Zodiac leaves us haunted by the knowledge that he's looking for something that can't be found: a way to make the monsters go away.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
David Fincher's magnificently obsessive new film Zodiac is part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is a testament to this cinematic savant's gifts.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
It is impossible not to enjoy Zodiac: if enjoy is the word for a picture so often scary and stomach-turning.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
With its unhurried pace and cerebrally engaging plot, Zodiac is an unusually haunting and compelling horror film.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The movie, directed by David Fincher, is not without value, if it's largely without drama.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
A long work of completely sustained suspense and dark humor.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
This relentlessly swift film super-charges every minute with a maximum of minutiae. Dizzyingly dense, intricate in the extreme, Zodiac is the most information-packed procedural since JFK.
Nathan Lee - Village Voice
Without a persuasive ending, Zodiac is an exercise in frustration.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
Obsession is the real subject here, and obsessing about anything briskly doesn't count. Yet the film also feels self-obsessed, an intriguing drama that slowly devolves into a bleak meditation on the absence of dramatics.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The most perverse thing about Zodiac isn't that its Hollywood's umpteenth serial-killer flick, when such crimes are rare in reality. It's that Zodiac, though based on actual crimes, is one of the dullest of these films to date.
Bruce Westbrook - Houston Chronicle
Have no doubts, director David Fincher makes movies that rattle. Even when they're not wholly successful.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
I don't think Fincher can relate much to moral outrage. What occupies him is how to send you home antsy, unsure of what you've seen but sure it was worse than you think. He gives you the existential willies.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Any honest neurotic could probably tell you: the emotional payoff of an obsession is not attaining some longed-for goal -- it's the obsession itself, which fulfills certain needs.
David Denby - New Yorker
What makes Zodiac authentic is the way it avoids chases, shootouts, grandstanding and false climaxes, and just follows the methodical progress of police work.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's fascinating and unexpected both in its simple, looming images and its storytelling priorities, which may not intersect with the priorities of audiences who couldn't get enough of Se7en.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Fincher does keep this bubbling along, ably assisted by a cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, Elias Koteas, and Philip Baker Hall.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Zodiac runs long, about 21/2 hours, but it also runs fast, at a heart-pounding pace over four major characters and 22 years. There's not an ounce of fat on any sequence or performance.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
A film that is both emotionally and intellectually unsettling.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Zodiac killer was never found. Dealing with a murder mystery that's still unsolved gives Fincher shaky enough ground for drama. Add in a protagonist who seems driven by a vacuum, and you pretty much have a movie about nothing going nowhere.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Fincher leads us down little dark alleys and side streets, and we're never quite sure who might jump out to be the killer. After three decades, details of the case have faded from public consciousness, so the movie is surprising at times.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Mr. Fincher's flair for casting is the major asset of his curiously attenuated return to the serial-killer genre.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
[A] stark, terrifying and magnificently directed and researched crime thriller.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Conveying an astonishing array of information across a long narrative arc while still maintaining dramatic rhythm and tension, this adaptation of Robert Graysmith's bestseller reps by far director David Fincher's most mature and accomplished work.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
David Fincher's sprawling, lavishly produced Zodiac is, in my estimation, more than a good movie.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Zodiac is fascinating and engrossing and realistic and every bit as unsatisfying as real life and real police work often are.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
It makes you want to study it even more closely, in search of things you might have missed, trailing after leads that flash by in the relentless momentum of going nowhere fast. If you're not careful, it might make you obsessed.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Fincher, more subdued ... and aching for a return to smart suspense films from the likes of Sidney Lumet and Alan J. Pakula, pulls us by the collar into the frame and cranks the sense of menace taut without cheap tricks or cop-out gimmicks.
Mark Bourne - Film.com
The most provocative aspect of this compulsive riddle is how it resists closure.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
Zodiac is all about Fincher's personal enthusiasms and obsessions. It takes a mighty big ego to steal the show from a serial killer. Apparently, Fincher's just the guy for the job.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
Zodiac is long -- over two and a half hours -- but when it's over, you almost wish it had gone on for another 20 minutes.
