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Zero Effect (1998)

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0:32 | Trailer

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The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

Director:

Jake Kasdan

Writer:

Jake Kasdan
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Pullman ... Daryl Zero
Ben Stiller ... Steve Arlo
Ryan O'Neal ... Gregory Stark
Kim Dickens ... Gloria Sullivan
Angela Featherstone ... Jess
Hugh Ross Hugh Ross ... Bill
Sarah DeVincentis Sarah DeVincentis ... Daisy
Matt O'Toole ... Kragan Vincent
Michele Mariana Michele Mariana ... Maid
Robert Katims Robert Katims ... Gerald Auerbach
Tyrone Henry Tyrone Henry ... Staffer #1
Aleta Barthell Aleta Barthell ... Staffer #2
Tapp Watkins Tapp Watkins ... Firefighter
Wendy Westerwelle Wendy Westerwelle ... Motel Clerk
Lauren Hasson Lauren Hasson ... Little Kid
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Storyline

Daryl Zero is a private investigator. Along with his assistant, Steve Arlo he solves impossible crimes and puzzles. Though a master investigator, when he is not working, Zero doesn't know what to do with himself. He has no social skills, writes bad music, and drives Arlo crazy. In his latest case, Zero must find out who is blackmailing a rich executive, and when his client won't tell him, why. The only problem with this case is Zero has done something he's never done before: got emotionally involved. Written by MartianWax

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's most private detective.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La méthode zéro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$434,840, 1 February 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,980,338, 1 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jake Kasdan wrote the part of Daryl Zero specifically for Bill Pullman after meeting the actor on the set of The Accidental Tourist (1988), directed by his father, Lawrence Kasdan. See more »

Goofs

The sweat stains on Zero's shirt disappear suddenly while he talks to Arlo. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Steve Arlo: It's an uncompromising standard of his practice. He never meets any of his clients. He doesn't speak with them, or, for that matter, communicate in any direct fashion. That's his policy. But I am his sole representative and he is my only employer; and as such, I have full authorization to speak on his behalf on all his matters of business. I have with me a signed letter to that effect. He doesn't negotiate his fee. He works at a flat rate. Under some unusual circumstances, he'll ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Bottom Line
Written by Paul DeLay
Performed by The Paul DeLay Band
Courtesy of Evidence Music
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User Reviews

 
Not crazy about Stiller or Pullman, but both were great in this movie.
22 October 2005 | by scrap_3See all my reviews

The movie rides on this goofy charm from start to finish. In the past, I'd always been mildly turned off by Pullman. But he converted me here with a pitch perfect portrayal of such a strange character.

One thing I dig about this movie is that even though it follows the standard plot requirements of a detective mystery, everything comes across fresh. I was continually, completely fooled into believing these characters were not constrained by the requirements of the plot. I'm a sucker for mysteries, and used to settling into that mystery movie groove. I don't think it's a bad thing. But every now and then, one comes along that makes you forget there's a groove at all. And this is one of those.

On top of Pullman's 1st class perf. (I'm cracking a smile just thinking about it), Ryan O'Neal and Ben Stiller play to their strengths to great effect. I've never been huge fans of them, either. One of the reasons I chose to review this movie is that it took three actors I've never been incredibly fond of, and I loved it in spite of it. Loved them in spite of it.

Not to mention Kim Dickens, who is a revelation (she's gone onto a few other movies and a meaty role on the HBO series Deadwood). She's just excellent here. You can never figure out what's going on in her head.

If you love this movie, rent "Freaks and Geeks". The director, Jake Kasdan, directed several episodes of this classic, short-lived series.


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