Zodiac

Steeped in one of California’s most notorious unsolved serial murder cases (and we have a few) is Zodiac, the understated but terrifying psycho-thriller from old pro David Fincher (Se7en, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Knitting the swinging pastiche of a liberated 60s San Francisco – Haight Ashbury, anyone? – with the little we know of the gruesome murderer who taunted police and press from the anonymity of assumed bohemia, Fincher deals in both truth and fiction in his retelling of the story of a newspaper cartoonist (lamp-eyed Jake Gyllenhaal, of course) whose amateur quest to find the Zodiac may prove to be a path of no return.

With an ensemble cast of knockouts (Robert Downey Jr., Chloe Sevigny, and Mark Ruffalo), sweeping visual odes to classic California, and a near-perfect score that collides bright cozy oldies with plenty of uneasy piano, Zodiac lifts the gilded petals of flower power and slowly exposes the quiet, sodden evil that crept beneath all that peace and love – reminding us (and years of cipher-breaking Redditors) that not all killers will be caught.

Dir. David Fincher, 2007, 35mm, 157 min.