Dana Stevens - Slate
Patient viewers will be rewarded; others may wish for something with less subtlety and more verve.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The stars align in David Fincher's chillingly effective hybrid thriller.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
Zodiac certainly has its moments, but it's no masterpiece.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
You'll feel a chill in the theater, and in your blood.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Make no mistake, you will be hooked and creeped out big time.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Overlong and lacking dramatic focus, the film nevertheless captures the dark allure that the unsolved crimes had on the region over a 22-year period.
Kevin Crust - Los Angeles Times
Beautifully poised, slow and sinister: a trance of expectant menace in which Fincher holds his audience until the movie's finale.
Luke Goodsell - Empire Magazine Australasia
A complex crime drama that limits its action, opting to save it for the times that bring the greatest impact.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
So insistent, and successful, is David Fincher at duplicating real-life hypervigilance that you may try writing a "k" in two, not three, strokes to see the difference - damning and admiring how this indisputable masterpiece drags you down the rabbit hole.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
Zodiac is a great film that many true crime buffs would love due to the treatment given to the subject, and that many movie fans will admire thanks to David Fincher's direction and the performances of its cast.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Ultimately the lack of tautness in the storytelling, seemingly stemming from a desire to be as faithful as possible to Graysmith's book, costs the film dearly.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
An enthrallingly unsatisfactory film, worth watching and deciphering
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Zodiac is a marvel of moody photography, as it tries to capture the funereal pall hanging over a metropolitan city in the grip of fear.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
...an effective reenactment of some chilling real-life events.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
There are no tidy, last-minute plot twists to make you feel good in Fincher's Zodiac, just focus -- to keep an audience focused -- and the most disciplined filmmaking you've seen in forever.
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
[W]here Se7en, with its stygian gloom and theatrical executions, inflated the serial killer genre to gothic proportions, Zodiac lets the air back out. It is methodical rather than macabre, clinical rather than cruel.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
Zodiac does a great job of showing three different paths (reporter, cop, cartoonist) in trying to capture a serial killer.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Zodiac has us ponder the frustrations of a case that won't close up tightly like your weekly CSI.
Matthew Sorrento - Film Threat
Gone are the emphatic jumps and the flying-camera-through-the-keyhole style of "Panic Room". By avoiding the superficial scares he ends up creating a more devastating dread
Brian Holcomb - PopMatters
It is not its lack of resolution that makes Zodiac a poor film, it is its stupefying dull progression.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
An all-star cast delivers in David Fincher's look into the investigation around one of history's great unsolved serial killer cases.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
What makes this movie special is that really, not much happens. ,yet it's insanely gripping, even if someone is explaining discovery or flipping through a file.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
... with this film [Fincher] detours from the graphic violence and depravity of Se7en and Fight Club to a more psychological realm of terror.
Felix Gonzalez Jr. - DVD Review
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
Zodiac is, as everyone says, an unusually complex and ambitious true-crime story, and (more important) a deeply engaging study of three obsessed men.
Stuart Klawans - Nation
Gyllenhaal always manages to present a person of some sensitivity without leaning on actorish resources.
Stanley Kauffmann - New Republic
Stuart Klawans - The Nation
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
A gripping true tale of attrition and obsession.
John Hartl - MSNBC
Director David Fincher is an absolute master of psychological terror.
Forrest Hartman - Gannett News Service
David Fincher presents an intriguing and intelligent puzzle of a film.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
David Fincher's sixth feature potently blends the dynamics of the newsroom drama with those of the police procedural.
Graham Fuller - Sight and Sound
It is a fascinating snapshot of the efforts of those who devoted their lives to solving this haunting mystery.
Rick Bentley - Fresno Bee
Not until well into its second hour does it settle on a theme: the need to know the truth, and the dismal toll of that futile obsession.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Fincher, the neo-Kubrick-nerd, has lost his bearings.
