Release dateJanuary 27, 2015 (2015-01-27) (Sundance Film Festival)
August 28, 2015 (2015-08-28) (United States) WriterMora Stephens, Mora Stephens, Joel Viertel, Joel Viertel ScreenplayMora Stephens, Joel Viertel CastPatrick Wilson (Sam Ellis), Lena Headey (Jeannie Ellis), Richard Dreyfuss (George Hiller), Ray Winstone (Coaker), John Cho (EJ), Dianna Agron (Dalia) Similar moviesPatrick Wilson appears in Zipper and Hard Candy
TaglineWhy take the risk
Zipper is a 2015 political thriller film, written and directed by Mora Stephens, starring Patrick Wilson, Lena Headey, Dianna Agron, Richard Dreyfuss, Ray Winstone, and Penelope Mitchell. The film had its world premiere on January 27, 2015 at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was released on August 28, 2015, in a limited release in the United States and through video on demand by Alchemy. The film follows a federal prosecutor running for office who cannot stop himself from sleeping with high-class escorts, putting both his career and his personal life at risk. The movie is a thinly veiled dramatization of the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal.
Sam Ellis (Patrick Wilson) is a man on the rise – a hot-shot prosecutor on the cusp of a bright future. When an intern (Dianna Agron) at the office becomes infatuated with him, Sam unwisely attempts to quiet his desires by seeing a high class escort — only to discover that the experience is more fulfilling and exhilarating than he could have imagined. A second appointment with an escort soon follows, and a third, sending his once idyllic life spiraling out of control. In the midst of wrestling with his demons, he suddenly finds himself being groomed to run for Attorney General — thrusting him into the public spotlight, and forcing him to take increasingly dangerous measures to keep the press, the law and his wife (Lena Headey) off his trail.
Patrick Wilson as Sam Ellis
Lena Headey as Jeannie Ellis
Dianna Agron as Dalia
Alexandra Breckenridge as Christy
Penelope Mitchell as Laci / Jennifer
Richard Dreyfuss as George Hiller
Ray Winstone as Nigel Coaker
John Cho as EJ
Billy Slaughter as Sam's Aide
Christopher McDonald as Peter Kirkland
Zipper has received negative reviews from critics, despite praise for Wilson's performance. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 17% rating, with a rating average of 4.3/10 based on 29 reviews. It has a score of 39% on Metacritic.
Jordan Hoffman from The Guardian gave the film 2/5 stars, saying: "What's ultimately frustrating about Zipper is that it seems like it has something important to say about infidelity and the sex industry, but can't decide what that should be." Kyle Smith from the New York Post gave the film a negative review and said: "The movie comes across as a not particularly compelling episode of "House of Cards," and Wilson's Southern accent is equally unconvincing." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter also gave the film a negative review, saying: "There's neither topicality nor bite in this bland pseudo-thriller, which lathers on composer H. Scott Salinas' high-suspense score like shower gel after sweaty sex, yet rarely musters an ounce of genuine tension." Another negative review from Geoff Berkshire of The Variety, saying: "Tawdry but cripplingly self-serious, the second feature from Mora Stephens (a full decade after her little-seen, also politically themed debut “Conventioneers”) benefits from Patrick Wilson’s committed star turn. Still, the awkward end product would inevitably struggle in theatrical venues, making it more advisable to play to the base and go straight to VOD and premium cable."
Despite having several negative reviews, Fred Topel from CraveOnline gave the film a positive review, with a score of 9.5/10, saying: "Zipper whips out the thrills... This year's Gone Girl... The grown-up thriller of the year."
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2015. Shortly after it was announced Alchemy had acquired distribution rights to the film. The film was released on August 28, 2015, in a limited release and through video on demand.