- The opening title sequence, which put Kyle Cooper (a dedicated title sequence director) on the map.
- Awesome Music: David Bowie's "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" already sounds like a mental breakdown set to music. But playing it over the end credits, after THAT conclusion? Safe to say that you'll never not think of this film when you hear it.
- The scene where the detectives and the killer encounter each other for the second time at the apartment building. From the moment the dark figure at the end of the hallway opens fire on them to the end of the harrowing chase through rain-soaked streets, the visuals, music, direction, action and choreography are all excellent.
- The scene following this where Mills, injured by the killer and enraged over having lost him, gets tired of waiting, goes against protocol and kicks in the door to the suspect's apartment. It's a small moment, but it says something that a scene featuring a cop breaking the law without a care in the world can still be kind of awesome.
- Somerset practices knife-throwing in his spare time. It's not a technique he uses regularly, just one of several things he does to stay sharp.
- A quiet one in the bar. Somerset warns Mills this "isn't going to have a happy ending". Mills has had enough of Somerset's world-weary attitude, and he calls Somerset out, saying he's a Straw Nihilist:
Mills: You should listen to yourself! You say that the problem with people is that they don't care. So [you] don't care about people. It makes no sense.... I don't think you're quitting because you believe these things you say. I don't. I think you want to believe them because you're quitting. You want me to agree with you and you want me to say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're right, it's all fucked up, it's a fucking mess, we should all go live in a fuckin' log cabin." But I won't. I won't say that. I don't agree with you. I do not. I can't.
Somerset: Ernest Hemingway once said, "The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
- Notably, after this, Somerset gets rid of the metronome he used as a sleep aid, and decides to keep on this particular case, even if it lasts after his retirement date. Sadly, Mills' hopeful outlook is destroyed when John Doe kills Tracy, but Somerset decides not to retire, hinting he'd rather be a Knight in Sour Armor than a Straw Nihilist:
- The scenes where Somerset and Mills are preparing for their drive with John Doe.
- A villainous example in this exchange:
Mills: I seem to remember us knocking on your door.John Doe: Oh that's right, and I seem to remember breaking your face. You're only alive because I didn't kill you.
- Even if the ending is still a total downer, seeing Mills kill John Doe and empty his pistol into his corpse in revenge for his wife and unborn child is quite satisfying, considering what a nightmare his existence alone had been.