Armond White - New York Press
You'll leave the theater wishing it were even longer!
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
I think this is a great film.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
Zodiac is that marvel and rarity, an adult Hollywood murder thriller.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
The attention to detail in the film is remarkable.
Kim Voynar - Cinematical
Still, the Zodiac case remains open and continues to fascinate and intrigue. As will this film, if you let it take its time to uncover the clues.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The 158 minute running time is not only earned but vital, stretching out the years and reminding us of the sheer man-hours invested in this colossal dead-end.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
I'm impressed with Fincher's delicate formal and tonal control in Zodiac's best passages...but sometimes this restraint feels like a gag in the movie's throat, or a damper on its affective potential.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
A psycho-killer detective story with a less-than-thrilling pace and length.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Downey steals the show with yet another inspired performance, while his co-stars deliver solid turns aided by Fincher's meticulous direction.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
A film of flailing loose ends, an epic of frustration. The suspense lies not in when the murderer is going to be caught, but whether, and how.
Dean Essner - Daily Telegraph
It is riveting from the start, a compelling stranger-than-fiction story that feels satisfyingly resolved despite the lack of a definitive ending.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Lucid and forceful, Zodiac is sensational in the right way.
Jamie Graham - Total Film
Encouraging the audience to draw their own conclusions, this moody masterpiece is up there with David Fincher's best.
James Mottram - Film4
You sense that inside this meaty, 157-minute opus there's a six-hour mini-series just itching to get out.
Neil Smith - thelondonpaper
Represents a bit of a departure of sorts for David Fincher, since this chilling crime saga is surprisingly understated in tone in comparison to some of his earlier, highly-stylized productions.
Kam Williams - IMDiversity.com
Rich in period detail and dripping with style, the two-and-a-half-plus hours movie holds one's attention throughout.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
A stuffed package, a densely woven tapestry of data and entertainment.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
More realistic-feeling than David Fincher's previous films, yet equally tense and fascinating, Zodiac is the work of a mature, sure-handed director.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
It's a deceptively rich film.
Tony Macklin - Bright Lights Film Journal
The director has made his most -- and maybe his first -- personal film.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
This is an intelligent, persuasively acted, superbly photographed film, with a subtle score by David Shire, who was chosen because Fincher admired his work on The Conversation and All the President's Men.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Fincher creates a righteous epic about San Francisco's Zodiac killer and in so doing offers a cathartic close to the exact kind of serial tomes that made his name as an a-list moviemaker.
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
Zodiac is a thoroughly engrossing, brilliantly directed and superbly acted thriller that is quite simply one of the best films of the year. Unmissable.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Fincher manages the pace brilliantly, making the viewer feel as frustrated, paranoid and, most importantly, driven, as the film's characters.
Anton Bitel - musicOMH.com
Un thriller fuera de lo comun, que prioriza la investigacion y la acumulacion de pistas sobre la accion y el suspenso.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
Fincher's most mature work to date will earn respect over time.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
Mais um esforco brilhante de um diretor que inexplicavelmente ainda nao alcancou o amplo reconhecimento que ja merece ha muitos anos.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
I don't expect to see a better crime movie this year.
Dean Essner - Sydney Morning Herald
... this gripping character study becomes more agonisingly suspenseful as it gets closer to an answer that can't be confirmed.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
Several bravura suspense sequences - can't help but recall slasher convention.
Ben Walters - Time Out
Fincher is on top form: this is his best, most mature film yet.
Jamie Russell - BBC
Leave it to Fincher to reinvent the serial killer thriller.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Zodiac s'inscrit dans une nouvelle lignee de grandes productions hollywoodiennes mettant finalement l'emphase sur l'elegance et l'ingeniosite plutot que les effets tapageurs.
Jean-Francois Vandeuren - Panorama
Worth seeing more for its thoughtful attention to detail than its satisfying completeness.
