In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director:

David Fincher

Writers:

James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Robert Graysmith (book)
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Popularity
483 ( 34)
4 wins & 72 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo ... Inspector David Toschi
Anthony Edwards ... Inspector William Armstrong
Robert Downey Jr. ... Paul Avery
Brian Cox ... Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch ... Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette ... Zodiac 1 / Zodiac 2
Bob Stephenson ... Zodiac 3
John Lacy ... Zodiac 4
Chloë Sevigny ... Melanie
Ed Setrakian Ed Setrakian ... Al Hyman
John Getz ... Templeton Peck
John Terry ... Charles Thieriot
Candy Clark ... Carol Fisher
Elias Koteas ... Sgt. Jack Mulanax
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Storyline

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 tom day

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jake Gyllenhaal and John Carroll Lynch previously played father and son in Bubble Boy (2001). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 28 mins) During the time-lapse sequence of the building of the Transamerica Pyramid, light shines from the west as the sun rises. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Mageau: Where have you been? I've been waiting since 7:00.
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Crazy Credits

Symbols similar to the ones used in the Zodiac letters can be seen when each opening title credit fades. See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut contains approximately 5 minutes of new footage, including:
  • Melvin Belli (Brian Cox) talks about his Safari trip (when the Zodiac letter came to his house)
  • Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) introduces himself to the Riverside Police Chief
  • A new scene between Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Avery (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • A three-way conversation laying Leigh as a suspect to get a search warrant
  • Extended audio montage (over a black screen)
  • Plus extra bits of dialogue
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Connections

Featured in Ahate pasa (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Mary's Blues
Written by Pepper Adams
Performed by John Coltrane
Courtesy of Prestige Records
Under license from Concord Music Group, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Class Act
19 May 2007 | by cynical2205See all my reviews

First up (and it's already been said)...this film is not going to appeal to the crash-bang- wallop-attention-span-of-a-bored-gnat brigade out there. Having read a lot of the reviews here, everyone seems to be divided in two. Love it...hate it. Which way will you go?

Yes, it's long. But let's face it, this is not a film that can be wrapped up in an hour and a half. There's an awful lot of detail involved in this case. David Fincher was very thorough in his research and full marks to him. This is an excellent, compelling film for anyone interested in true crime and general detective work.

I saw this film a few hours ago and was completely absorbed by it. The opening 4th of July sequence is worthy of the ticket price alone. And I challenge anyone to listen to "Hurdy Gurdy Man" by Donovan without a cold chill running down their spine after watching this...

The main performances are excellent - Robert Downey Jr and Jake Gyllenhaal in particular are a standout. Any feminists out there won't be happy with the rather one-dimensional women's roles (and I happen to be female), but this is not what this film is about. It's about a handful of men's obsessive involvement with one case. And these men ARE utterly obsessed. And after so much taunting by the Zodiac with his letters and cyphers, who can blame them for their obsession?

As for the depiction of the murders, they are quite shocking in their brief brutality with absolutely no glamorous or excessive lingering shots of the aftermath. This makes them infinitely more real and much more disturbing...

Combine this with utterly believable dialogue, a superb soundtrack and marvellous production design and you have one classy movie. For all those tired of your average eye and brain-candy fodder...Go see. For those who can't appreciate a class act when you see it, you've missed out...


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronicles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,395,610, 4 March 2007

Gross USA:

$33,080,084

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,785,914
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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