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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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783 ( 48)
2 wins & 67 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 ... 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:

Based on the true story of America's most notorious serial 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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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, 3 May 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,785,914, 3 May 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter James Vanderbilt had read Robert Graysmith's book in 1986 while in high school, and had met the man at the premiere of Auto Focus (2002). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 11 mins) The interior of the PSA flight boarded by the detectives and Paul Avery reveals 5-across coach seating, standard fare for a DC-9, a popular airplane in the 1960s-1970s. The lady seated behind David, however, is holding a safety card reading "727-200," an airplane which seats 6-across in coach. See more »

Quotes

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

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
  • New scene between Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Avery (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • 3-Way Conversation laying Leigh as suspect to get search warrant
  • Extended audio montage (over a black screen)
  • Plus extra bits of dialogue
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Blood Feast (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Bernadette
Written by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland (as Eddie Holland,
Jr.)
Performed by The Four Tops (as Four Tops)
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Good, but not what you'd expect
2 March 2007 | by Wolf30xSee all my reviews

Usually when a film gets made about a media grabbing unsolved crime, the resulting movie tends to be overtly sensational and at best remotely connected to what really happened. Considering that director David Fincher's last film about a serial killer was the gripping but deeply disturbing Se7en, his take on the Zodiac killer almost seemed primed to be an extreme, nail-biting thriller.

Instead what he's given us is a well argued thesis on the possible identity of the Zodiac. While there are some very intense scenes, Fincher takes a somewhat unexpected approach on the subject. All of the killings take place pretty early on in the movie, with the bulk of the story centering on the actual investigation into the killer by both the cops and a cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the case. In fact, the depictions of the murders are done in a manner that is fairly reverent towards the victims while still conveying the cruelty of them.

Some people may find themselves disappointed by this two and a half hour epic if they go in expecting the usual serial killer fare. But it's a must see for any fan of Fincher's work, or anybody who likes a good detective story.


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