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Zodiac (2007)

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In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director:

David Fincher

Writers:

James Vanderbilt (screenplay), Robert Graysmith (book)
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417 ( 3)
3 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo ... Inspector David Toschi
Anthony Edwards ... Inspector William Armstrong
Robert Downey Jr. ... Paul Avery
Brian Cox ... Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch ... Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette ... Zodiac 1 / Zodiac 2
Bob Stephenson ... Zodiac 3
John Lacy ... Zodiac 4
Chloë Sevigny ... Melanie
Ed Setrakian ... Al Hyman
John Getz ... Templeton Peck
John Terry ... Charles Thieriot
Candy Clark ... Carol Fisher
Elias Koteas ... Sgt. Jack Mulanax
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Storyline

A serial killer in the San Francisco Bay Area taunts police with his letters and cryptic messages. We follow the investigators and reporters in this lightly fictionalized account of the true 1970's case as they search for the murderer, becoming obsessed with the case. Based on Robert Graysmith's book, the movie's focus is the lives and careers of the detectives and newspaper people. Written by tom day

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chronicles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,395,610, 4 March 2007

Gross USA:

$33,080,084, 3 May 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,785,914, 3 May 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around fourteen minutes) The bar Paul Avery frequents in the film is called Morti's. Mortis is Latin for death. See more »

Goofs

(at around 47 mins) The scene where Melvin Belli is to meet the Zodiac impostor at St. Vincent De Paul's Thrift Store in Daly City is actually filmed on the corner of 26th Ave. and Irving Street in San Francisco's Sunset District. In the background, the Sunset Supermarket can be seen, which did not have Chinese characters displayed at the time the movie took place. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Mageau: Where have you been? I've been waiting since 7:00.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end text reads as follows: Following Mike Mageau's identification of Arthur Leigh Allen, authorities scheduled a meeting to discuss charging him with the murders. Allen suffered a fatal heart attack before this meeting could take place. In 2002, a partial DNA profile, that did not match Allen, was developed from a 33 year-old Zodiac envelope. Investigators in San Francisco and Vallejo refused to rule out Allen as a suspect on the basis of this test. In 2004, the San Francisco Police Department deactivated their Zodiac investigation. Today, the case remains open in Napa County, Solano County, and in the city of Vallejo, where Arthur Leigh Allen is still the prime and only suspect. Inspector David Toschi retired from the San Francisco Police Department in 1989. He was cleared of all charges that he wrote the 1978 Zodiac letter. Paul Avery passed away on December 10, 2000 of pulmonary emphysema. He was 66. His Ashes were scattered by his family in the San Francisco Bay. Robert Graysmith lives in San Francisco and enjoys a healthy relationship with his children. He claims he has not received a single anonymous call since Allen's death. See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut contains approximately 5-minutes of new footage including:
  • Melvin Belli (Brian Cox) talks about his Safari trip (when the Zodiac letter came to his house)
  • Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) introduces himself to the Riverside Police Chief
  • New scene between Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Avery (Robert Downey Jr.)
  • 3-Way Conversation laying Leigh as suspect to get search warrant
  • Extended audio montage (over a black screen)
  • Plus extra bits of dialogue
See more »

Connections

References The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Bernadette
Written by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland (as Eddie Holland,
Jr.)
Performed by The Four Tops (as Four Tops)
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fincher's best? No. But still very good
28 February 2007 | by rs25See all my reviews

I am tired of people writing comments like this, "Not Fincher's best". Honestly who cares. We all agree that Fincher's best is either Seven or Fight Club, two outstanding masterpieces. There is a big margin between a film like one of those and a terrible film, and people don't seem to realize that. These people even do this with other filmmakers like Spielberg or Scorsese, the fact that these filmmakers don't reproduce Schindler's List or Raging Bull doesn't mean that their new stuff isn't good, or worth seeing. I think it is a stupid way to comment on a film, eliminating the critic's credibility. I was lucky enough to catch an advanced screening of Zodiac last night, and I must say that at first I was discouraged by two things, some of the comments I have read and the running time. However I am glad to say that I enjoyed this film, very much. It is a solid suspense thriller that pins you to your seat. Being a true story adds quite a lot to the experience, and besides, Fincher did a wonderful job is staying loyal to the story and at the same time adding his unique flavor to it. The cinematography, like every Fincher film, is great, the darkness and griddiness of the story are perfectly portrayed in the film's visual elements. I was surprised by the picture quality of the Viper, the digital camera with which this film was shot. Many people have been criticizing this choice, but I respect it, he is embracing a new technology and making it work. Of course its still not a match to 35 mm, but if quality filmmakers don't start experimenting with it, it will never be. Now the reason why this film falls behind Seven and Fight Club, I think, is because of a problem with the characters. They seem to be a little weak at times. The performances were great, especially Robert Downey Jr., but I think that this film falls short, when it comes to a true exploration of complex characters, which is the key to Fincher's previous films.

So... my advice to everyone is to ignore most of the negative comments and see the film yourself. I found it to be a great story told in a remarkable way, very entertaining, with great performances, and wonderful direction.


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