ZODIAC

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 26, 2013

As dark and dreary as a David Fincher film can get, “Zodiac” delves into the true to life unsolved crimes of a serial killer known as the Zodiac Killer. Unfolding like an actual mystery, Fincher lays out the entire groundwork of this real-life story and involves the audience in a manhunt that took place from the late ‘60s to the present day in Northern California. Starring a brilliant trio in Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mark Ruffalo, this team of actors sets this murder mystery film apart by giving distinguishable and charismatic faces to their real-life counterparts. Round out the cast with Elias Koteas, Dermot Mulroney, Chloë Sevigny, and a creepy turn from John Carroll Lynch, and the cast alone is enough to put Fincher’s film on the map. Playing to their typecast, Downey plays the swaggering and belligerent crime reporter Paul Avery, Gyllenhaal plays soft-spoken, shy guy cartoonist, Robert Graysmith, and Ruffalo plays San Francisco police detective Dave Toschi, all of which knock their roles out of the park but expectedly so. “Zodiac” begins with the killer’s first murder, on July 4, 1969, leaving one female dead and one male hurt but alive. A month later, a letter is written to the San Francisco Chronicle with an encrypted letter taunting the police. The mystery carries on with leads and follow-ups that act as a labyrinth of false paths and dead ends, eventually leading to a giant dry spell in the case, only carried on after the obsessed cartoonist continues to connect the dots after Avery and Toschi have moved on. On-point and covering the entire saga, Fincher brings to life one of the most notorious unsolved serial killer cases in America’s history and does so in a dramatic and suspenseful way that only his dark directorial sense can.

RELEASE DATE
March 2, 2007

DIRECTOR
David Fincher

WRITTEN BY
James Vanderbilt

BASED ON
“Zodiac” & “Zodiac Unmasked”
by Robert Graysmith

STUDIO
Paramount Pictures

R
(for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images)

CRIME
DRAMA
MYSTERY
THRILLER

157 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Harris Savides

COMPOSER
David Shire

EDITOR
Angus Wall

CAST
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mark Ruffalo
Anthony Edwards
Robert Downey Jr.
Brian Cox
John Carroll Lynch
Chloë Sevigny
Elias Koteas
Dermot Mulroney
Donal Logue
June Diane Raphael
Jimmi Simpson
Zach Grenier
Adam Goldberg

PRODUCED BY
Mike Medavoy
Arnold W. Messer
Ceán Chaffin
Bradley J. Fischer
James Vanderbilt

BUDGET
$65 million

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