I admit that heading into the movie, I was not optimistic. The fact that it was over 2 1/2 hours long had me believing it was going to suck even before I bought the popcorn. In the famous word of Arthur Fonzerelli, I was wrrrrrrr. Not only was it very well done, but the 2.5 hours really flies by. (Incidentally, one of the ways I judge whether or not a movie was good is by measuring how quickly into it I first look at my watch. 1.5 hours for this one).
In any event, not to give away the movie - although it is a true story, so hard to give it away - one of the maddening aspects of the story is how the police were very clued in on one particular guy but didn't make an arrest because one "expert" said his handwriting samples didn't match. For a while they couldn't even get a warrant to search his place because of this. It just didn't make sense.
Then I remembered that these events took place in the late 60's and early 70's, prior to many of the recent technological developments being used to solve crimes these days and right smack in the middle of the time when the Warren Court was changing the dynamics of the police's powers. And this happened in San Francisco, the center point for the revolution of this counterculture. I don't throw this out as a political point about the rights or wrongs of criminal procedure jurisprudence at that time, just more of an explanation of why this otherwise maddening point in the story happened.
In any event, even more maddening is when Hollywood does come out with a good movie like Zodiac, it nonetheless gets it butt kicked at the box office by a movie about middle aged men and Harley's. Maybe when it comes to movies, we get what we deserve after all.