A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. Written by
Shane Salerno optioned the Robert Graysmith book "Zodiac" when he was just nineteen years old and developed it with Graysmith for several years before selling it to Disney's Touchstone Pictures in a seven-figure deal. Salerno wrote several drafts of the screenplay before multiple administration changes at Touchstone derailed the project. See more »
When entering the TV station where Melvin Belli is to receive a phone call from Zodiac, a modern ABC 7 logo can be seen on a sign on the exterior of the studio. See more »
I have been highly interested and engrossed in the Zodiac killer story for the last 5 years now and I can say, without doubt, that this is the best and most accurate telling of the story. The film presents numerous details that were unknown to me before seeing it. All of these facts and theories are thrown together in a way that strings the viewer along, you think it's someone, then you get new information and that person is no longer a suspect. Fincher really puts you into the life of a detective working on the case. You feel just as excited when new information comes about and are equally disappointed when it leads to another dead end.
The film is beautifully shot (on VIPER digital cameras) and once again, Fincher shows us his wonderfully adept skills with CGI shots. All of the actors shine and truly become their characters. Jake Gyllenhall and Robert Downey Jr. put in excellent performances, as does Mark Ruffalo. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Phillip Baker Hall join the ensemble.
The only complaint I have heard that holds any water is that the film is too long. At roughly 2 1/2 hours, I can see how many would think that is long, but you have to realize that this is an intricate story with deep characters who need to be examined and understood. A standard 90 minute film, or even a two hour cut, would not have been able to tell the story as well. Character motivation and important details would have been left on the cutting room floor.
If you have followed the Zodiac case, you will be happy to see how well done this movie is. If you don't know anything about the case, you will be given an excellent story that will make you want to learn more about it. Regardless, you should do yourself a favor and see this movie. If nothing else, it's better than "Wild Hogs".
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