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Fincher's second foray into serial killer territory...is purposefully low-key.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
As Zodiac imposed a brutal truth on communities of past and potential prey, he was also and always a horrific fiction.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
Zodiac is never anything less than completely enthralling.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
The investigation and the film are both long and the final conclusion the film reaches is dubious. Still, it makes for a tense if grim true-crime thriller.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
That was cool!
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
A welcome change from the witless murder-mysteries that usually clog our multiplexes.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Missing the operatic sense of doom that helped characterize 1995's Seven, Zodiac's effort to avoid sensationalism conversely becomes disrespectfully unemotive.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
It's a movie that, like the case it is based on, builds your interest and retains it with its immaculate attention to detail.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
A clinical but ominous approach, weighing the hunted against the hunters in a world where unhealthy obsessions rule.
Prairie Miller - WBAI Web Radio
The story is built beam by beam, but Fincher tweaks the final design of what we expect in the architecture of a serial killer movie.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
'Panic Room' director David Fincher's latest movie is a fact-based thriller with little action and frustrated heroes who can't quite bring a serial killer to justice. Believe it or not, these are the film's strengths.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
The best film of the year so far.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
...sturdy performances from a pedigreed cast...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The implications of the Zodiac murders ... still hold bearing today.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
The mesmerizing journey of the investigation is rewarding if not completely satisfying.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Entertainment Insiders
The 'stars' definitely aligned to make this picture work.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
the performances are dang-on across the board, and even though the formal protagonist shifts around a bit, the major characters played by Gyllenhaal, Downey Jr and Ruffalo have fascinating arcs.
Mike Sage - Peterborough This Week
Zodiac crackles with a kind of corrupt electricity, an overriding feeling of discomfort that makes even the conversations between couples ache with an aura of unease.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
Maybe the movie is less about finding the answer than the intricacy of the mystery itself, in the remarkable -- outright shocking -- persistence of those determined to bring a guilty man to justice.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
There's something to be said for a 158-minute movie that manages to hold your attention; still, it's just not the great accomplishment it's been painted as.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
You don't need a tidy ending when the payoff is the whole film.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
easily the best film of the year so far.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
The all-star lineup of actors is impressive without a shadow of a doubt.
Vince Koehler - Entertainment Spectrum
The definitive movie on the Zodiac investigation.
Jeff Otto - ReelzChannel.com
From Dragnet to Cops, pop culture loves to enforce the myth that the police always get their man. In a sign of our skeptical times, Zodiac reverses the equation: It's the bad guy who gets the police.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Even though Zodiac doesn't tie itself into a tight knot of grisly finality after two hours and 40 minutes, David Fincher fans can look forward to a meticulous, intriguing case study.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
At over two and half hours and spanning nearly four decades, David Fincher's "Zodiac" is a sensory overload of information that, though frustratingly inconclusive most of the time, manages to maintain a tight and steady pace
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
The film's interest is in the tireless legwork of detective work, which is accurately portrayed, though which also is so tedious, the film can't help but follow suit.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
A Slow Burn of Fincher Goodness
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
As the Zodiac case fizzles out, the movie appears to contort itself.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Lots of sick things were creepycrawling through the zeitgeist back then ... It's there ... in the flashing hard eyes of Gyllenhaal's Graysmith, a young artist discovering, not exactly to his horror, that his metier is murder.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
When it's over I can't help feeling as disappointed as the cops must have been -- which might actually be a testament to the film's proficiency.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
David Fincher proves that you don't need resolution to make a compelling serial killer movie.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Zodiac is the rare serial-killer movie in which the psychosis stems as much from the pursuers (and the filmmaker) as the pursued.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
David Fincher has taken this puzzling case and fashioned it into a taut police procedural.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Low-key but all the more compelling for it, Zodiac is the first must-see movie of 2007.
Tom Charity - CNN.com
The performances are quite good across the board, if a tad downplayed.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Zodiac is an exhaustive (and exhausting) tale, made compelling by strong performances from Ruffalo and Downey and by a more restrained Fincher
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
As ungainly as Zodiac is, it never loses your interest.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
[An] absorbingly sadistic psychological whodunnit. Fixating in its gripping hold, Zodiac is convincingly haunting in its head-scratching mode.
