A relentless serial killer is stalking the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area, leaving citizens locked into a constant state of panic, and baffled authorities scrambling for clues. Though the killer sadistically mocks the detectives by leaving a series of perplexing ciphers and menacing letters at the crime scenes, the investigation quickly flatlines when none of the evidence yields any solid leads. As two detectives remain steadfast in their devotion to bringing the elusive killer to justice, they soon find that the madman has control not only over their careers, but their very lives as well. That’s some Drama (note the capital D), right? So tune into “Zodiac” when it airs at 8 or when it airs at midnight, we’re not picky. Need more reasons than great filmmaking? Fine.
Here are five reasons to watch “Zodiac” tonight:
1. David Fincher
With both “Se7en” and “Fight Club” under his belt, Fincher knows how to bring dark intensity to his films. So when he tackles the Zodiac killer you know it’s going to be good. Also maybe rain a lot.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal
Gyllenhaal delivers as Robert Graysmith, an editorial cartoonist who becomes obsessed with cracking the serial killer’s ciphers. His mania with the maniac even costs him his relationship with his wife, Chloe Sevigny. Well done!
3. Mark Ruffalo
It’s our suspicion that when Mark Ruffalo was born his mother looked and him and declared that he was meant to play a rumpled detective. As SFPD Inspector David Toschi, he completely lives up to his potential.
4. Robert Downey Jr.
As the San Francisco Chronicle crime reporter who has seen it all before, Downey is perfectly cast. Even though rumor has it Fincher wanted Brad Pitt for the part. You win this round, Downey.
5. Anthony Edwards
After “Revenge of the Nerds” “Top Gun” and “ER,” Anthony Edwards hasn’t had a lot going on. Let’s just give him this, eh?
Now stop reading this post and go stake at your spot on the couch.
“Zodiac” airs tonight at 8 and 11:30 p.m. ET; Monday, Dec. 5 at 12 a.m. ET; Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET; and Saturday, Dec. 31 at 2 a.m. ET