that dealt in unsolved crimes, conspiracies, and murder ("The Black Dahlia," "Hollywoodland," etc.). Of these films, the only one that was ever taken seriously was David Fincher's "Zodiac". The film deals in the murders perpetrated by the self-named Zodiac Killer, as he terrorizes citizens in San Francisco, and sends letters to the Chronicle. His letters get the attention of a reporter (Downey Jr.) who starts to unravel, and a cartoonist (Gyllenhaal) who tries to solve the crime as a way to avenge his friend. What sets this film apart from the others is its adept handling of the historical facts that make up the mystery of the Zodiac. Though the mystery has never been solved, and probably never will be, its best suspect is followed throughout the bulk of the film. The ending, though not concrete in its assertions, leaves you feeling satisfied. Many of the more thrilling scenes are handled expertly by Fincher: when the Zodiac kills his first victims, when he corners some kids at the beach, when Gyllenhaal suspects the man leading him into the basement might be the actual killer. Every one of these scenes leaves you feeling frightened and tense, making this one of the more interesting and horrifying films to deal with real life crime. Some of the actual facts and theories that the cartoonist follows, become confusing, as Gyllenhaal's character leaps from suspect to suspect, trying to piece together the facts of these crimes while also adhering to fingerprinting and handwriting samples that often don't match his suspects'. This film is an amazing chapter in the investigation of the Zodiac, and hopefully, one day, will find its addendum and be solved.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

Excellent drama.

Matt Goodman
Matt Goodman

Super Reviewer

Fincher is probably one of my favorite directors in Hollywood, and it is movies like Zodiac that solidify him as such. The characters in this movie are ridiculously well developed. For a dialogue heavy thriller, Zodiac is every bit as entertaining as an action movie- and it is twice as engrossing. The movie is ultimately a tale about obsession. It chronicles one man's exhausting search for truth, even as his obsession begins to get the better of other parts of his life. The protagonists in this movie are sucked into the intrigue and mystery surrounding the Zodiac Killer, and Fincher captures this intensity and desperation perfectly. At times frightening, at times frustrating, Zodiac is the best police procedural I have ever seen. Gyllenhaal and Ruffalo deliver the script perfectly and manically. And in their borderline hysteria, the viewer is effectively and equally entranced as the characters.

Nikhil Nandu
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

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