Zodiac

Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 469 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on the actual case files of one of the most intriguing unsolved crimes in the nation's history, Zodiac is a thriller from David Fincher, director of "Seven" and "Fight Club." As a serial killer terrifies the San Francisco Bay Area and taunts police with his ciphers and letters,Based on the actual case files of one of the most intriguing unsolved crimes in the nation's history, Zodiac is a thriller from David Fincher, director of "Seven" and "Fight Club." As a serial killer terrifies the San Francisco Bay Area and taunts police with his ciphers and letters, investigators in four jurisdictions search for the murderer. The case will become an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are built and destroyed by the endless trail of clues. (Paramount Pictures) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    100
    Zodiac exhausts more than one genre. Termite art par excellence, it burrows for the sake of burrowing, as fascinated by its own nooks and crannies as "Inland Empire."
  2. In Zodiac, working from a script by James Vanderbilt, Fincher has decidedly toned down his act. His straight-ahead, methodical direction isn't as flagrantly unsettling as much of his previous work, but it's more psychologically layered. In this film, for the first time, we feel for his characters when they bleed.
  3. Rarely has a film with so much blood on its hands seemed so insistently alive.
  4. 83
    It doesn't break ground like "Seven" or "Fight Club"; it's not a thrill ride like "Panic Room." But it's a mature, thoughtful and full-bodied movie that compensates for the demands it makes with the rewards of craftsmanship, rigor, skill and art.
  5. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    This gripping character study becomes more agonisingly suspenseful as it gets closer to an answer that can't be confirmed.
  6. What begins like your basic police procedural becomes more and more choppy and diffuse. To a point, that’s intentional: Zodiac was never caught, and Fincher aims to creep you out with the lack of closure.
  7. Never takes off, but it never collapses. At times, it becomes frustrating -- for example, about 30 minutes are spent pursuing a lead that goes nowhere.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 92 out of 112
  2. Negative: 6 out of 112
  1. Westo
    Mar 7, 2007
    10
    for anyone expecting to sit down for a 90 minute hyper-stylized blood orgy, i can understand some people checking their watches. but if you for anyone expecting to sit down for a 90 minute hyper-stylized blood orgy, i can understand some people checking their watches. but if you go in ready to invest three hours in an intricate and brilliantly sequenced crime drama i guarantee you will be totally blown away. i loved everything about this movie; the pacing, the acting, the cinematography, and screenplay were all tuned to perfection. i have as much OCD and ADD as the rest of those living in western society and this movie still kept me on the edge of my seat just through the sheer passion of the characters themselves. fight club and se7en were great of course but i thought this really stood out as a masterpiece for david fincher and a mature piece of really highly focused storytelling that doesn't drag for a second. Expand
  2. LeeM.
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    The best thriller of the last 10 years by some distance.
  3. May 9, 2011
    10
    A work of genius in storytelling by David Fincher in what is a phenominal adaption of the killings of the Zodiac killer. Clever casting forA work of genius in storytelling by David Fincher in what is a phenominal adaption of the killings of the Zodiac killer. Clever casting for the lead roles leads to some outstanding performances by Jake Gyllenhall, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo. The film itself is long, some might say to long but the every detail, big and small is so precise and is key to Fincher conveying his take on events and also in showing the effects the Zodiac has on each character. But don't let how long the film is put you off because its so compelling and intense yet intriguing that it keeps you following the story and wanting to see whats going to happen next. Ofcourse the main point of story is based on the murders of the Zodiac killer but the main theme is how the killings affect each character and gradually wares them down with initially, the lack evidence to identify a suspect and then later to make a proper conviction. Downey dazzles as a journalist investigating the murders that brings him new found popularity which leads him down the drugs route due to the frustration and inability to find the man responsible, Ruffalo is is fantastic form and delivers a magestic performance as a cop tasked with finding the Zodiac, Gyllenhall is the surprise of the show for me, his portray of a strange and peculiar yet inspiring cartoonist, Robert, is tremendous, but Finchers choice in John Carroll Lynch as Arthur Leigh Arthur was genius as his depiction of the prime suspect is fabulously creepy and encapsulates the reason why he is the prime suspect to perfection. All in all Zodiac is a truely exceptional piece of filmmaking and something that you simply cannot afford to miss out on. Expand
  4. Matthew
    Feb 27, 2007
    9
    Fincher rebounds from the "One watch only" predictability of Panic Room. He's back on top. The movie is long and full of important Fincher rebounds from the "One watch only" predictability of Panic Room. He's back on top. The movie is long and full of important dialog, so I think a lot of people won't like it. It's a thinker. I'll be adding this to my expanding Fincher Shelf, with SE7EN, The Game and Fight Club. Expand
  5. jw
    Aug 11, 2007
    8
    Does anybody else feel that hiring Robert Downey, Jr. to play a brilliant but hopelessly cynical and sarcastic addict is something like Does anybody else feel that hiring Robert Downey, Jr. to play a brilliant but hopelessly cynical and sarcastic addict is something like hiring the world's best hacker to design hacker-proof software? He has a hopelessly unfair advantage in that respect, but the results are always, ALWAYS entertaining. Observed at a safe distance, he is one of our best actors. And that label can be extended to Gyllenhaal and Ruffalo, I think. One is under-appreciated for everything but Brokeback Mountain, and the other is just flat under-appreciated. Nice to see Edwards again, too - he pairs well with Ruffalo. The movie itself is wound perfectly. The horrific stabbings in Napa are all the prompt one needs to remain tense through even the most mundane scenes to follow. Surely friends and family of the "few" true victims have no trouble seeing Zodiac as more than just an underachieving kook. The manic frustration of all involved is easily understood when framed this way. Expand
  6. Feb 17, 2011
    7
    A good movie....
    climax is not up to the mark...
    well narrated... every fincher fan may be disappointed at last with such an end... but based
    A good movie....
    climax is not up to the mark...
    well narrated... every fincher fan may be disappointed at last with such an end...
    but based on a true story..only this could be possible...
    Expand
  7. AnonymousMC
    Aug 16, 2007
    0
    Oh my god, total snorefest. I wish I would have spent that two and a half to three hours doing something productive instead of watching thisOh my god, total snorefest. I wish I would have spent that two and a half to three hours doing something productive instead of watching this piece of junk. You watch a guy read books and talk to people for 99.9% of the movie, the other 0.1% is seeing the actual killer do something. Expand

See all 112 User Reviews

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