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The Equalizer (2014)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  26 September 2014 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 198,154 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 419 user | 287 critic | 41 from

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brian Plummer
Susan Plummer
Vladimir Pushkin
Lead Investigator
Remar (as Mike P. O'Dea)
Jenny (as Anastasia Mousis)


In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What do you see when you look at me?


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



| |

Release Date:

26 September 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El justiciero  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$34,137,828 (USA) (26 September 2014)


$101,530,738 (USA) (9 January 2015)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Slavi refers to Robert as "dedushka" when they meet at the restaurant. This is Russian for "grandfather". See more »


Robert sends Ralphie to turn on electricity. As he does so, a gunman enters the breakroom tracking Robert. As the power comes on, the microwave starts resulting in propane explosion. Robert could not have set the microwave to start with the power off, it was digital. See more »


Teri: I bought a little machine for making demos.
Robert McCall: Yea, I bet your good.
Teri: What makes you say that?
Robert McCall: Intuition.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas (2014) See more »


Alonzo Pérez
Written by Juan Antonio González Rodríguez
Performed by Grupo Tormento
See more »

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User Reviews

Colder Opportunities
1 October 2014 | by (Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines) – See all my reviews

The Equalizer is loosely based on an 80s television series with the same name. This reinvention in comparison aims to be darker and much violent, but the film's ambition is basically turning its star, Denzel Washington, into a grittier action hero. It somehow pays off when he starts killing bad guys in cold blood, and it's amazing how he could still carry the character's humanity along the way. The film troubles when it gets out of hand to its glorious vigilantism despite it takes place in a world seems apart from that context. If you tend to ignore the sentiments and shade of reality, you can still tell that it's a pretty entertaining piece of action, but in general it's just difficult to not notice its mess of tones, even with that amount of fun.

There is one side in the film when it's totally gripping, that is when we just see the protagonist as a person living in an ordinary life, often being with people and often encountering them getting in trouble by crime. This grounded world just keeps most of its darkness in their presence, sometimes feeling like a doomed, helpless world. But once the hero reveals what he truly is capable of, it doesn't actually sucks out its entertainment quality, but it does betrays that intriguing context, nearly turning itself into a superhero movie, except of course, it's less silly and much violent. McCall, in shorthand, is too competent for any criminal he fights and often leaves with a perfect swagger. It may not be big deal to many viewers, especially the action fans who are already enjoying the blood, but the film sets up an existing theme that seems to be a lot interesting to consider instead of indulging itself with its own way of justice.

The cool slow-mos and stylish special effects might have also rob the sense of realistic tension, but put that aside, each action scene is watchable enough, we don't usually see a wider blockbuster today that has the guts to fearlessly show brutal movie violence like this. This is probably the only mundane element existing in those set pieces. Denzel Washington shifts his character to two personalities: one is the likable ordinary man himself and the anti-hero with a hidden cosmic hate through its world. The performance does sum up the overall movie, from gravitas to smugness, and what's great is they're both effective anyway. However, the villains (and their tattoos) have blatantly shown that they're evil: the main antagonist seems like he's written to be over-the-top, almost like a cartoon villain than a believable human mafioso, but Marton Csokas gives a little grimness as he have fun with it.

The Equalizer would have been nicer if it was a little shorter and much consistent, but I could guarantee that it still entertains, it does have the appeal through its action and acting. Though, there are more serious things that could have made it a lot compelling thriller. The film does have the knack of embracing either of its elements, but it just keeps shifting back and forth, like we're not getting to the actual big picture. Well, if you can accept that the hero is this superior then it might work better for the experience. For now, it can be endlessly watchable, but you will only find few things that are remarkable about it.

45 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Are there really people like this? digvisgrp
Is this a joke? askebisgaard
How did he set the timer on the microwave while the power was off? circadian
Overall good, but two scenes in this movie made me laugh really hard... gabri-jones7
Why did McCall time everything with his watch? johnrzezniknmsu
Couldn't they find real Russians? LindysRuffians
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