The movie didn't disappoint, exactly, but it wasn't a home run.
First of all, it's really long. Clocking in at 2 hours and 40 minutes, it'll test the patience of any movie fan, but considering this is a very talky cop drama/suspense flick, it's really pushing it. The tone of the film is pretty even in its intensity, which gives a relentless pace to the film - this adds to the sense of length for the viewer. Some additional peaks and valleys or further editing might have been called for here.
To boot, I had a fair idea of how this movie would end. I mean, if you know a thing or two about the Zodiac killings, you know what to expect and what not to expect in terms of an appropriate ending. That tends to affect the way you view a movie - if it's based on a true story and you know how the real story ended, well...
But, that being said, I enjoyed this film overall. Mark Ruffalo was the real star of this movie, and was far more compelling than the screen time leading Jake Gyllenhaal. The supporting cast was a real treat. I didn't know much about this flick going in (well, other than the above-mentioned real life facts) and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the casting. I purposely avoided reading the names in the credits at the beginning of the movie (the things I do to ensure some sense of surprise - yes, I'm the guy in the theatre with his eyes closed and ears covered during the previews).
Considering Fincher's previous works, I had expected a bit more grittiness from this one. It didn't have the style of Fight Club or Se7en, but it had its moments. There was one murder scene that was rather disturbing in its execution (don't think I've seen something quite like that before) and a scene near the end had me gripping the armrest.
If you like crime drama and can hold your pee for 3 hours, check this one out.
Right now, I'm jonesing for 300...comes out this Friday!!!!