In the late 1960s Northern California was paralyzed with fear as one of the most notorious serial killers in American history terrorized the region. In this fictionalized account of actual events, a small town cop struggles to protect his family while wading through the ciphers and astrological charts he needs to decode to capture the gruesome killer.
“Zodiac” is less a film about a serial killer, and more about the men who attempt to discover the killer’s identity. Director David Fincher apparently wanted to make the film feel as long as the amount of time spent trying to catch the zodiac killer, which ends up being more than twenty years. “Zodiac” is almost three hours long, and drags along slowly in the beginning until the action and suspense begin to build in the last half of the film.
Towards the beginning of the movie, a few of the murders committed by the zodiac killer are depicted graphically. This includes a man shown being shot in the neck in slow motion, other people being shot, and a young couple being tied up and stabbed. Although there is no violence shown for the rest of the film, these few scenes are quite graphic and realistic, making them very frightening. Also, heavy drinking and smoking throughout the film, as well as biblical profanity, prevent “Zodiac” from being approved by Dove.