Frank Ochieng - TheWorldJournal.com
Fincher deftly combines art and commerce by providing some violence with a principal interest in narrative detail.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Zodiac, the latest film from director David Fincher, is among his best
Calvin Wilson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
This movie just goes on and on and on, with a marked lack of dramatic tension. Two hours forty minutes, but if you blink you miss the guy they blame for the killings.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
These days, TV overflows with crime dramas done as police procedurals, but no movie has gone further in portraying an investigation as an unpredictable organism than Zodiac.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
Despite Fincher's gritty atmosphere of ominous dread, the characters are simplistic and sketchy, there's little fear and suspense and no satisfactory conclusion. Tedious!
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Exquisitely crafted, with 3 or 4 kick-ass set pieces and remarkable casting, but rather bloated at 158 minutes and ultimately somewhat hollow.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Revisits the infamous serial killer known as the Zodiac.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
A modern American masterpiece.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out New York
It's a long, confusing ride, but that was the nature of the case. That's what made the film seem so real.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Technically, Zodiac is as flawless a film as you may see all year.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
By showing us the details in carefully-wrought, exacting fashion, Fincher and screenwriter James Vanderbilt turn the hunt for the Zodiac killer into thrilling, exciting cinema -- and the best true-life tale of detection we've had on the big screen since A
James Rocchi - Cinematical
A sprawling, unfocused film that nonetheless retains viewer interest due to arresting performances by a cast of indie heavyweights and the visual virtuosity of thriller auteur David Fincher.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
Zodiac gets under your skin to the point you'll be dying to know who the killer is.
Mike Barnard - Future Movies UK
The realistic tone should get him critical respect, but fans will still recognize the handiwork they love.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Fincher has made what may very well be his masterpiece.
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
In stripping Zodiac down to just-the-facts-ma'am basics, Fincher has made a film in the inscrutable image of the very case it explores.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It sounds maddening, and it sort of is, in an exhilarating way -- much like hunting for a serial killer you can't catch.
Dave White - Movies.com
I'm certain I'm not the only one who'll make this comparison, but Zodiac could be the All the President's Men of serial killer movies.
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
These [types of] films are often fascinating to those with patience, and Zodiac is no exception.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
For a director whose earlier films include the influential Seven and cult-fave Fight Club, the results are merely good -- not great.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
For all its dramatic flaws, Zodiac deserves praise for not choosing the easy route.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
I would recommend giving this one a look. Just don't plan on being home early.
Neil Miller - Film School Rejects
Zodiac doesn't have a 'make my day' hook, but it may capture the mood of a country that faces a sadistic, implacable adversary just beyond its reach, and is destined to remain so.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
At more than 2- 1/2 hours, Zodiac is like a deep, involving book, a page-turner that you can't put down. You keep reading and, in this case, you keep watching.
Lee Grant - San Diego Union-Tribune
David Fincher's grim but mesmerizing Zodiac offers the puzzle-solving addictiveness of a detective story, the shivers of a thriller and the allure of a character study, all presented with a dash of newspaper drama.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
...it leaves us not with a satisfying moment of vengeance, but with a new respect for the hard and often unrewarding work of police detectives and journalists...
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
sometimes agonizingly intense... Some of the sequences here... are as nerve-wracking as the scariest moments in 'The Silence of the Lambs' or any other fictional serial-killer shocker.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
An obsessive, ambiguous movie about obsessives struggling with ambiguity. And, yes, it's as fascinating and frustrating as that sounds.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
The workaday grind of its heroes gives it a unique feeling that few thrillers can match.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
[It's] a story about the elusive nature of evil in a world that thinks information ... will eventually solve our problems. Dig deeper and you'll feel the vibrations of 9/11.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Christianity Today
[A] confrontation with evil that isn't quite like anything we've seen on film before...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The director has taken a depressing topic and used it as the basis for the most exhilarating movie so far this year.
