Long Netflix movies: 5. Zodiac (2007)
Directed by David Fincher
Runtime: 2 hours, 37 minutes
As the title suggests, Zodiac centers around the search for the infamous Bay Area serial killer, primarily through the eyes of three men: obsessive cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), weary inspector Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo), and aloof crime reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.). Zodiac is less about the sensationalism regarding the murders themselves. Rather, it concerns itself more with the uphill battles in attempting to find a concrete solution despite a plethora of loose ends and impersonal workings of the police and crime investigation machine.
The film contains plenty of spooky moments (some are the most chilling I’ve ever seen in a movie) to propel it forward. Anyone appreciative of David Fincher’s work will find lots to love here: inserts, a cool color palette, “that guy” actors, and a story surrounding some thoroughly messed-up subject matter. The timing works out perfectly as well – catch it before Netflix drops David Fincher’s Mank sometime later this year!
Zodiac garnered numerous accolades (notoriously, in retrospect), including the BBC list of the best movies of the 21st century. It’s a paramount example of a film that upends conventions about the serial killer and crime genres, weathering with a world in which more and more things seem senseless and non-solvable.