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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Gerard Butler
Leslie Bibb
Jamie Foxx
Colm Meaney
Bruce McGill
Michael Irby
Regina Hall
Viola Davis.
Directors
F Gary Gray.
Screenwriters
Running Time
108 minutes

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Law Abiding Citizen
Revenge is a dish best served, well, whenever you get round to it...


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Plot
After the rapist-murderer of his wife and child gets off with a deal from ambitious assistant District Attorney Nick Rice (Foxx), grieving, outraged Clyde Shelton (Butler) gets biblical, waging a one-man war against the entire criminal justice system and the city of Philadelphia...


Review
Law Abiding Citizen
Revenge thrillers never appeal to our better natures. They pander to lust for retribution, and get away with murder by appearing to offset wrong with right. But this is the kind of film that leaves you so disappointed in humanity, the planet would be better left to the cockroaches.

Death Wish vigilantism goes too far when you no longer grasp who you are supposed to be rooting for. No sooner has Jamie Foxx demonstrated commitment to his art with The Soloist than he takes complete leave of his senses to play an unbelievable character utterly unlikable from start to finish. His hotshot ADA, Nick, is arrogant, detached and no great shakes as a husband and father, either. After a horror-movie opening sequence of a home invasion, in which Butler’s ordinary, decent guy Clyde is stabbed and bound, helpless while his wife and little girl are at the mercy of a rapist murderer and burglar sidekick (and is inexplicably left alive to identify his tormentors), he has all our sympathy. And he gets even more when the lesser of two evils is condemned to death while the devil “co-operates” with the prosecution and gets a pass. We feel Clyde’s pain.

Ten years pass, which seems an arbitrary time lapse — until it emerges it would have taken at least that long for inventor Clyde to have amassed a fortune, accrued hitman expertise and constructed a lair only a Bond villain could love, packed with surveillance equipment, explosives, gadgets and clothes racks for 101 disguises. He’s like the Count Of Monte Cristo if Edmond Dantès had mad IT skills and a degree in engineering.

What ensues would just be silly if the cat-and-mouse game weren’t so vicious, a series of indiscriminate slaughters when Clyde has flipped from betrayed victim to maniac on a senseless mission. Director Gray is a money-maker (Friday et al), but taste isn’t his hallmark. The film lurches from one massacre set-piece to another, the manner of each death telegraphed with clumsy glee before it happens. Foxx’s Nick seems merely peeved that his own hypocrisy and superiority are being challenged, while Butler’s Clyde acts like he has rabies. One might argue for the defence that this is meant to be provocatively subversive, with the ‘good guys’ becoming indistinguishable from the bad. The jury doesn’t buy it.


Verdict
Relentlessly ugly, preposterous and hackneyed of dialogue: guilty on all counts. It will do well, then.


Reviewed by Angie Errigo

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Law Abiding Citizen
Empire Star Rating

Who Cares??

After the performances in 'Ray' and '300' you'd think this film would be great.....wrong! Man (Butler) watches his wife and child raped and murdered. Lawyer (Fox) would rather give murderer 10 years and keep his success rate up than take it to trial. Man wants revenge (fair enough) takes it way too far, kills everyone involved in the case, no real point to the story, no history of the charachters, no change in the law, just chaninsaws, bombs and an unconvincing psycho (Butler) - a waste of an ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by claireh123 at 09:56, 29 December 2009 | Report This Post


Who Cares??

After the performances in 'Ray' and '300' you'd think this film would be great.....wrong! Man (Butler) watches his wife and child raped and murdered. Lawyer (Fox) would rather give murderer 10 years and keep his success rate up than take it to trial. Man wants revenge (fair enough) takes it way too far, kills everyone involved in the case, no real point to the story, no history of the charachters, no change in the law, just chaninsaws, bombs and an unconvincing psycho (Butler) - a waste of an ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by claireh123 at 09:56, 29 December 2009 | Report This Post


burn baby, burn! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 01:00, 11 December 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Law Abiding Citizen

Preposterous, abysmally stupid dud using every thriller cliche in the book. It's too long, it's acted with zero conviction (which is understandable considering the daftness of the script), except for Butler, whose performance is grotesquely uneven, but at least amusing in some form or another. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Kazuya at 09:37, 10 December 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Law Abiding Citizen

I enjoyed this film for the most part although I agree with some of the other posters when I say that the ending completely spoiled the film because it was so stupid and far fetched but everything else in the film was fairly good although nothing too special. I would have thought that 3 stars would have been a fairer score to give it than 2 stars, Empire. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dr. salvador at 21:01, 09 December 2009 | Report This Post


Better than Empire's 2 stars - 3 3/4

I read the Empire review with it's two stars so I was unsure what was I was going to get when I went to see it, but I like to make up my own mind. In my mind Empire should have given it more! From the beginning to near the end I was engrossed, with an excellent performace from Butler and Foxx was as good as ever. I was a bit disappointed by the ending as I was waiting for the big climax which you don't really receive, you get an ending which was a bit lack lustre. Which is why I've given it 3... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by katelm76 at 14:01, 09 December 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Law Abiding Citizen

