A serial killer terrifying the San Francisco Bay Area taunts investigators with the endless trail of letters and ciphers he leaves behind each murder. They become obsessed with his capture. Based on the actual case files of the unsolved crimes by the Zodiac killer.
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By far the finest Fincher film and, perhaps, the greatest film made between 2000 & 2009. Cerebral, nuanced, subtle, with an outstanding cast of actors at their low key best, textured cinematography, a timeless score, and an absolutely brilliant late 1960s/early 1970s soundtrack.
The first half-hour is good, but then it gets so slow and uninspired. The focus keeps switching from the detectives to the journalists, with both fronts being equally boring. Robert Downey Jr. and Chloë Sevigny seemed completely miscast. A lot of characters and information just kept being thrown as years passed by, leading to a mildly interesting final confrontation. All that research overtook the rhythm of the film.
Probably Fincher's best work behind Se7en. Impeccably directed, shot and acted, Fincher proves he has a masterful control of his craft. I swear to God this film felt like it was directed by a machine. 100% entertaining from start to finish and the ending is absolutely chilling. Loved it.
To be clear, I watched the 162 minute "Director's Cut." I really, really enjoyed this. It mixes in at least three separate genres into one narrative, the newspaper, serial killer and police procedural. Then a good way through, it turns into a bit of a personality profile, and showcases an obsessiveness for closure in the case. Not unlike some moviegoers' desire for closure with some stories, no?
Everyone already knows the conclusion and even so Fincher manages to make it all unbearable suspenseful. 2007 was a great year in movies and Zodiac remains one of the best to be released. Far and away my favorite Fincher film.