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The Equalizer (2014)

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

Director:

Antoine Fuqua

Writers:

Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan (based on the television series created by) | 1 more credit »
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61 ( 9)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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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)
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Storyline

In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

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 »
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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:

El justiciero See more »

Filming Locations:

Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,137,828, 28 September 2014, Wide Release

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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicolas Winding Refn was the original director, but left the project one month later when he could not agree to contractual terms with the producers on his deal. Rupert Wyatt was the next person approached, but he declined citing scheduling problems (Wyatt also turned down directing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) for the same reason) before they finally offered it to Antoine Fuqua. See more »

Goofs

After Robert beats up the two detectives he takes the magazine out of the gun and then he cycles the round out of the gun and when the cartridge hits the ground you can tell it was empty by the sound. See more »

Quotes

Robert McCall: Your heart's beating three times the normal rate because you're losing so much blood. About 30 seconds, your body's gonna shut down... and you're gonna suffocate. Alina, the girl you beat half to death, her life will go on. Yours is gonna end right here, on this funky floor... over $9,800. You should have taken the money.
Slavi: Who are you?
Robert McCall: 26 one-thousand... 27 one-thousand... 28 one-thousand... I'm sorry.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Equalizer: A Villain's Psychosis (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Graven Image
Written and Performed by Zack Hemsey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Colder Opportunities
1 October 2014 | by Mek TorresSee all my reviews

The Equalizer is loosely based on an 80s television series with the same name. This reinvention in comparison aims to be darker and much violent, but the film's ambition is basically turning its star, Denzel Washington, into a grittier action hero. It somehow pays off when he starts killing bad guys in cold blood, and it's amazing how he could still carry the character's humanity along the way. The film troubles when it gets out of hand to its glorious vigilantism despite it takes place in a world seems apart from that context. If you tend to ignore the sentiments and shade of reality, you can still tell that it's a pretty entertaining piece of action, but in general it's just difficult to not notice its mess of tones, even with that amount of fun.

There is one side in the film when it's totally gripping, that is when we just see the protagonist as a person living in an ordinary life, often being with people and often encountering them getting in trouble by crime. This grounded world just keeps most of its darkness in their presence, sometimes feeling like a doomed, helpless world. But once the hero reveals what he truly is capable of, it doesn't actually sucks out its entertainment quality, but it does betrays that intriguing context, nearly turning itself into a superhero movie, except of course, it's less silly and much violent. McCall, in shorthand, is too competent for any criminal he fights and often leaves with a perfect swagger. It may not be big deal to many viewers, especially the action fans who are already enjoying the blood, but the film sets up an existing theme that seems to be a lot interesting to consider instead of indulging itself with its own way of justice.

The cool slow-mos and stylish special effects might have also rob the sense of realistic tension, but put that aside, each action scene is watchable enough, we don't usually see a wider blockbuster today that has the guts to fearlessly show brutal movie violence like this. This is probably the only mundane element existing in those set pieces. Denzel Washington shifts his character to two personalities: one is the likable ordinary man himself and the anti-hero with a hidden cosmic hate through its world. The performance does sum up the overall movie, from gravitas to smugness, and what's great is they're both effective anyway. However, the villains (and their tattoos) have blatantly shown that they're evil: the main antagonist seems like he's written to be over-the-top, almost like a cartoon villain than a believable human mafioso, but Marton Csokas gives a little grimness as he have fun with it.

The Equalizer would have been nicer if it was a little shorter and much consistent, but I could guarantee that it still entertains, it does have the appeal through its action and acting. Though, there are more serious things that could have made it a lot compelling thriller. The film does have the knack of embracing either of its elements, but it just keeps shifting back and forth, like we're not getting to the actual big picture. Well, if you can accept that the hero is this superior then it might work better for the experience. For now, it can be endlessly watchable, but you will only find few things that are remarkable about it.


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