Pathetic.   Utter drival.   Saw meets Crank but takes itsself far far to seroiusly.   Without the two main leads this is direct to DVD crap. ... More

Posted by Death_Row_Marv at 21:51, 06 December 2009 | Report This Post


is best served cold.

s pretty much unlikeable for the entire production"as Foxx ever been less than an complete and utter twat in of his films? I've seen a fair few of them, and I'd have to say no. Not a bad film, but let down by an illogical ending that whiffs of a market research led rewrite. ... More

Posted by spamandham at 14:43, 05 December 2009 | Report This Post


I thought it was great

This was s really good movie. I feel sometimes reviewers forget about the fact movies are meant to entertain and not all scripts can be complaetely realistic! If some of the stuff in this movie could really be done then we should all live in fear. But by making this kind of scenario happen in a film we can leave the cinema and go home without being terrified of what a prisoner could be doing from his cell. The acting was grrat and i was entertained the WHOLE wat through. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MariannaBelle at 16:39, 04 December 2009 | Report This Post


I thought it was great

This was s really good movie. I feel sometimes reviewers forget about the fact movies are meant to entertain and not all scripts can be complaetely realistic! If some of the stuff in this movie could really be done then we should all live in fear. But by making this kind of scenario happen in a film we can leave the cinema and go home without being terrified of what a prisoner could be doing from his cell. The acting was grrat and i was entertained the WHOLE wat through. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MariannaBelle at 16:39, 04 December 2009 | Report This Post


What Punisher should have been

I didn't know anything about the film but after watching the Trailer, I really wanted to see it. Not disappointed in the least! One sentence to justify the full marks: any man who's been put in the same position would do exactly the same thing. This film shows how the justice system can be just as corruptible as any in the world when people have unethical motives. It shows how a man who is lethal, what damage he can do when the justice system fails him and he has nothing else to live for. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Crow at 17:09, 03 December 2009 | Report This Post


Law Abiding Citizen

Absolute tosh of the first order - but did anyone expect anything less from charisma vacuums Messrs Butler and Foxx and the director of The Italian Job? Check out my blog review of the film at Anyone For a Film? - http://www.seano22.blogspot.com ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by seaneo at 16:36, 02 December 2009 | Report This Post


Law Abiding

The most frustrating thing about this is that this really could have been something more. Butler is genuinely excellent at the beginning, but as soon as he turns into the genius, dastardly villain, it's all downhill. He's continuously struck down by a script that seemingly started life as a Saw sequel. Foxx is pretty much unlikeable for the entire production: even when Butler is massacring innocent people, you're still more inclined to side with him than Foxx's cocky District Attorney. Gray'... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 14:00, 01 December 2009 | Report This Post


Law Abiding

The most frustrating thing about this is that this really could have been something more. Butler is genuinely excellent at the beginning, but as soon as he turns into the genius, dastardly villain, it's all downhill. He's continuously struck down by a script that seemingly started life as a Saw sequel. Foxx is pretty much unlikeable for the entire production: even when Butler is massacring innocent people, you're still more inclined to side with him than Foxx's cocky District Attorney. Gray'... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 14:00, 01 December 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Harsh. Extremely Harsh...

Oh dear. Entertaining i guess, but only just - because the rest is SHIT 4/10 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 19:59, 30 November 2009 | Report This Post


Harsh. Extremely Harsh...

2 stars? Really? Fair enough, the first 5 minutes is overly familiar with Death Wish or the more recent Death Race 2000, but what follows is a good, edge-of-your-seat, twisty violent thriller, with very good, engaging performances from its leads. The last ten minutes is probably the most ridiculous, preposterous ending I've seen in a while, but there's no denying that it's irresistably entertaining. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CIRVIRUS64 at 21:53, 29 November 2009 | Report This Post


Bloody Brilliant.

This has to be one of best thrillers I have seen this year, never I had been so gripped on the edge of my seat and shocked of what happened next throughout. The stunning pefomances from Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler are worthy of your attention, this is a film you really need to see. I argee with the ending, finished too quickly and far too sad but it does make you think. It's very clever, very well done and Empire giving it two stars is wrong. Four stars I will be giving it, I really recommend p... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 17:25, 28 November 2009 | Report This Post


Original and entertaining!!!

I have to give this movie a 3 and a half. It could've been a 4 if not for the atrocious ending. The plot has been described perfectly, with a bit of a biased view, by Angle Errigo, and with one little thing missing. Gerard Butler's "ordinary, decent guy Clyde" actually happens to be a super assassin for the government. They find that out half way to 2/3s through the movie. The story is new and very well thought out. The acting is very good. Clyde's biggest asset is his ordinary, decent... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Soumit at 09:00, 28 November 2009 | Report This Post


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