avril’s review published on Letterboxd:
it’s a fact that fincher does thrillers to the point of peak perfection. but even going into knowing that to begin with, this exceeded any expectation i had.
the pace of the film was done so well. i never got bored, or felt like i needed more information either. the set up made it be intriguing no matter if you were in the first 10 or last 10 minutes of the film, which made the viewing experience 10 x better. the dim colour pallate and overall dark colours this film had made it have more suspense too, and that also improved how captivating the film was, because who wants to watch a thriller film and not be thinking “this is all sorts of creepy” ?
i loved to see the timeline of events play out as well. in the beginning of the case (around 1968-1969) everyone was invested in the case. everyone wanted to find out the identity of zodiac and what his motive was. but as time went on and he started to lurk more in the shadows (so to speak) it became like any other case. just unsolved and lost in the cracks with the many that occur yearly. and i feel like that is as realistic as it gets. if zodiac hasn’t killed anyone recently, why waste resources to find him when there are other cases to pay attention to? throughout the film, you see that robert was the only one who was still invested with the case as if the first killing occurred yesterday. and his character probably represented many people in mid 80’s-90s america who were adults during the killings and that became obsessed with the case and trying to solve it.
the acting was impeccable, but i’m not surprised. jake gyllenhall, robert downey jr and mark ruffalo are all great actors in the business, and if you add them in a film together it's not doubt they'll bring their best performance yet to it. fincher always casts great actors for his productions, and I have yet to watch a film of his that doesn't have a good cast.
what struck me the most with this film, that i have to say is probably my favourite part is the way it ended. the characters started to fade away, and when robert encountered allen, he also was sort of petrified and left. this also explains how many people who were deep in the case at the time could’ve turned out because of it. on some level i think, a lot of the reporters and police officers had some sort of permanent damage left by the ominous zodiac, and that it affected many adults at the time. fincher chose to end the film fading away from the characters, the case and the overall storyline,, much like how the case of the zodiac is today - still mysterious. still unresolved.
although I did give this the same rating as se7en, I'll have to admit that it still remains my favourite film of his, this being a close second.