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The Equalizer
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The Equalizer More at IMDbPro »

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305 out of 467 people found the following review useful:

If you love Denzel, and you loved Training Day, and your only wish was that that bad-ass could have been a good guy, then this is the movie for you!!!!!

10/10
Author: missgriffin (missgriffin@sympatico.ca) from USA
10 September 2014

The Equalizer is NOT Man on Fire. The Equalizer is NOT your typical action flick. Washington's Robert McCall is not self-destructive or addicted. Though there are great choreographed fights, special effects and fantastic explosions, The Equalizer is more Bourne than Bond. Denzel Washington portrays this ex-CIA operative, who is content to live a meticulously simple life. Quietly contained, but with ever-building intensity, Washington turns in another stellar performance.

Chloe Grace Moretz, as the teenage prostitute, is a force...

Antoine Fuqua, the directer who brought us Training Day, which earned Denzel his Best Actor Oscar, helms this movie with a steady hand. His direction of the drama and the action blend seamlessly, drawing us into the complexity of this character-driven piece.

Robert McCall keeps to himself, content to live his ordinary life; he is every man's man. But, his steady moral compass, and strong sense of justice lead him back into the fray. This character is not infallible, and he is not looking for trouble. He just wants what's right.

This film is a superbly acted, exciting and violent ride! In the pursuit of justice, there will be blood. But this time, you'll be rooting for the good guy, and I, a fifty years young woman, loved every minute of it!

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199 out of 277 people found the following review useful:

A Stylish And Daring Action Thriller

Author: Calum Rhys from Worcester, England
3 October 2014

Antoine Fuqua's and Denzel Washington's paths collide once more as they come together to create a stylish and daring action thriller about a man with a mysterious past, whose quiet life suddenly turns into a rip- roaring adventure of guns and thrills. Both Denzel Washington and Chloe Grace Moretz give stellar performances and display perfect chemistry as two friends stuck in a world of crime and violence. Arguably Fuqua's best film since 'Training Day', 'The Equalizer' is a brutal and merciless tale that explores the Russian underworld on the East Coast and the corruption ties within the law enforcement of Boston's police department.

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235 out of 370 people found the following review useful:

McCall...NOT McClane!! Dark, edgy violence, as well as fantastic performances separate this action movie from the pack!!

10/10
Author: ghs263 from United States
17 September 2014

Some reviews have characterized this movie as your typical, run-of-the-mill, action movie, nothing you haven't seen before....nothing could be farther from the truth!!

This movie is based off the television series called "The Equalizer". It is about an ex-CIA operative who uses his special skills to help ordinary people who have no other recourse. This movie version of The Equalizer is more reminiscent of Matt Damon's Jason Bourne, and it is this that sets this movie above your typical action flick. In fact, in Mr. Damon's own words, The Equalizer "...reminded me of the Bourne Identity, in that both are sophisticated adult, thriller franchises where the protagonists are capable of high-action exploits, but aren't running around in spandex." Directed by the great Antoine Fuqua, the man who brought us Training Day, The Equalizer is a gritty and violent, suspenseful and superb action film. This movie is very character-driven, and Denzel Washington, who plays protagonist Robert McCall, gives another stellar performance. His character lives alone, keeps to himself, and seems to suffer from some form of OCD. Most importantly, McCall is not McClane! He is not a wise-cracking cop in the wrong place at the wrong time, but rather a quiet and complex character, whose sense of justice is awakened when a young girl is brutally beaten.

This movie gives you everything you would want from an action film: guns, explosions and great effects. However, the violence and bloodshed in this movie are deserving of it's R- rating, and create this film's authentic feel. The excellent performances by the cast are also what raise this movie well above your ordinary action movie. Team Washington/Fuqua gives us a darker hero for darker times, and one you will cheer on every step of the way!!!

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137 out of 201 people found the following review useful:

Gruesome at times, The Equalizer is a rewarding action film for every single Denzel Washington fan out there.

7/10
Author: Lloyd Bayer from United Arab Emirates
24 September 2014

Rooting for a badass hero with a kickass attitude has never been as satisfying as watching Denzel Washington dish out some brutal punishment. This is exactly what you get in The Equalizer, an action thriller based on the late 80's TV series of the same name, but amped up with ultra-violent realism.