Jim Hemphill - Reel.com
Fincher keeps us at arm's length from the detectives and journalists driving themselves to distraction as they trail an elusive serial killer.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
It's an existential thriller in the most literal sense.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
"Zodiac" bears little resemblance to Fincher's hyper-violent 1995 serial-killer hit "Se7en." This film is more ambitious and far more subtle %u2014 it's an essay in ambiguity. And while it's a long picture, it doesn't feel long at all. I wanted it to keep
Kurt Loder - MTV
It is at once a police procedural and an epic look at the ruined lives of the men who hunted the Zodiac killer down until they reached a breaking point.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The corpus delicti that motivates Fincher's fact-based body count epic is as large and sprawling as Goliath and as undead as a vampire: It's America's obsession with serial killers, and the fear of chaos that this fascination represents.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
At over two-and-a-half hours of dead-ends and bedevilment, there isn't enough intrigue to justify the empirical extents Fincher is intent on mapping.
Michelle Orange - Reeler
The movie feels like a giant canvas that has been painstakingly crafted. It's murky in atmosphere -- shooting entirely on digital video nicely realizes Fincher's predilection for dark and gloomy -- yet rich with detail.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
You have Fincher's amazing technique.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Fincher has told a sprawling story about crime and fear and those whose lives are transformed by both.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Zodiac works as a depiction of a criminal investigation, but even more than that it works as an examination of how a tough-to-catch criminal eats away at those who seek to apprehend him.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
A chilling exercise in soul-eroding anxiety.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Fincher and screenwriter James Vanderbilt, who spent more than a year researching the script, have made one of the most detailed, factually scrupulous crime dramas to ever come out of a Hollywood studio.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Even though this odyssey fails to reach its destination, you'll be grateful you took the fascinating and sometimes frightening ride.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Zodiac is not only smart and calculated -- it's in it for the long haul.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
A less-skillful director might, say, up the fog quotient for a film about murder and San Francisco. But you get the feeling that Fincher researched the old weather reports for every day depicted in the film.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
The best film of its kind since All the President's Men.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Reminds us what great filmmaking is all about. There isn't a false note anywhere.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
The couple of brutal killings and snappy banter in no way forgive the pit of soul-sucking boredom that this movie becomes.
Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton - Dread Central
Although Zodiac is not what most people want or expect, it is a fairly fantastic work of slow-burning eeriness.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Though Zodiac is structurally unwieldy and sags at times, as a whole it's still a procedural with kick...an atmospheric and mostly absorbing film.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Robert Downey Jr. in particular thrives as an old school, cocky newsman who appears to be auditioning for a Leaving Las Vegas sequel.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
Quite simply, this is a great, great movie.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
[Zodiac packs] a quarter-century of scrupulously observed detail into its length without repeating itself or wearing out its welcome.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Overall, the movie's a sprawling mess. But its twitchier particulars dare you to hold them up for further, if cautious, scrutiny.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
The movie provides a crackling chase narrative that should please fans of the dozen or so police procedurals already on TV, but it can't deliver what it doesn't have.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
Methodical and mesmerizing
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
The characters' need to know the truth is contagious, and you'll leave the theater feeling inquisitive and desperate to read the book.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
Very little of it works as well as it should, but somehow the strength of his obsessive, single-minded direction makes you overlook all that.
Cole Haddon - Orlando Weekly
even if you do know how it ends, this movie still reaches thrilling and fascinating heights when it most needs to.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
...uses the best elements of Fincher's previous work...to service a mature investigative thriller with a distinct creep factor.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
An absorbing, hugely ambitious, richly textured entertainment, and one of the better releases of a still-early year.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Staying true to its real-life scenario, the film gets mired in the inevitable red tape of police investigations, [and it] switches focus enough times to make you think it's three movies instead of one.
