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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 330 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. Westo
    Mar 7, 2007
    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. David
    Apr 19, 2008
    Brilliant. Just because it isn't a typical slam-blam chaotic action-filled, gory serial killer movie, doesn't mean it won't send chills up your spine at times. Zodiac is at once a newspaper movie, a serial killer film, and a meditation on the often excruciatingly frustrating results from hours and hours of police work. See it now. Expand
  3. 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
  4. PaulK.
    Mar 2, 2007
    This is a long one...but the pacing helps. Solid acting all around, with enough thrills to satisfy fans of Fincher's previous work. If you are fascinated with the zodiac killer, you will dig this and for the uninitiated, you will most likely be fascinated, after watching. Expand
  5. MarcK.
    Mar 14, 2007
    A little on the long side, but it was able to keep my interest throughout. Just a fascinating and interesting story...I hope they were faithful to what the actual events were. Expand
  6. JayH.
    Feb 6, 2008
    What an excellent movie. Great plot, beautifully written and always interesting, although at times it gets a bit tiresome, but not often. A good fifteen to thirty minutes could have been shaved off the total time. Great cast works well together, excellent acting. Expand
  7. AnonymousMC
    Aug 16, 2007
    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 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 103 User Reviews


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