Reunited after their collaboration in Training Day, Washington (received his first Academy Award in a leading role) and director Antoine Fuqua are back in this simple yet deadly effective action film. Using a Mark Twain quote about people who find their true purpose late in life, Washington plays Robert McCall, a loner and tragic widower with a mysterious past. On the surface, he is an amiable home depot worker who keeps to himself, indulging in conversations only when spoken too, and slave to some sort of OCD while remaining invisible to people around him. After befriending a Russian teen escort called Alina, (Chloe Grace Moretz all grownup), and discovering she is the victim of sexual abuse, McCall's nice-guy demeanor melts away to expose an aura reverberating layers of darkening complexity. There's a tightly restrained compassion in McCall's eyes, fighting a father-figure compulsion to do what he must, while Alina's is a muted plea for deliverance. This scene takes place in a diner they frequent in Boston, and it's the first of two powerful moments in the film. What follows is the film's first action sequence in a Tarantino-styled dialogue first, and blood splatter later, McCall dispatches Alina's Russian pimp and his goons. When news reaches Moscow, mob kingpin Pushkin sends Teddy (Marton Csokas), to clean up the mess. Covered with satanic tattoos, Teddy is anything but the moniker he goes by and with half the Boston PD on his payroll, it's just a matter of when and where McCall is eliminated. Or so they think.

Having previously scripted The Expendables 2, Richard Wenk's story here is nothing new when considering McCall's proverbial 'set of skills', a comparison if you must, to certain characters Liam Neeson has played. On the other hand, there is a mechanism in place, partly due to the aforementioned OCD, allowing McCall a brief study of the situation before striking with lethal accuracy. While that sounds like a knock-off version of combat tactics employed by Guy Ritchie's titular hero in Sherlock Homes (2009), the payoff is watching McCall take out bad guys with improvised weaponry. It gets a bit hokey towards the end, with McCall using all manner of booby traps to slice, dice and blow up Teddy's dumber-by-the-minute henchmen. Having said that, it is still rewarding to watch Washington demolish enemy after enemy and this is largely due to Csokas' terrific portrayal of Teddy's loathsome nature. To that effect, the best scenes in the film are when Teddy and McCall are face-to-face and denting each other's armour with nothing but well written dialogues. One such scene is a powerful dinner table battering-of-wits, a taut reimagining of that iconic scene in Heat (1995).

While humour and drama throw some light on Boston's mob controlled dirty cops, McCall's relationships with his colleagues, and even a short segment that suggests his origins as a trained killer, The Equalizer really shines with Fuqua's deft handling of action scenes. But topping it off is Washington in a vigilante role that is the best we've seen in years. Fans of Man on Fire (Washington opposite Dakota Fanning) and Léon: The Professional (Jean Reno opposite Natalie Portman), both films about male heroism influenced by female protégés, are in for a visual treat. Heck, who needs improbable superheroes when you have an average Joe with extraordinary capabilities and all without hiding behind a mask or costume? Although compelled to use the N-word, I'll just say – Ma man Denzel. . .doesn't disappoint and neither does The Equalizer.

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188 out of 310 people found the following review useful:

A Script Written By A 5-Year-Old Aspiring Hollywood Screenwriter

2/10
Author: Ruiz Manalo
31 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sorry Denzel, not even your amazing talent could save this laughably insultingly lame, simple-minded, patronizing movie straight from the mind of a toddler trapped in a 38 year old Hollywood screenwriter fantasizing about saving abused hookers from fat Russian mobsters. But 2 good things about this movie: 1) Denzel AND 2) Mustache twirling, bootleg Kenneth Branagh main villain.

And from this point on my review will simply be titled "Hollywood Thinks...."

1) Hollywood thinks that Russians speaking to each other randomly pepper-in English for some odd reason & then go back to their native language to say important info like "Yes"

2) Hollywood thinks every man only gets mad about injustice when it's a young attractive female who is being abused and beaten by rich, fat, ultra violent, mustache twirling foreigner/weirdos.

3) Hollywood thinks ex-CIA members go around wiping out entire crime families not because they want to stop crime or injustice to the general public, but because one white woman was abused by Russian pimp-mobsters who very obviously had done that type of thing to countless men/women before. But it is okay for the hero to murder people because, hey, they hit a woman & they are one-dimensional evildoers who don't deserve even a trial or gas chamber for their crimes, they deserve a vigilante death.

4) Hollywood thinks the Russian mafia and the Boston PD are both incompetent fools: These rocket scientists run around saying things like "no witnesses" but brashly brandish guns in broad daylight and shoot at things all the time out in public while doing faux-military hand- gestures thought up by the 5 year old screenwriter while playing Contra. And apparently half of the corrupt cops in this universe are making gobs of money with the oh-so-dangerous yet generic "mafia" groups while the other half is shaking down Mexican Jack Black's mom for pocket change at a taco stand because that's such a booming industry in the Southy Projects. Feed me to thah POOR by dah way.

