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Zodiac

 (2,445)
7.72 h 37 min2007X-Ray15
Robert Graysmith is a cartoonist who works for the San Francisco Chronicle, but his quirky ways irritate Paul Avery, a heavy drinking reporter. They become friends thanks to their shared interest in the Zodiac killer but Graysmith becomes obsessed with the Zodiac while Avery's spirals into oblivion...
Directors
David Fincher
Starring
Jake GyllenhaalRobert Downey JrChloe Sevigny
Genres
SuspenseDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Anthony EdwardsGary OldmanMark RuffaloIone SkyeClea DuvallBrian CoxElias KoteasJohn Carroll LynchDermot MulroneyDonal LoguePell JamesCharles FleischerJimmi Simpson
Studio
Warner Bros.
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesmokingviolence
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

2445 global ratings

  1. 63% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 22% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

G. RobinsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 April 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Criminally underated!
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Epic mystery/thriller about possibly the most bizarre serial killer in American history.

The Zodiac killer first appeared in San Francisco in the late sixties and with his rather odd home made disguise, those attention seeking letters addressed directly to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and the strange coded pictograms he became big news very quickly. Killing at least six but claiming many more he frightened an entire city into almost lock down.

Some mild spoilers.

Although the story is essentially about the hunt for the killer and the extreme efforts that the police and the two detectives assigned to the case went to in attempting to crack the case, it also charts the substantial and in the end overwhelming effects the case ultimately had on Robert Graysmith, the newspapers cartoonist, and his wife and family. His lone attempts to solve the mystery of the killers identity became a personal compulsion and addiction that in the end almost destroyed his life. In a world well before computers, before criminal profiling, before CCTV and the Internet the clues mounted up, red herrings abounded, and the huge amount of paperwork amassed could fill an entire room. With limited resources and time to investigate the case eventually became totally bogged down to such a degree that you could not see the wood for the trees. There was so much “evidence” that deciding what was important became almost impossible. A number of suspects arose and one in particular was thought to be the prime suspect. Could it be proved?

David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club, The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) was a perfect choice for this dark material. Casting four excellent actors doing some of their best work in the main roles to flesh out these real life characters, and filming a quite wonderful script really brought the time and the feel of late sixties early seventies San Francisco vividly to life. Finchers' eclectic but always interesting personal directing style and attention to detail firmly cement the film in a time and place with real authenticity. Tone is very consistent throughout, this is a film about a series of brutal murders after all, so for the most part it's a brooding sombre piece that attempts to reflect the reality of investigating a series of murders and stopping further ones. Finchers' films often have a dark noirish feel and Zodiac is no exception, so if you liked Seven or Fight Club then you will probably like this effort as well as it feels quite similar in execution. As you would expect, costumes, sets, set dressing and the auto mobiles are spot on and compliment the supreme efforts made by the whole crew to make this film look right. Shot in a very pleasing 2.35 -1 aspect ratio, the magnificent lighting cinematography is quite beautiful, especially in the darker night scenes and Finchers' habit of utilizing almost unnoticeable special effects to achieve what he wants to see on screen is wonderfully understated. You certainly will not even realise you are watching an effect in most cases and I would recommend you watch the second disc with a multitude of special features to enjoy.

At 162 minutes this is a long film and in my view 15 minutes could have been trimmed without any real detriment to the story. However I was never bored and the time did fly for the most part. I actually watched this film some years ago and although I was impressed with the quality of the whole production, the film experience itself left me a bit cold. The bleak and senseless killings of mostly very young people was a subject I found no pleasure in and the film suffered as a result. The same thing happened with Goodfellas some years earlier. On second viewings however for both I changed my mind. Some films need a second chance.

The full length documentary covering the attacks and the investigation with many of the real participants, and two of the victims who luckily got away, is excellent and well worth a watch. I would suggest you watch the film first so as not to spoil how the story unfolds, however it's of course up to you.

From what I have learnt about the case, Clint Eastwoods' film Dirty Harry is based at least in part on The Zodiac killings.

