Zodiac ★★★★

David Fincher Ranked-HERE

Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher and stars an ensemble cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. in the main roles alongside Anthony Edwards, Brian Cox, Elias Koteas, John Carroll Lynch and Chloë Sevigny in supporting roles.

Zodiac tells the story of the nationwide manhunt for the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s by taunting police with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers mailed to newspapers.

Zodiac is a truly special, awe inspiring film. For this weeks Film Club pick Andrea decided to pick this gem of a film and since I missed out on watching TimeCrimes last week, it’s only right that I watch this one. What makes Zodiac stand out from Fincher’s other masterpieces is that the film chooses what pathway to follow not based on the outcome of the story but based on what the police and reporters think is important to the case at the time. This creates a film that bounces around five years worth of narrative seamlessly as it’s not a film that relies on suspended disbelief to succeed but instead, relies heavily on facts and uses all of its 158 minutes to present them in almost linear form. This allows Fincher to craft a film that’s incredibly enjoyable whilst also subtly terrifying for the audience to watch as it’s rooted in real life. 

However it’s not just the atmosphere that’s chilling through but the way Zodiac also captures the paranoia of the city perfectly during an event like this also sends a chill down your spine. This paranoia interlocked with the real-life mystery worked brilliantly for the film as the dark, gritty cinematography flawlessly represented the dark, depressing nature of these crimes. 

On top of the brilliant direction, fantastic cinematography and great script, the acting really stands out. The three leads Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr. all put in three of the best performances of the year. Gyllenhaal’s cartoonist, Ruffalo’s detective and Downey’s reporter allow the audience three unique perspectives on a single case and for me, that allowed me to delve deeper into the story upon a rewatch and uncover information I had missed beforehand.

Despite the film’s rather ambitious ending (I still think the film was right), it still comes incredibly close to comparing to Fischer's masterpiece “The Social Network”. It’s dark, gritty and unsettlingly based in real life, yet most importantly, it’s a phenomenal watch from start to finish!

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