Law Abiding Citizen (2009) Poster

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Great Start, Sagging Middle, Bad Ending
paq552822 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was not unlike other movies where you see the good guy go rogue after rough handling by "the system". But I really liked the development of the characters in the beginning, and I am sure I am not the only one out there hoping that the "Law Abiding Citizen" would be able to pull it off.

Then came the middle where plot points become strained, where we have to take a few leaps of faith and leave the world of genius for one of Hollywood. OK, I'm still there, taking the ride with you.

But then we get to the ending which destroys the film and makes it into brain pablum; mental oatmeal that anyone can digest but no one can get any flavor from. Mr. Genius buys several industrial areas -- but why? Only 2 seemed to be necessary for the plot. And why would Panama know the purchase prices? And down to the cent! Corporations don't need to share that information with foreign governments. Nix that link and this movie would have been more interesting. We're expected to believe a genius would leave the cleaning cart in obvious view in the hallway and right next to the area where he put the bomb? We're expected to believe the genius wouldn't have trapped his escape route. And we're expected to believe they transferred this bomb from Point A to Point B without setting it off and in record time, all while Foxx waits in the cell, and Scotty Junior brings up the rear, unseen and unheard.

I wanted Foxx's arrogant character to lose his daughter, to feel what this man went through, and then I wanted him to get away with it.

Anyone agree?
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Great Idea, Poor Ending
mike-384216 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is a great idea. A technical genius who is somehow able to commit revenge murders from his jail cell. He doesn't hide the fact he's a killer; in fact he announces each murder just before it happens.

Technically everything was possible and the method very cleverly hidden so I was kept in suspense until the last 20 minutes when the cat was let out of the bag too early. The ending is a let down. It's true Hollywood: Technically improbable, illogical, and in my opinion it spoils all the character development made until that point and wastes the opportunity for a much darker ending with a more satisfying outcome.

All that said I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone not disturbed by moderate violence. Go see it!
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Typical Hollywood BASTARDIZED ENDING!!!
jlamarca18 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Come on Hollywood, this guy was so clever, tactful & brilliant & yet you expect the audience to believer that he wouldn't even have a bloody security system installed on the very building, which was the only means of exit & entry to his prison cell... never mind that the building housed nerve & command center, from which he executed his flavour of justice!

Here's another plot hole of gargantuan proportion(s); how in the heck did Fox get the briefcase/bomb back to the jail cell BEFORE Butler returned? Oh yeah & WHY would Fox willfully allow Butler to detonate the bomb, even though he had discovered the means, by which he was perpetrating his reign of terror?!? That would be the epitome of anti-justice- especially considering he was the acting D.A.! Why didn't they show him being charged & prosecuted for murder?!?

This is a case whereby you actually wanted the bad guy to get the last word in on the matter!!! But no... Jamie Fox had to come out on top! Actually, I think Fox would/should have been the FIRST person on Butler's list! WHY couldn't Hollywood just grant this movie the ending it righteously deserved?!? It was going sooo well! Whoever is in charge of the ending to this film ought to have been on Butler's list!
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Great Movie just don't watch the end.
leathalsac29 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't have high expectations for this movie and only went because my friend made me. That being said I loved it. I actually wanted to applaud and cheer at one point and I never do that. Clyde now ranks as on of my favorite characters ever. Now for the bad part. Jamie Foxx was horrible!!!!!!! I don't understand why directors and casting directors like to put bad actors against good actors. It seems to be an ever increasing trend in Hollywood. we saw it in "the Italian job" and we see it here. Jamie's acting was the worst I had seen in a long time. He showed no emotion at all. I would have liked to see a better actor cast but hey who am I? Also, listen up producers, the ending was ridiculous!!!! I mean come on. you build this character up only for a huge let down. That was by far one of the most irresponsible endings to a movie I have ever had the misfortune to see. When I tell people to see this I am recommending that they leave at a specific point about 15min before it's over and imagine your own ending because no matter what it will be better. Endings like that is the reason people watch independent films. This movie could have been an all time classic but for Jamie Foxx and the writer's lazy ending. It still may because I loved most of it. I pray someday producers figure out that we want something a little different and allow things to end the right way, the responsible way for their viewers.