A cracking real life serial killer thriller.
3 people found this helpful
AngieReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 February 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant portrayal
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This is as good as any serial killer type film I've seen. FIrstly it's got the great Robert Downey Jnr who along with Robert De Niro (not in this one) are the two best male actors America has ever produced. If I had Downey Jnr on the payroll he would be the lead every time. As it was he played newspaper reporter Paul Avery brilliantly.
Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead, playing Robert Graysmith, cartoonist for the same paper and obsessional investigator of the Zodiac Killer in his own time, was to be fair quite brilliant as well.
My favourite in this though was the cop, played by Mark Ruffalo, who was so like Columbo. I kept wishing they would make a remake series with Ruffalo playing the scruffy detective, I think he would be the only one who could do it.
Strangely enough the actor I thought let it down a bit was John Caroll Lynch as the zodiac killer, I thought his performance was lazy and unconvincing.
All in all it was a fantastic film almost entirely because it concentrated on the detrimental effects the relentless pursuit had on the various characters. Also I think from what I've read that it was very true to the real story. Honestly, those poor victims and their families. It is heartbreaking to think what they went through. I think, as I am writing this, that actually their story could have been portrayed a bit more in depth just as the reporters and polices' were.
Highly recommended.
Just a girl who loves a boyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 December 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
True story
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The screenplay is very good, with the cinematography beautifully stylised to fit the era of the story. I found the story interesting and felt it captured the wider impact such serial killers have on those charged with finding them as well as reporting on them.

The movie could be termed a thinking person's film because it gives us a timelined story from real life, not an action packed movie murder mystery with a tenuous nod to a real life story - which appears to have caught out some reviewers expectations.

...Tho, not wishing to devalue the stories of the individuals this killer touched, I couldn't help wonder how quickly it would have been solved if the FBI's Behavioural Analysis Unit (fictional team from the Criminal Minds series) had become involved... ;)
CheepcheepReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must See.
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I enjoy movies of this genre and to be honest was not expecting much from this film. How wrong could I have been! Zodiac is up there with the best. It is a long film, but that adds to the real time feel of the feature. From the start to the end I was gripped; the horror of the crimes and their random modus operandi, the brilliant counter investigations of both journalists and police, the red herrings and blind alleys, the frustrations of the case. The acting is superb and the 60s and 70s setting plays a major role. Excellent film.
10 people found this helpful
ChockybikkyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 March 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
Gets better with more viewings
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Watching Zodiac for the 3rd time and it is more fascinating and engrossing each time..it can be a little confusing at times with all the theories and suspects but keeps you enthralled as you want to see the killer as much as the cops do.
It has a very eerie atmosphere , probably due to the fact that the film is a true story based on real case files and makes you realise what a screwed up world we can live in when you think someone like this could be living in your street.
Jake Gyllenhall, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey are all heavy weight in this and they keep the story gripping even tho it is rather slow paced..you always feel they are onto something only to be foiled at the last minute.
You can feel the tension towards the end, wondering if they have finally cracked it , one particular scene near the end had the cinema i watched it in holding their breath and thinking OMG!.
If you like true crime drama i'm sure this will be perfect for you and if you just like well told thrillers then you can't go to far wrong with this well acted, stylish film
3 people found this helpful
NozamaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 June 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Top Script!.. Top Actors!.. Top Movie!
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A brilliant movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole time. It has a cheesy title but remember this movie was created from a true story. Jake goes all out showing you what a top talent he is. The production was perfect... correct cars (and there were absolutely loads of them), correct clothes, music and cigarettes, etc, etc.
VitmorReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 June 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant movie with chilling moments and great acting
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This movie is a classic for anyone interested in the crime drama genre.
All around great acting and a story so fascinating that it grabs you and doesn't let go even after the credits role.
There's some brilliantly directed scenes that will make your blood curl, and funny scenes mixed in perfectly not taking you away from the movie whatsoever.
It's a masterclass in directing, acting and script writing.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAUReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 July 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing police failure
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A real criminal, a real serial killer and his "adventures". What makes this story interesting is the fact that the police never succeeded and never arrested the killer, in spite of the help of the media in San Francisco. It all amounted to circumstantial evidence and no indictment, not to mention conviction, was ever pronounced, hence no suspect declared and arrested. The case can come out today because all those who were suspected to have played a role in this sinister story are dead or out of the way. That will not change anything anyway because the case is now closed since the main yet undeclared suspect is dead. The real question is to know whether the police, the various police departments concerned did their job properly, if the inspectors did theirs and if their hierarchy supported them. It's always difficult to say especially with the role of the Attorney general or public prosecutor in the area. There are so many elements that may stop an investigation in the USA, particularly elections since the main characters in security forces are elected and local officials are the bosses of the Police. A lot can be said and a lot can be done, or undone or just not done. And that seems to be the case here. The film is slightly slow though and the attempt to dramatize it does not succeed entirely.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
One person found this helpful
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