Paul Avery in "Zodiac" (2007)
Another of Downey's portrayals of real people, he plays the booze-drinking, drug-downing reporter who observes and chronicles the horrors of the Zodiac Killer with an air of detached ambivalence. Instead of the hysteria or anxiety that might be expected in a serial killer movie, Avery shifts from glibness to frustration, winding up as a bitter recluse. He doesn’t save the day or crack the case—he shuts down. Downey makes the implosion utterly engrossing, proving that in “Zodiac” the people committed to finding the infamous serial killer were far more complicated, and captivating, than the killer himself.