7.2/10
320,512
610 user 325 critic

The Equalizer (2014)

Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life, before he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters and can't stand idly by.

Director:

Antoine Fuqua

Writers:

Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan (based on the television series created by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
582 ( 301)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Robert McCall
Marton Csokas ... Teddy
Chloë Grace Moretz ... Teri
David Harbour ... Masters
Haley Bennett ... Mandy
Bill Pullman ... Brian Plummer
Melissa Leo ... Susan Plummer
David Meunier ... Slavi
Johnny Skourtis ... Ralphie
Alex Veadov ... Tevi
Vladimir Kulich ... Vladimir Pushkin
E. Roger Mitchell ... Lead Investigator
James Wilcox ... Pederson
Mike O'Dea Mike O'Dea ... Remar (as Mike P. O'Dea)
Anastasia Mousis Sanidopoulos ... Jenny (as Anastasia Mousis)
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders
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
Training Day (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Safe House (2012)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Man on Fire (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Mexico City, a former CIA operative swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning
Deja Vu (2006)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
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
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
2 Guns (2013)
Action | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
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
Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Edit

Storyline

Robert McCall,'s a former special service commando who faked his own death in hopes of living out a quiet life. Instead, he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to save a young girl, and finds his desire for justice reawakened after coming face-to-face with members of a brutal Russian gang. McCall becomes the go-to man when the helpless require the kind of vengeance they would never find without his skills.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What do you see when you look at me?

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Denzel Washington was so impressed by director Antoine Fuqua's preparation, especially the character's mindset during each scene, that he told the director to play the lead role instead of him. See more »

Goofs

The whole "Moscow Mansion" is not in Moscow. First, there are no such mansions in Moscow. Second, the identification numbers on the security cars outside are clearly of the European standard with the blue field at the left side. Third, the windows are opening like in UK, or in USA - upside down. See more »

Quotes

Teri: You know, I see a lot of widowed guys. Something in your eyes. You know, it's not sad. It's just kind of lost, you know?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema, DVD and Blu-ray versions are cut for violence to secure a 15 rating, removing or reducing the following:
  • The closeup of the corkscrew being pushed further into Tevi's mouth, and the final shot of his face right before it's withdrawn.
  • The first shot of the mercenary bleeding and choking on the barbed wire noose.
Columbia made additional cuts in two more scenes, which appear not to have been requested by the BBFC:
  • A closeup of Teddy beating Little John's bloodied face twice, and a shot from behind that shows him readying another punch.
  • The gangster being impaled through the neck was shortened at the start and end.
The six cuts totaled approximately 15 seconds. The UK 4K Blu-ray is uncut and rated 18. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Equalizer 2 (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

New Dawn Fades
Written by Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner
Performed by Moby
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
and Courtesy of Mute Records Limited, A BMG Chrysalis Company
See more »

User Reviews

 
Gruesome at times, The Equalizer is a rewarding action film for every single Denzel Washington fan out there.
24 September 2014 | by LloydBayerSee all my reviews

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.


164 of 239 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 610 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

26 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Equalizer See more »

Filming Locations:

Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,137,828, 28 September 2014

Gross USA:

$101,530,738

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$192,330,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed