MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 85 this week

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 184,651 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 416 user | 208 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A frustrated man decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets one of his family's killers free. He targets not only the killer but also the district attorney and others involved in the deal.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 05 Mar 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 13 Apr 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 27 Dec 2011
 
DnF
a list of 34 titles
created 18 May 2013
 
a list of 28 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Law Abiding Citizen (2009) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Law Abiding Citizen.

User Polls

2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gamer (2009)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In a future mind-controlling game, death row convicts are forced to battle in a 'doom'-type environment. Convict Kable, controlled by Simon, a skilled teenage gamer, must survive 30 sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Stars: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Ludacris
RocknRolla (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting some of the city's scrappiest tough guys and its more established underworld types, all of whom are looking to get rich quick. While the city's seasoned criminals vie for the cash, an unexpected player -- a drugged out rock 'n' roller presumed to be dead but very much alive -- has a multi-million dollar prize fall into... See full summary »

Director: Guy Ritchie
Stars: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sam Childers is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.

Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo find themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure.

Director: Andy Tennant
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Gio Perez
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped inside the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack; using his inside knowledge, Banning works with national security to rescue the President from his kidnappers.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple's life is turned upside down when the wife is accused of a murder.

Director: Paul Haggis
Stars: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson
300 (2006)
Action | Fantasy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

King Leonidas and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Director: Zack Snyder
Stars: Gerard Butler, Lena Headey, David Wenham
Taken I (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris.

Director: Pierre Morel
Stars: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi and The Boss. Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman
Shooter I (2007)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to find the real killer and the reason he was set up.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Michael Peña, Rhona Mitra
Collateral (2004)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles. He must find a way to save both himself and one last victim.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally.

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Emerald-Angel Young ...
Denise Rice (as Emerald Angel Young)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Rupert Ames (as Joshua Stewart)
Edit

Storyline

Clyde Shelton's family is brutally murdered. The ones responsible are caught. However, because of improper procedure, the D.A., Nick Rice only has circumstantial evidence. So he decides to get one of them to testify against the other. When Shelton learns of this, he is not happy. Ten years later, the one who was convicted is being executed but something goes wrong; his execution goes awry and he suffers. They learn that someone tampered with the machine. And the other one is found dead, killed in a gruesome manner. Rice suspects Shelton, so he has him picked up. At first, Shelton agrees to a plea agreement with Rice but changes his mind. It appears that Shelton is not done, it appears he blames the whole system and is declaring war on it going after everyone involved with his family's case. So Rice has to stop him but Shelton is way ahead of him. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How do you stop a killer who is already behind bars? See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de ira  »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,488,143 (UK) (27 November 2009)

Gross:

$73,343,413 (USA) (29 January 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Itzen and Bruce McGill would work with each other again in 2012's "Lincoln" directed by Steven Spielberg. See more »

Goofs

When Clyde throws the keys to the cop tied up in the trunk of the police car, he closes the trunk, where a license plate saying "MONTREAL" is clearly visible. The movie takes place in Philadelphia. The Montreal skyline is also visible during many shots. See more »

Quotes

Clyde Shelton: This... Tetrodotoxin. Should be nicely into your system by now. Isolated from the liver of a Caribbean Puffer Fish. So, it paralyzes you... and leaves all the other neurological functions perfectly intact. In other words, you can't move... but you feel everything. It does absolutely nothing to blunt the pain... and you're about to experience more of that, than you could ever fucking imagine.
See more »


Soundtracks

Sin's a Good Man's Brother
Written by Mark Farner
Performed by Grand Funk Railroad
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Entertaining if occasionally implausible thriller
17 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Law Abiding Citizen" starts out like a modern-day version of "Death Wish," spends a few moments aping the "Saw" franchise, then settles in as a cat-and-mouse crime drama centered around the theme that the American legal system seems designed as much to thwart justice as to enact it.

The movie stands firmly in the long tradition of wish-fulfillment fantasies in which the victim of a broken legal system - functioning as a stand-in for an equally frustrated and helpless audience - finally says enough is enough and takes matters into his own hands, even going outside the limits of the law, if that's what it takes, to achieve justice.

As with the Charles Bronson character in "Death Wish," Gerard Butler's Clyde Shelton witnesses his wife and daughter being brutally raped and murdered by a couple of armed intruders. When the worst of the perpetrators cops a plea and is back out on the streets after a mere three years behind bars, Clyde is forced to take matters into his own hands. But he isn't content merely to bring down the killers themselves but to systematically go after everyone in the legal system – from strict-constructionist judges to hamstrung attorneys - who helped facilitate the injustice. That's where Nick Rice, well played by Jamie Foxx, comes in, the decent but by-the-book prosecutor who helped set up the deal and has now, along with everyone else involved with the case, become a prime target for Clyde's take-no-prisoners reign of terror and retribution.

The one thing that distinguishes "Law Abiding Citizen" from similar films in the genre is that it's not afraid to have a deeply troubled, possibly even psychotic, character at its core. For Clyde does not fit the mold of the typically lovable antihero. The audience is, in the early stages at least, asked to root him on as a conventional Angel of Retribution dispensing the justice that the court system saw fit to deny him, but so much of what he winds up doing steps so far over the line that we eventually balk at his tactics. It's this moral ambiguity that helps to mitigate some of the implausibility of Kurt Wimmer's screenplay, which often goes for effect at the expense of credibility. Indeed the movie's insistence at making him a sort of omnipotent, omnipresent existential force of nature to be reckoned with takes the movie out of the realm of reality and cheapens some of what it is trying to do. And, in the process of reaching its climax, the movie takes a plot turn so ludicrous and credibility-defying that the whole thing pretty much crashes and burns at the end.

That being said, Nick's interactions with Clyde are fun to watch and, thanks to taut direction by F. Gary Gray, there are some moments of genuine suspense scattered along the way. So if you can put your skepticism and critical-thinking skills on hold for the duration, you can have a pretty decent time with "Law Abiding Citizen."


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Couldve been a great movie if... ovallejr09
Clyde's actions bv-j
Why the ending was disappointing mauness
Did I miss the reason for the murder of Shelton's family? fruity_dina
Not even remotely possible....ptp wanderin
Perfect Ending maxphillyfan
Discuss Law Abiding Citizen (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page