5) Hollywood thinks an ex-CIA member can lecture mobsters about lying, killing, and insulting a government agency for corruption...as if they have such a squeaky clean record. And they also think we the idiot simpleton audience is supposed to shake in our boots at these tired, played out tropes revolving around the "RUSSIANS" and "CIA" and "CORRUPT COPS" who talk like caricatures from an unreleased Sopranos sub-plot.

6) Hollywood thinks that every vigilante murder, destruction of property, torture, etc. can be written off as legitimate because said vigilante was an ex-CIA/FBI/Law enforcement officer with some current tie to an operational government contact (in this case a female instead of a male because that is just so out of the box & unexpected) So progressive this film.

7) Hollywood thinks they need to shoot everything in slow motion because MATRIX.

8) Hollywood thinks people with guns often give vigilantes 20 minutes of slow motion time to plan out killing them with random blunt or sharp objects just after adjusting skull-shaped items to foreshadow their doom.

9) Hollywood thinks the audience is stupid (and they may have a point) so constantly have characters yell out things like "OH THIS IS THE RING I LOST" and "OH MY GOD YOU DID IT!" because we idiots could not done figure that out oh golly geez and a wippdee doo!

10) Hollywood thinks by shooting people talking that are famous and telegraphing what is good and evil, over and over again with the same idiotic tropes, that it counts as great cinema. F**K Hollywood and F**K this movie.

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115 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

Mostly atmosphere, zero story

6/10
Author: ToddWebb from Washington, DC
5 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At the end of it all, I found this movie very boring. The story is old as dirt. The plot is so obvious that as soon as characters appear on screen one can identify, "He'll be killed," "She'll be kidnapped and used as bait," "Something bad's gonna happen to him," and my all-time favorite, "He's the innocent, likable guy introduced early then ignored for 90 minutes (so we'll forget about him), only to have him turn up as a hostage in the big showdown." And every prediction is spot-on.

Example of bad writing: Two thugs walking up to a door. The last thing Thug 2 says to Thug 1 as they approach the door, "Whatever you do, don't call him Little John." Very next shot, inside the door, Thug 1 starts talking smack... and guess what he does? When the setup is literally 5 seconds earlier, we all see it coming. Give us the setup in a different location, maybe? Or at least disguise the setup amidst a longer, funny/entertaining conversation? Nope, just lay out that one line setup, then walk on in. We the viewers will just deal with it.

Denzel's character is likable. I mean, insanely likable. Beyond the depth of my willful suspension of disbelief likable. He's always friendly, always in a good mood, always smiling. He's ecstatic just to be alive. Everyone loves being near him. He's never "just a guy." He's more helpful than a college professor, more inspirational than a priest, more motivational that a fitness instructor. Every scene in his workplace (which is visited repeatedly throughout the movie) includes no less than 2 background guys smiling giddily when Denzel arrives to work, and laughing loud at every word Denzel speaks. Going to work at Home Depot - sorry, "Home Mart" - surely isn't like that in real life.

But there's more to Denzel, isn't there? Who is this guy? Where'd he come from? Who knows? We'll never know. But clearly he's bad-ass. More moves than Shakira and deadlier than Seal Team Six. He seems to know how to handle any situation and any number of attackers - just because. No reason; he's just awesome. If you ever saw the classic comedy PLANET TERROR, just think of the scene, "Give him the gun. Give him all the guns." Because, ya know, he's just so bad-ass for no logical reason.

The bad guy was awesome. While Denzel's fight scenes were a lot of super-close blurry shots, the few scenes where the Bad Guy establishes his badness were rather good, very tense, very violent and cringe-worthy.

THE EQUALIZER has all latest bells and whistles with music, atmosphere, and build-up. The one female lead is developed nicely (especially compared to every other innocent victim who may as well have stepped out of Little House On The Prairie). Much of the movie is very tense, and keeps you hanging on to each scene, waiting to see what happens next. But ultimately, we all know Denzel will kick ass, so it's all just a waiting game. It felt very long. The wait is made so much worse when the viewer knows exactly what's coming. There's just no surprises here. You've seen this movie 500 times, I'm sure.

Oh yeah, and Denzel knows everything. He appears magically inside buildings and rooms where one shouldn't be able to sneak in. He has cell phone numbers one shouldn't have access to - the characters even comment on it, "How the hell did you get that number?!" No answer. Doesn't matter. It's a movie. Just turn off your brain and enjoy the tension building. How does Denzel know when the bad guys will appear at a time and place, so he can intercept them in the night? Don't know, doesn't matter, I guess. How does Denzel sneak into a closet-sized room without the occupant noticing? How does Denzel have time to set up his trap, rig wires, etc, without anyone seeing this work being done? Who cares, the resulting deaths are cool.