Thank you,
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Good movie screwed up completely in the last 15 minutes
agibaer3 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Just watched LAW ABIDING CITIZEN. I don't know why i still bother watching American movies. It's a decade-long Hollywood tradition to screw up good ideas by illogical plots and happy endings. The WHOLE point of the movie, bringing DOWN the legal system could only be proved if Shelton was to walk free after all he did. To show that the legal system was unable to hinder him murdering people though being in custody AND had to set him free, because the DA and the judge broke the law to stop his series of murder thus ignoring his civil rights which would ultimately lead to dismissing all charges. The supposed plot to blow up the mayor and homeland security does not at all fit neither the character of Shelton nor the plot of the movie. Good movie screwed up completely in the last 15 minutes. Hollywoods Epitaph.
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Did the director fail to see the irony.
markthompson1472 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
OK so the premise of the ending is that, although the justice system is flawed, you cant just kill people to get your own justice and you are becoming what you hate and it will lead to your demise. So how does the director explain then that Foxx, the supposed good guy of the film, instead of using the justice system he represents to hold Butler accountable for his crimes, does instead just murder him in his cell. How does that make him any different to Butler. But Foxx murdering someone is apparently OK and he goes on to have a happy life watching his daughter play the cello. Murdering someone because they are murdering because of the murder of other people. Irony anyone.

Its a real shame but the stupidity and lack of bravery in giving the film the ending it deserved just ruined it.
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started out amazing and then went downhill.
lazydawgotp2 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler alert! This movie had an awesome idea and would have been great but for the end of it. 1st off Jaime Foxx is supposed to be a bad guy, but they make him a good guy in the end. For crying out loud, he let a child rapist off the hook to further his career, and then they make him the hero in the end. And Gerard Butler's character is supposed to be a super genius that outsmarts the most wanted terrorists, only to get outsmarted by a a spoiled rich lawyer who neglects his family. It's like some amazing writer wrote the plot and then some jerk director comes in and changes the ending. Why can't Hollywood just give me a good ending to a movie.

I wouldn't see it unless you like crappy endings!
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Bad End
mikifambl27 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I cant believe it, why the ending is always bad. It's great movie until the end. People, believe me, make a movie in which the bad guy wins, it will be better, take my word on it!!!!!! It was one of the better movies i have seen in last six months, and i still got to repeat that the ENDING was awful. Great actors, great story, and why always justice prevail, my question is: What do you rather watch, be honest, the bad guy who wins the American justice, or the other ending?! I think the first choice is the right answer, i am certain that all of you think the same.

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Kurt Wimmer buckles under pressure; goes with the "safe" ending
cartman44200325 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Law Abiding Citizen" is a movie that got me angrier than "Transformers 2" and more disappointed than "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Yet, I'll probably watch it again. And again.

See, "Citizen" inspires a rare sort of hatred in me. 90% of it is a provocative, fearlessly cathartic and hauntingly relevant piece of social satire mixed with a grade-A action thriller script and top-notch acting across the board. That's why I'm going to watch it again, despite how terrible the ending was.

Without giving anything away, the movie spends all of its time making us know that Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a meticulous planner who's serious about getting even with the system of justice that allowed his wife and daughter's true killer to go free with a mere 3-year sentence. Literally every move the justice system and his ex-attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) make, Shelton has already set in motion countermeasures for that step and the next three they will take. Rice is characterised as a smarmy, ladder-climbing political manoeuvrer who cares more about his reputation as a prosecutor than dispensing actual justice. Not once during the course of the movie does he ever, ever admit that he was wrong not to pursue full conviction for both the killer and his accomplice, or even conceded that Shelton was cheated out of justice by a corrupt and broken system of law. "Some justice is better than no justice" is the phrase he uses to rationalise his decision. This being a very anti-establishment film, it's clear that the intention was for us to see Shelton as, though a morally ambiguous psychopath, a man who sees the justice system for what it really is: a mere system. A cold, soulless, illogical, by-the-book factory made up of bored and overworked people that treat justice "like it's an assembly line." Rice, therefore, represents the system then, in both occupation and personality: he's incorrigible, he's utterly cocky, and he refuses to acknowledge fault in himself or make any concessions for Shelton. Though he clearly believes in justice, he's still part of the problem. Right?

You're right. That was the intention. However, "Law Abiding Citizen" ends up being just another crime thriller. The "psychopath", the societal outcast, is punished and ceased, while the clean, self- righteous lawyer finishes the job just in time to make it to his little girl's cello recital. No, really. That's where it ends. In fact, once Shelton is killed, it cuts soundlessly to the recital and then goes black. A quiet, abrupt end. Despite everything that had been built up, it just ends.

