Written by: Ash's missing hand
"Zodiac" is one of the best serial killer movies i have ever seen. It is also a police procedural crossed with a newspaper movie.
It opens with a sudden, brutal killing, followed by others not too long after. Five killings the police are sure the Zodiac committed, although others have been attributed to him. The killer does his work early in the movie, and when encrypted letters to newspapers begin arriving, the cops and reporters try to do theirs.
The two lead investigators are David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and William Armstrong (Anthony Edwards). Toschi tutored Steve McQueen for "Bullitt" and was the role model for "Dirty Harry". At the San Francisco Chronicle is reporter Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) and editorial cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal). The movie is based on Graysmith's books about the case.
Graysmith is new to the staff when the first cipher arrives. He messes around with a copy of the cipher but doesn't solve it. He starts listening to the cops and reporters talk, makes friends with Avery, and talking his way into police evidence rooms. After the investigation has cooled off, he remains obsessed with the case. His wife (Chloe Sevigny) starts to fear for their safety and takes the kids and goes to stay with her mom. Graysmith starts talking about the case on TV and begins hearing heavy breathing over the phone. The final scene of the movie is gut-wrenching.
"Zodiac" has excellent pace and style. Every character in the movie is written as a distinct individual. When was the last time a character in a movie walked into a bar and ordered an Aqua Velva?