I've had a fascination with the "Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius" for years. The fact that so many cults, serial killers, whackos, sickos, and twisted degenerates appeared in the late Sixties and the Seventies is pretty interesting. One of these loonies was the Zodiac Killer. They never tried anyone for the murders. Spooooooky.
David Fincher used to be one of my favorite directors - Alien3 is my second favorite of the series and Se7en is...well Se7en. After that well...I'm not a fan. I wasn't particularly interested in seeing Zodiac. I'm not a fan of Fincher, Jake Gyllenhall, or Robert Downey Jr. but hey it was something to watch.
It was a pretty solid movie all around but it really didn't instill a sense of purpose or meaning. The movie revolves more around Gyllenhall's character - a Boy Scout cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the Zodiac and lets his life go to shit and eventually writes the book that became the basis of the movie. There are some moments of tension in the movie but since we know nothing is going to happen to any of the characters we aren't that involved. There's not really any extended family melodrama showing what an unhealthy obesession will do to a home life. Yes, that's something we've seen before but Zodiac definitely could have used it.
The best parts of the movie are clustered in the first half of the movie when Zodiac is on the rampage. The kills are pretty grisly though most of the gore takes place off screen. Effective use is made of the sense of dread and knowing that real people were put in unimaginably horrible situations. Hey honey let's go to the lake and have a nice picnic. Oh shit, here comes a psycho with a knife.
The soundtrack is pretty much what you would expect - there's pretty solid and genuinely creepy use of Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man. David Shire - composer of The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three's amazing score - did the score for Zodiac but I'm not particularly sure where.
All in all I give the movie a 6.5. You not missing much if you don't see it but you won't be too disapponted either.