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Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

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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.



1,021 ( 636)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


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:





Release Date:

16 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Días de ira  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,039,502 (USA) (16 October 2009)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Nutter: In the scene where the Mayor (Viola Davis) is swearing in Nick as the new District Attorney, the man holding the bible is the actual mayor of Philadelphia at the time of filming. See more »


Clyde is arraigned in front of the same Court of Common Pleas judge who sentenced Darby. Cylde's initial arraignment and bail hearing would not take place in the Court of Common Pleas. In Pennsylvania, it would actually take place in front of a local District Justice (magistrate), who would then schedule a preliminary hearing to determine if enough evidence existed to hold the case for trial in the Court of Common Pleas. Furthermore, this would all have taken place before he was ever committed to county jail. See more »


Nick Rice: [Referring to Ames' execution] you know you don't have to go to this if you don't want to.
Sarah Lowell: Yeah I do, what's it like?
Nick Rice: No biggie, It's like watching someone fall asleep.
Sarah Lowell: Except the not waking up part? Does it bother you?
Nick Rice: Not anymore.
See more »


Featured in The Justice of 'Law Abiding Citizen' (2010) See more »


Eminence Front
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by The Who
Courtesy of Polydor Records Ltd./Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Citizen Abides
16 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A solid movie. It was not predictable. The actors were great in their roles except for a sub-par Leslie Bibb (TV actress with waning looks). After the first five minutes I thought I made my assumptions of what was going to happen but I was totally wrong.

Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx work perfect against each other. There are a few lulls in the movie towards the end but overall it was a real good movie.

Perhaps the message of this movie can somehow persuade real change in our legal practices. It is worth seeing. The way the film is shot and the sound effects make this an intense movie.

142 of 243 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If Clyde was this genius planner Lizarita
To All Of You Complaining About ksgirl81
Couldve been a great movie if... ovallejr09
Why the ending was disappointing mauness
Clyde's accomplice bv-j
Not even remotely possible....ptp wanderin
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