Zodiac
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Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac
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The true story of the investigation of the "Zodiac Killer", a serial killer who terrified the San Francisco Bay Area, taunting police with his ciphers and letters. The case becomes an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are built and destroyed by the endless trail of clues.

Release Date:March 2, 2007
Runtime:
MPAA Rating:R
Genres:Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Production Company:Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Phoenix Pictures
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:David Fincher, Kristine Kelly
Writers:,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:california, san francisco, killing, journalist, newspaper, mass murder, planned murder, embassy, victim, threat to death, victim of murder, code, police, murder, serial killer, reporter
  • Using the Facts to Create a Pleasing Crime Thriller
    March 3, 2007

    Zodiac, David Fincher's film about the impact the San Francisco Bay Area serial killer's case had on three primary characters is delivered with great attention to detail and proper pacing. Zodiac is not a film that uses or relies on suspended disbelief to succeed and does not attempt to compress five years of story into one in order to keep viewers interested. Instead it relies heavily on the facts and uses all of its 158 minutes to present them in almost linear form and staccato fashion.

    Set primarily in San Francisco in the late 1960's and 70's (and eventually the 80's) Fincher's Zodiac takes no artistic license by adding the obligatory car chase scene down Russian Hill, drug enhanced evening in Haight-Ashbury or conspiracy oriented behind the scenes moves by City Hall. Instead the audience is presented with a credible story that portrays how stress, tension, frustration and fascination play upon the lives of S. F. Police Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), S.F. Chronicle Editorial Cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhall), and S.F. Chronicle reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.). Each of these people, as well as those surrounding them are operating well within the confines of every day life and the establishment. Fincher does not let Zodiac wander outside its central story, and therefore no editorial comment about the Vietnam War or similar events of the day are offered. Insights about the impact on the victims (who survive) or their families are only touched upon if they remain central to the story.

    The initial scenes of the movie depict the killer in operation and they are not sugar coated. However, viewers wanting to see a film in the style of Fincher's Alien (3), Se7en or even Fight Club (i.e., blood and gore to almost surreal levels) should look elsewhere.

    Zodiac is a well crafted production on all fronts. In addition to Fincher, the lead actors and extensive (and well known) supporting cast Zodiac producer's assembled a credible team. James Vanderbilt (Screenplay), David Shire (Score), Donald Burt (Production Design), Keith Cunningham (Art Direction), Victor Zolfo (Set Direction) and Casey Storm (Costume Design) all deliver quality work in their respective areas. There are no weak spots in this film. Zodiac may not (or attempt to) dazzle, but it does please.