Go to sleep. Tune out. Enjoy. But don't expect to take this movie with you. You'll have forgotten it by the time you leave the parking lot.

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116 out of 183 people found the following review useful:

Political message as DIY Rambo

1/10
Author: George D from Zimbabwe
14 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just when I thought Hollywood couldn't go lower, comes this masterpiece. I'm sad to see Washington agreeing to play this role which is way below his standard. I guess Uncle Sam payed him hefty dollars to take part in this political message to Russia. Long story short, Denzel (Obama) single-handedly, and with use of some home appliances, kills the entire Russian mob organisation including the boss in Russia, Vladimir Pushkin (Putin). He even blows up the gas pipeline (seriously?) The prostitutes represent Ukraine, that needs protection from big bad Russians. Uninventive, childish, crude, terribly written political propaganda. Avoid if you can.

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98 out of 161 people found the following review useful:

Washington nails it

8/10
Author: MediaPanther from United States
26 September 2014

Antoine Fuqua's big screen adaptation of the 80′s TV series The Equalizer opens with an impressive tracking shot through an open window, and into the orderly and near empty apartment, belonging to Robert McCall (Denzel Washington). McCall lives a Spartan existence; for the first twenty minutes of the picture, he hardly says a word. Fuqua (Training Day) gives a lengthy shot as you watch McCall fold something delicately into a napkin. When you see him unfold the napkin at his regular diner, and place the teabag into a cup of hot water, you understand immediately that this man is a creature of habit, firmly set in his ways. Every night he's there, reading a book. He's such a regular, that he strikes up a familiar acquaintance in a young teenage prostitute, Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz)), which eventually grows into something of a friendship. There is something undeniably hidden within him, however. When he realizes the danger Teri is in thanks to her nefarious Russian pimps, he forgoes his cautious life, and willingly brings on the pain.

Director Fuqua accordingly really brings on the style for these sequences. His relative quiet touches give way to mayhem. Before every murder McCall commits, the camera slows down, taking on a golden hue, and you literally see McCall breaking down every element of his victims: tattoos, facial expressions. And then he lets loose: even timing himself to see if he can voice dispatch Mafiosi in 30 seconds or less.

And The Equalizer is undeniably fun. It's one of those thrillers that begins moody and atmospheric, and then decides it would be more fun to see how many people can be dispatched with nail guns or corkscrew openers; and it is similarly unconcerned with logic in the idea that McCall decides to take down the entire East Coast hub of the Russian mafia, simply over one teenage prostitute. But with Fuqua this stylistically assured, and Washington equally game, does it really matter?

As Teri, Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, Carrie) forgoes the sarcastic strategy Jodie Foster used as a teenage hooker in Scorsese's Taxi Driver. Teri is arguably much more frightened of her violent handlers, and is less given to false bravado as result. And even though her character really amounts to little more than a glorified supporting part after she is sent away, she is a great deal of fun to watch, and she holds her own more than capably against Denzel Washington (The Book Of Eli). The habit of extended cameos in The Equalizer is even more extreme in the case of Melissa Leo as Robert's former CIA contact, who pops up to give a vital piece of information on the evil mobster, and to tentatively tiptoe around the subject of his wife, while offering a small measure of comfort. The bit part parade reaches "blink-and-you-miss him" cameo status, by casting a reputable star like Bill Pullman as Leo's husband, and giving him no more than four lines (though of course it's possible that this may be a larger part that met with cuts in the editing room).

If anything, a weakness of The Equalizer is that McCall's troubled personal life is left as somewhat ambiguous. Who can blame it really? The opening aims for a quiet kind of profundity, and it succeeds, but isn't really interested in following through. For all its thin characterization, there is something just as nice in watching Denzel Washington coldly and calculatingly firing a nail gun in righteous vengeance.

- See more at: www.mediumraretv.org

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102 out of 182 people found the following review useful:

Love Denzel In Any Movie But This Was Awesome

10/10
Author: Danielle White-Mangum
4 October 2014

The movie was action packed and I love when the good guy always win. The character don't talk much but you can only pull that off if you are a good actor. The young actress I hear she is 17 did an amazing job to play that part.Denzel no words you still got the box office power. My husband ex marine he would not stop hollering when one scene came up he gets a kick out of that stuff. Never seen the Equalizer series at all so my opinion is from the movie only. Sequel is wide open lets have more next year. Hope to see more. Love It. Hope the DVD be out for a Christmas Present for the husband I will be buying it. All I can say is go see this movie because it is very good don't listen to the haters.

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50 out of 80 people found the following review useful:

Colder Opportunities

6/10
Author: Mek Torres from Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
1 October 2014

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.

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