7.4/10
217,915
429 user 216 critic

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Trailer
0:54 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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:

Reviews
Popularity
1,709 ( 83)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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 thirty sessions in order to be set free. Or won't he?

Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Stars: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall, Ludacris
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
The Town (2010)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm
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
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson
300 (2006)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

King Leonidas of Sparta 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
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
Taken I (2008)
Action | 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
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán
Safe House (2012)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
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:

Justice At Any Cost 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:

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

Director F. Gary Gray decided to use Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse as the restaurant that caters Clyde's lunch after dining there several times during filming. The restaurant was also the location of the film's after-party following its screening at the Philadelphia Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

At the cemetery where the armed robot emits an EMP, it knocks out the convoy's electronics, yet moments later Detective Dunnigan's radio can be heard, the blast would have also disabled their radios. See more »

Quotes

Nick Rice: I had to call his wife and tell her that her husband had been buried alive.
Clyde Shelton: Well, justice should be harsh Nick... especially for those who denied it to others.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (2011) 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

 
A Nutshell Review: Law Abiding Citizen
17 January 2010 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Law Abiding Citizen is one of those thrillers that has a great premise and idea, but bogged down by so many plot loopholes that it becomes an effortless comedy. What was supposedly an excellent run riddled with implausibilities became even more ridiculous in the final 10 minutes that you'd wonder if anyone had any inkling of a logical conclusion, or had decided to cop it all out to avoid being branded as anti-establishment, and as a result, just plain ordinary lacking the guts to just stick with its plan to the end.

Jamie Foxx stars as hotshot (assistant) district attorney Nick Rice, who boasts an extremely high conviction rate, a fact that he repeats many times, and we learn his dirty little secret was to make deals with the guilty - charge them for less, but they still get charged anyway. A conviction is better than no conviction at all should he lose the case. Too bad his latest case was, in my opinion an open and shut one, and he steps on the shoes of the victim, Clyde Sheldon (Gerard Butler), making a deal with the murderers of his family such that one gets sentenced to death while the other gets a short jail term. Not very ethical, but he gets to chalk up his positive statistics.

The perversion of the justice system gets highlighted, since justice is blind and the law can be manipulated with flip-flopping highly paid lawyers and incompetent judges. So Clyde decides to take on the system and teach them all a lesson. Which is a walk in the park because he's a clandestine strategist, but who had misguided faith in the system which explains why he sits around and does nothing, until 10 years later, which is acceptable according to an old Chinese proverb, to exact some form of revenge, making this like a torture porn outing, but without much of the gore on display.

I'd appreciate the film for its take on vigilantism when the system fails you through its corruption and incompetence, and just how much the limit actually is in order to push a man over the edge to declare war on just everybody, and pissing on the system while at it. Turning the system's tools and procedures over its head and onto the same organization may seem like guilty fun, but when the payback gets a wee bit sophisticated each time, you'd start to wonder on the plausibility of it all, even though it was established that Clyde Shelton is a man who can kill you softly while looking directly at you.

The film boils down to which side will you be on, and who would you root for. There's this shade of gray in both men, one willing to make deals with murderers to keep up his personal record, the other taking the law into his own hands, only to not want to stop when the going gets good, but being more ambitious in wanting to take down the whole system. From his prison cell no less. Although Clyde has a valuable lesson to impart to Nick in that what's important is doing the right thing, it did go a tad overboard in order to amplify its idea, especially with sweeping statements like how the entire city got gripped by the apparent acts of terrorism.

Gerard Butlner plays his character crazed since he's a man with absolutely nothing to lose, though it's quite unbelievable that for someone who's well versed in clandestine operations to be ambushed like you see in the trailers, without so much of a counter-strategy in place. But between the two leads Jamie Foxx seemed a little uncomfortable as he can't really portray that degree of arrogance required, and given the emotional distance from his family director F. Gary Gray failed to allow you to feel Nick's fear when his own family got threatened by Clyde.

But the real stinker was the insult to the audience's intelligence in the final moments which tried way too hard to be clever in introducing an impossible twist which has to involve time travel. It's quite the slap in the face telling you that Fate will shine its light on the powers that be, or on any one else bent on seeking justice, but one must know when to stop before going too far and lady luck begins to turn her attention away. Recommended for the build up, but not its unsatisfying, gutless ending.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The most absurdly implausible twist in movie history Ohio9
If Clyde was this genius planner Lizarita
To All Of You Complaining About ksgirl81
Couldve been a great movie if... ovallejr09
Clyde's accomplice bv-j
Why the ending was disappointing mauness
Discuss Law Abiding Citizen (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page