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The ViewWellington Review

Review byMatthew Turner16/05/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 138 mins

Utterly gripping, meticulously researched investigative thriller, stunningly directed by David Fincher and superbly acted by a terrific ensemble cast. This is easily one of the best films of the year.

What's it all about?
Directed by David Fincher, Zodiac is a meticulously researched procedural thriller based on the true story of the Zodiac killer, who terrorised San Francisco in the late 60s and early 70s by writing letters to the Chronicle, warning them to publish his letters or more people would die. The film concentrates on three real life men whose lives were consumed and almost destroyed by the case: police detective Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), crime reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jnr) and newspaper cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), who wrote the books on which the film is largely based.

The Good
Ruffalo, Gyllenhaal and Downey Jnr are terrific in the lead roles, but there's strong support from a talented supporting cast that includes Chloe Sevigny (as Graysmith's long-suffering wife), Anthony Edwards (superb as Toschi's partner), John Carroll Lynch (as the main suspect) and Donal Logue and Elias Koteas as two local cops.

Fincher's direction is impeccable, reigning in his trademarked flashy camera moves and giving the film an authentically 1970s atmosphere, while also cramming as much detail as possible into every frame. In fact, the attention to detail in the film is nothing short of astonishing, with the filmmakers even going so far as to plant trees in order to recreate a lakeside murder.

The Great
One of the most interesting things about the film is that, contrary to every serial killer movie you've ever seen, the killer is not portrayed as a scary super-monster always five steps ahead of the cops, but simply a none too intelligent murderer who got a few lucky breaks and enjoyed taunting the police.

Worth seeing?
Zodiac is a thoroughly engrossing, brilliantly directed and superbly acted thriller that is quite simply one of the best films of the year. Unmissable.

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Content updated: 23/11/2019 07:44

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