Bob Longino - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
At every level of production and execution, Fincher meticulously crafts the true-crime mystery as a social phenomenon that touched the lives of many and ruined the lives of more than a few.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Zodiac has perhaps the most perfect tagline for a movie of its mannered intricacy in years, and an evocative, metaphorically-on-point poster to boot.
Brent Simon - FilmStew.com
Director David Fincher wisely makes this story not about the monster, but about our fascination with monsters.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Zodiac's exhaustive attention to minute facts and theories forms a parallel not only with Graysmith and Toschi's fanatical need to nab the killer but also the director's own perfectionist filmmaking methods.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
A long movie with lots of suspects and details but no pay-off.
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
When even David Fincher can't make a compelling, innovative Zodiac Killer film, it's time to hang up the old ciphers.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
Without due process or a culprit to wrap up the story line, Zodiac needs a more solid center on which to hang its story.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The fixated cop is a thriller cliche, but Fincher helps us understand how you could become addicted to the prospect of finding just one more clue around the next corner.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Reverent docudrama...to those completely unfamiliar with the case, Zodiac should be every bit as satisfying as a true-crime paperback.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
There's definitely the potential for a crassly manipulative gore-fest here. But Fincher's near-epic-length film is instead a complex, multi-layered, two-pronged account of the case.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
David Fincher's Zodiac begins by announcing itself as being based on actual case files. Then it spends the next two-and-a-half hours proving it.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Fincher shelves his usual bag of tricks and shoots the picture like a distanced classic Pakula film from the mid-1970s, down to the severe emphasis on character dimension over the sexual allure of thrill-based options.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
It may not be his [Fincher's] most groundbreaking film, but it is one of his most important ones.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
The doggedness of the pursuit, the painstaking accumulation of clues, has its own inherent drama.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Above all else, Zodiac is a dazzling period piece that manages, in almost every scene, to eerily capture the mood of its principal era -- the '70s -- and shrewdly comments on how the computer has made it as distant to us as the Middle Ages.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Fincher has crafted a completely engrossing "true" crime saga that holds our attention consistently for more than two and a half hours.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
Fincher...meticulously avoids cinematic hyperbole, which is what gives Zodiac such uncommon authenticity.
Maria Garcia - Film Journal International
Deftly maintains a methodical rhythm of fear and anxiety.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Zodiac feels a lot like a masterpiece... [it's] like quicksand, inexorably drawing you deeper and deeper into itself.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
"Zodiac" is an exceedingly long film that earns every bit of its length, hypnotizing the audience in its sticky procedural network.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
... a methodically paced and fascinatingly cerebral piece of work that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
The film is just as creepy as any slasher-fest, but without the facade of fantasy, it resonates much more deeply, violating the audience's sense of security and its illusion of a world with happy endings and a guilty party made to pay.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Welcome to reality mainstream film!
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
[Fincher's] most impressive monolith to date, a sprawling, three-decade-spanning infodump that, for all its virtuosity, occasionally feels like being locked in the file cabinet of a conspiracy junkie.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
A brilliantly sustained aria of obsession and failure, Zodiac is an absurdly entertaining, two-and-a-half-hour, $75 million shriek of alpha-male OCD impotence.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
At nearly three hours, and without a single hobbit in the cast, Zodiac is the sort of vast, richly involving pop epic that Hollywood largely seems incapable of making anymore.
Scott Foundas - L.A. Weekly
The movie holds you in its grip from start to finish.
David Ansen - Newsweek
The exhaustive detail of psychological combat against a clever and elusive madman pays off with all the drama of a mental cat-and-mouse-game thriller.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
The second film in the last 12 months about the never-solved Zodiac killings...Fincher's is the more ambitious, thorough and better of the two.
Chuck O'Leary - FulvueDrive-in.com
Fincher's best work since Se7en is a sprawling American masterpiece that combines epic-scale psychological thriller, suspenseful procedural policier, and poignant newsroom drama, with a splendid ensemble headed by Robert Downey in an Oscar-caliber turn.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com