A superb adaptation of Robert Graysmith's book, Zodiac (published in 1986).
Even though I knew what was coming (I recently read the book), there were still a couple of tense scenes that made me shiver.
Good acting, excellent period-specific sets and costumes, and very clean editing. I liked the way the director handled the passage of time, in particular. The special effects, although limited, were beautifully done, and do not distract the viewer away from the story.
This is not a thriller, nor a slasher gore-fest kind of film. It's a relatively slow-paced drama. The murder scenes were really tastefully handled, which I think showed a great deal of respect to the victims. This is, after all, a true story.
I loved the soundtrack (Hurdy Gurdy Man is one of my all-time favourite songs,) and it managed to be era-appropriate without being overbearing and boundless (ala Forest Gump). The down-tempo, and atmospheric piano-focused score was really appropriate, as well.
On the subject of adaptation, the film does condense quite a lot; it leaves out several of the suspects, as well as some of the interesting and distinctive clues/details about suspects (including those featured in the film), which are discussed at length in his book. The facts they did present, however, are accurately adapted from the details featured in Graysmith's book.
At 150+ min. run time, obviously, they did pack-in quite a lot of the details about the case, and frankly, it would take a full mini-series to fully disclose every thread of this complicated and mysterious crime tapestry, so one can reasonably expect some stream-lining of the investigation's facts and figures.
Personally, I would have liked to have more meat to the investigation side of the story, and less weight on the inter-personal world of Graysmith, but, it is just as much a film about the writing of his book, as it is about the Zodiac case itself. But, even so, there is plenty here to keep the attention of any true-crime buff, particularly those interested in the enigmatic story of the Zodiac killer.
Director: David Fincher
Main Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Edwards, John Carroll Lynch, Chloë Sevigny