Zodiac ★★★★½

A gloomy, industrialised San Francisco harbours the mysteries of an unspeakable villain; obsession. Fincher's Zodiac dives into the tormented lifestyles of three distinctly different men, allied briefly by their infatuation with solving a cryptic murder case.

As a promising series of ciphers lead characters and viewers alike through a labyrinth of clues as the prospect of a satisfying outcome slowly diminishes, Fincher explores the bustling heart of America's fascination with the widespread circulation of news. The Zodiac killer, however, has no interest in feeding any more than just enough information to keep a detective, a cartoonist and a journalist from abandoning hope, sending them deep into compulsive addiction with discovering his true identity. If nothing else, Zodiac is a harrowing analysis of the intrinsic desire for closure; the foundation of one's inability to disengage.

Fincher's proficiency in directing the flow of dialogue is first-class; the film's focus on extensive conversations between news reporters and police detectives has no neutralising effects on the entertainment-factor. Coupled with a brilliant script and executed in three particularly emotional performances, it's easy to see why Zodiac comfortably maintains its suspenseful demeanour in a 160 minute run-time.

True stories often lack originality, yet Zodiac pays careful attention to the chilling details of it's source material—paired with a passionate, highly expressive approach to filmmaking from cast and crew alike comes an experience which feels more authentic than anything of its genre.

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