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YMMV / Zodiac (2007)

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • All over the place with the Zodiac. Does he believe everything he writes? Is he actually mentally ill and looking for help or is he just an amoral Attention Whore? Were Allen's reactions to seeing the cops and Robert a result of guilt or of being fed up with the harassment of accusations?
    • Bob Vaughn. Is he generally just a creepy guy and troll, or the Zodiac himself? Alternatively, is he just a closeted homosexual man, whose creepy behavior can be explained by his erroneous belief that Graysmith came to his house for a sexual tryst and taking precautions not to be caught by his neighbors?
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  • Award Snub: No Oscar nominations whatsoever in spite of glowing reviews and a large campaign by the studio, including campaigning for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Robert Downey Jr. (seen as the beginning of his comeback).
  • Diagnosed by the Audience: Robert Graysmith, who is obsessive about the Zodiac case, causing many people to think there's something... Off about him.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: Who was Rick Marshall? Maybe he did kill people and film it, but you'll never know!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Tony Stark is a journalist, Bruce Banner is a detective, and Quentin Beck is a political cartoonist and true crime author.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • John Carroll Lynch as Arthur Leigh Allen has a total of about five minutes screen time in a movie that's two and a half hours long, most of that time without dialogue. However, his interrogation scene is guaranteed to leave an impression on you, and thanks to Lynch's mannerisms, it's easy to see why Allen was a prime suspect.
    • Similarly, Charles Fleischer, voice of Roger Rabbit, presides over one of the film's tensest scenes as the ambiguously creepy Bob Vaughn.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Be careful when someone pulls up next to you.
    • Lampshaded when Robert briefly thinks that Bob Vaughn is the Zodiac.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Arthur Leigh Allen is Eastman.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • Toschi's number-one suspect was Leigh. And he was right... according to the film, anyway.
    • Or even the whole movie's ending if you have been living under a rock for the past sixty years. What, they don't get the guy?
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Certain scenes featuring San Fran had to be digitally created, and you likely won't even know which ones. This includes an overhead shot perfectly — and we do mean perfectly — synced to a taxi cab.
    • To save time, David Fincher decided to not use bloody makeup for the murder scenes; thus, all blood is CGI, and it's done seamlessly.
  • Vindicated by History: Despite receiving solid critical reviews, Zodiac had the misfortune of coming out in what most people considered a very strong year for movies; it tanked at the box office and was shut out at the Oscars, and seemed like it was destined to be forgotten as an Acclaimed Flop. In the years after its release, it gained a reputation as one of David Fincher's best films, while gaining a wide and appreciative audience through video, streaming services and frequent airings on television.
  • The Woobie:
    • Poor Mike Mageau...
    • David Toschi did his best, and still received a lot of blame for Zodiac getting away.
    • Even Arthur Leigh Allen. This guy was cleared by DNA and prints and was hounded. He had just the worst luck, if you don't believe he did it. Mitigated by the fact he was a child molesting creep, but let's face it: there's only one reason anyone knows his name, and he got harassed.