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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.



1,657 ( 407)
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


The System Must Pay 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?


Catherine Zeta-Jones was considered for the role of Mayor April Henry. See more »


In the death penalty scene it appears to take place at the Philadelphia prison. However, in the state of PA, all executions take place at Rockview. That prison is located in Central PA, approximately 4 hours to the west of Philadelphia. See more »


Detective Dunnigan: You're gonna do that? Here? What about his civil rights?
Nick Rice: *Fuck* his civil rights.
See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.2 (2011) See more »


Written by Tom Araya (as Tomas Araya), Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman
Performed by Slayer
Courtesy of American Recordings, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A morality tale with plenty of action
19 October 2009 | by (Saint Louis, MO) – See all my reviews

This is a movie that's extremely fun to watch in the theaters because you get to hear and see everyone's reaction to each of his killings. The best one had people actually saying loudly "wow" and "oh my god!".

What drew me to the movie was the fact that the hero wasn't going around killing people with his bare hands or face to face. He was doing it with his mind, with careful planning, and deft precision. That was something refreshing to see. I can totally relate to his feelings of anger over the flaws in the justice system and his desire to take matters into his own hands - to make things right.

The ending was disappointing but the rest of the film was not and I liked it overall.

229 of 314 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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