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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 288 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, 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
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    Its most impressive accomplishment is to gather a bewildering labyrinth of facts and suspicions over a period of years, and make the journey through this maze frightening and suspenseful.
  2. An absorbing and fulfilling experience -- even though it ends with a question mark.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Fincher, whose work on "Fight Club" and "Panic Room" displayed his expertise in melding the suspenseful and the lurid, plays it cool here. He lets his stars do their thing.
  4. 83
    Like Brian De Palma's 1981 masterpiece "Blow-Out," this movie contains cutting perceptions of obsession, institutional and professional myopia, misplaced loyalty in experts, misreadings of evidence and the kind of confusion that leads to conspiracy theories. But Fincher's movie falls short of masterpiece status.
  5. 80
    Zodiac is superbly made, but it's also a strange piece of work.
  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. In some ways, for better and for worse, this is even more about Graysmith (Jake Gyllehaal)--who became obsessed with solving the Zodiac killings that terrorized northern California in the late 60s--than about the murderer.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 103
  2. Negative: 6 out of 103
  1. May 9, 2011
    A 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
  2. May 22, 2012
    This isn't your typical Hollywood drivel dominated by special effects, and it's not a film for your typical short-attention-span-moviegoers; instead, it's a riveting analysis of the most definitive evidence in the case. I guess some people found it lacking in the typical blockbuster flash, but in my book that's a really GOOD thing. The characters are all very well-acted, and the screenplay was quite good. As they say, the truth is stranger than fiction, and this presentation of the Zodiac case is truly as compelling as they come. Excellent job. Expand
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    David Fincher delivers a pretty entertaining thriller with "Zodiac". The story follows several men who become obsessed with the infamous Zodiac Killer and his reign of terror over the San Francisco Bay area during the 60s and 70s. The movie delves deep into what happens to investigators when their cases go unsolved, and how far they'll go to uncover the truth. All in all, I felt that "Zodiac" was a pretty well-crafted film - especially in a technical sense. David Fincher implements a number of convoluted CG techniques to recreate the Zodiac Killer murders and certain areas of San Francisco. Fincher also filmed the majority film using the digital Thomsom Viper camera, something that, at the time, was relatively innovative. The acting was pretty great, I felt that every actor delivered their roles with the utmost accuracty. Also, the script seemed very well written and fairly convincing. As a film, "Zodiac" really does it's job of making you feel as though you are chasing after the elusive killer himself. Expand
  4. Dec 10, 2011
    Treating James Vanderbilt's screenplay with a natural talent of a capable filmmaker by mixing suspenseful sequences with haunting pauses, David Fincher makes of Zodiac a good addition to the thriller genre. Expand
  5. CRL
    Aug 15, 2011
    This is a hard movie for me to rate, for a myriad of reasons. Zodiac is based on a true story; Robert Graysmith's book of the same name. To be able to take such a convoluted story and condense it into a movie is an achievement in itself. The acting is fantastic from all parties, with Jake Gyllenhaal playing the main role of both naive cartoonist and possessed civilian-detective to a fault. The script is good; it even manages to throw in a laugh here or there, and the cinematography, at some points, is excellent. Then there's the plot, which could easily be separated into two (and a half) parts. There's the beginning, while the murders are happening and the case it hot, which to me, this is easily the weaker portion of the film. The story at that point is slow and laborious, with too many people saying too many different things each with not enough airtime. The middle (the half part) is the three seconds the film takes to jump four years, during which it becomes a cold case. Then comes the end, which is entirely focused on Robert Graysmith's (Gyllenhaal) hunt for the Zodiac Killer. Not only then does Zodiac become suspenseful, but it almost reaches the Olympian heights of Fincher's other serial killer thriller, Se7en. In the end, the pros outweigh the cons, and leave you with a movie that is a bit too long and just maybe a bit too true... but nonetheless an entertaining and sometimes fascinating film. Expand
  6. Aug 29, 2014
    Hmm...Zodiac was 162 mins long, the first hour was solid, then I did not know where the movie was going but I knew it won't be as good as the first hour because it felt lost. The performances were very good but the tone of the movie did not live up to the grittiness of the story which was distracting. Expand
  7. Oct 11, 2011
    the movie started out good and played great, but it had a real is-that-it ending, and that spoiled the experience a bit for me.

See all 103 User Reviews


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