The real-life murder spree of the Zodiac Killer never had a satisfying conclusion in real life, but in the hands of David Fincher, that’s what makes the story so hypnotic. Jake Gyllenhaal plays cartoonist Robert Graysmith, Robert Downey Jr. plays crime reporter Paul Avery, and Mark Ruffalo plays detective Dave Toschi, who each dedicate their lives to solving the mysterious murders — and decoding the killer’s cat-and-mouse letters to the newspaper — finding only obsession, and possibly ruin, as their rewards.
Zodiac is everything a thriller could be. It’s a harrowing catalogue of the killer’s murders. It’s an insightful drama about obsession. It’s a detail-oriented history of a riveting investigation. And in the end, although the film never comes out and says they solved the puzzle, it leads to an absolutely terrifying sequence as one of our heroes finds themselves closer than ever to a resolution. Intelligent and absolutely enthralling, Zodiac isn’t just one of the best thrillers of the century so far. It’s one of the best movies of the century so far.
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