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Rating: R

Jake Gyllenhaal as Robert Graysmith
Mark Ruffalo as Inspector David Toschi
Anthony Edwards as Inspector William Armstrong
Robert Downey Jr. as Paul Avery
Brian Cox as Melvin Belli
John Carroll Lynch as Arthur Leigh Allen
Richmond Arquette as Zodiac 1 & 2
Bob Stephenson as Zodiac 3
John Lacy as Zodiac 4
Chloƫ Sevigny as Melanie
Ed Setrakian as Al Hyman
John Getz as Templeton Peck
John Terry as Charles Theiriot
Candy Clark as Carol Fisher
Elias Koteas as Sgt. Jack Mulanax

Special Features:

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 157 Minutes

The following is from the official DVD description:

“Based on the actual case files of one of the most intriguing unsolved crimes in the nation’s history, ‘Zodiac’ is a thriller from David Fincher, director of ‘Se7en’ and ‘Panic Room.’ As a serial killer terrifies the San Francisco Bay Area and taunts police with his ciphers and letters, investigators in four jurisdictions search for the murderer. The case will become an obsession for four men as their lives and careers are built and destroyed by the endless trail of clues.”

“Zodiac” is rated R for some strong killings, language, drug material and brief sexual images.

I didn’t know much about the Zodiac Killer going into this film, but I think they ended up doing a first rate job telling the story. You can tell that David Fincher strove for historical accuracy from the background props to the details of the killings. The result is a drama that is creepy and tense without having to rely on Hollywood dramatic license.

The story has three separate focuses. It follows the Zodiac killer (interestingly portrayed by multiple actors), cartoonist Robert Graysmith, and Inspector David Toschi. While the serial killer is obviously at the center of the story, the film really spends most of its time showing how obsession with catching the Zodiac ruined the lives of the men pursuing him. Jake Gyllenhaal makes an amazing transformation from meek cartoonist to obsessed crime investigator as Robert Graysmith. It’s a gradual and totally believable change in character. Mark Ruffalo also delivers a memorable performance as Inspector David Toschi. His frustration with bureaucracy and it interfering with catching the Zodiac is well portrayed. Anthony Edwards, Robert Downey Jr., Brian Cox, and ChloĆ« Sevigny all have impressive supporting roles as well.

Despite the excellent plot, beautiful cinematography, and first rate acting, “Zodiac” does tend to drag towards the end. As Graysmith digs deeper and deeper into the Zodiac killings, I tended to get confused with the blitz of details he throws out and bored with the seemingly endless discoveries he makes about the killer. If the film hadn’t already been running over two hours, it might have been more engaging. But as it was, it just didn’t work for me.

“Zodiac” will please all the fans of the main actors and anyone that likes David Fincher films. This movie should especially interest those who like crime dramas.

Unfortunately, there are no bonus features on this DVD. I suspect some sort of special edition will be coming along in the future.