10 Best Neo-Noir Movies Of The 21st Century

9. Zodiac

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Warner Bros.

The case of the Zodiac Killer was tailor-made for this genre. A serial killer committing a string of grisly murders in Northern California starts taunting the police with gloating letters and sending coded messages to every major newspaper in the area. The manhunt for the Zodiac remains unresolved to this day, which only adds to the dark and borderline mythical aura of the film that tells this story.

The 2007 film focuses less on the gruesome killings than it does on the detective work of the San Francisco Police Department and the research of San Francisco Chronicle journalists. In that, it spares us some of the grislier narrative beats that usually accompany this genre, but it also stands out as one of the decade's best whodunnits.

David Fincher fuses two different plot strands together brilliantly, allowing the journalists and detectives to act independently of each other until the natural tension of the story brings them together. Mark Ruffalo gives a solid performance as Detective David Toschi, but it's Jake Gyllenhaal -- with a little help from Robert Downey Jr. -- who provides the intense lifeblood of this movie.


Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.