The true story of the investigation into the unidentified serial killer known
as the Zodiac who terrorized San Francisco in the late 60's and early 70's.
Directed by David Fincher
Written by James Vanderbilt
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.,
Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, John Carroll Lynch, Chloë Sevigny, Elias Koteas, Donal Logue, Dermot Mulroney, John Getz
Based on the book by Robert Graysmith
We, meaning civilized human beings, like to have a sense of closure. We generally don't like to leave things unfinished, and we look forward to finding out answers to life's greatest questions. The same goes for true crime. Serial killers like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ed Kemper, and Charles Manson were caught, they were identified, and the world moved on. Then, we have the Zodiac Killer, arguably the greatest mystery of the 20th century. Who was the man who claimed responsibility for over a dozen murders in the San Francisco area, taunted the cops for years, and then just vanished? The Zodiac's very existence makes us uncomfortable for a number of reasons. One, he may still be out there. Two, the story never ends because he was never caught.
David Fincher's suspenseful masterwork Zodiac tells the story of the investigation through the eyes of three people. Cartoonist turned amateur sleuth Robert Graysmith (Gyllenhaal), dedicated cop Dave Toschi (Ruffalo), and jaded reporter Paul Avery (Downey Jr.). All three of these men had their lives changed forever because of the Zodiac, and they tried their hardest to find him, even coming close to a suspect in convicted pedophile Arthur Leigh Allen (Lynch). The movie lets you draw your own conclusions on who the Zodiac was by entertaining a number of possible suspects. But if you look at the overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence, it's safe to say Allen was the guy. Look into the true story and you'll see just how close the cops came, and how Allen's death was the only thing that kept him out of an official indictment.
The film does a brilliant job of telling this insane story, and the three leads have flawless chemistry. This was at a time when Robert Downey Jr. was just about to mount a comeback with Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal weren't the huge bankable stars they are today. Plus, the movie doesn't resolve anything and it's dialogue-heavy. But David Fincher uses his unique filmmaking skills to weave all this together into one of the most brilliant true crime movies ever conceived.