I find it hard to believe that this was the original ending that the writer of "Equilibrium" intended to have. This movie reeks with the pungent stink of producer tampering. The quality and style of the ending doesn't match that of the rest of the movie. I wouldn't be surprised if that was intentional, if that was Kurt Wimmer's way of spiting whoever forced him to change the ending, the one where the psychopath succeeds in uprooting the corrupt system, succeeds in bringing "the whole diseased, corrupt temple down on (Rice's) head". The ending was far from "biblical". It was a short, quiet, but mostly ugly, cop-out. Because of that, I'm cutting the score I would have given this movie, a 9, in half. It's rounded up because I feel like this movie could've really said something, could have stood out, had it not ended like every other movie that gets cranked out of the old Hollywood assembly line these days.
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LOL worst ending to a movie that had the potential to be as good as Taken
aaslaksen-557-56142116 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
LOL so I went to this movie expecting 2-ish hours of non-stop righteous anger and awesomeness a la "Taken"... the movie built up pretty well with some flaws (why does he need to mysteriously need to escape from the cell and be his own accomplice?). And ended in probably the worst way I could possibly imagine. If I wanted to come up with the ultimate Hollywood BS ending, I could not have thought of what they pulled out of their *** myself. At some point the movie makes the conversion where Gerard Butler goes from good guy to bad, and Jamie Fox becomes the good guy... I definitely did not follow. Why would I want to see a movie where the morally bankrupt lawyer wins!? LOL that's so terrible it's worse than laughable; it's worth about 5 mins of laughing and 15 mins of ranting outside the theater after the movie ends (which I did btw). In a situation where the protagonists' wife and 10-year old daughter are raped and murdered, the entire system deserves to be brought down. If I go to a movie where the system screws over the little guy and that little guy comes back to dish out real justice, I absolutely, positively DO NOT want to see the "system" win in the end, regardless of any Hollywood-ed glossed over change of heart the corrupt lawyer might happen to have. I'd give it about an 8.5-9.0 until the last 15 minutes where it rapidly plummets to a 1.0 at best. Worst. Ending. Ever.
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A morality tale with plenty of action
hyprsleepy19 October 2009
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.
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The last 15 minutes, is still hunting me
kiarash_torkian19 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was great, the fact that Clyde found all these loop holes in the justice system, and his development to see what he had done through these ten years had completely nailed me throughout the movie. This movie was a no doubt nothing lower than 9 without that ending. It's like the director, accepted the first plot ever decided, went on with the first scene recorded and completely ignored the after effects.

1. Clyde was a mastermind, in engineering, a spy, and a lawyer, and just the fact that a simple lawyer can out smart him is just an insult to the entire movie and the audience.

2. Clyde left the cleaning cart right where the bomb was placed.

3. Clyde placed the bomb in such an obvious place, as soon as Nick and his teammates walked in, they noticed the briefcase. If he had placed a big giant sign with a big red text on it saying "The bomb is placed here" wouldn't have made it anymore dumb.

4. Clyde leaves the place, and while on the road he checks the camera and sees the mayor and every member in the room. Why didn't he just blow the damn thing up?

5. The first thing I was confused about in those scenes, was why doesn't he switch the camera to room the bomb was places to see a quick situation on it. Oh wait a genius spy didn't think of that.

6. He leaves the area before Nick even discovers what kind of bomb it is, and what to do with it. But for some reason, they get to his cell ahead of time while Nick is in his "I have learned my lesson" appearance.

7. Clyde dies that day, in fact the prison literally explodes and not any kind of research to what happened? Who killed him and why was a bomb in prison? No I guess they might have been busy watching Nick's daughter playing on stage.
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Unsatisfying ending
rasa0627 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was fabulous until the last 10 minutes. it was full of action and real characters. The characters had flaws. Through the entire movie Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) was not a character that I liked or sided with, while Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) was human and easy to empathize with. Although the entire movie required suspension of disbelief, the ending was unfulfilling and implausible given the rest of the movie. It was as if the villain was actually Rice with his corruptness, while Shelton was indeed a law-abiding citizen driven to vengeance by the corruptness of Rice and the justice system. The real disjustice was the ending of this movie. I kept expecting the intelligence shown by Shelton throughout the movie to come to a head in the ending. I was highly disappointed by the anti-climatic ending. Stop the movie about 10 before the end and create your own ending; it will be better than what was on-screen.
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...and Justice for none.
dunmore_ego27 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Just as every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints. As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer / 'Cause I'm in need of some restraint..." --Sympathy For The Devil, The Rolling Stones.

Handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser, I see a poster for LAW ABIDING CITIZEN and overhear the officer in the driver seat comment to his partner, "Seen that movie? Awesome."

Of course he'd think it was awesome. We all know that cops are bottom-rungers, trained watchdogs, the lowest cog apprehenders of the lowest cogs. They only know enough about "The Law" to apprehend without discernment. And they know nothing about "Justice." Now I could've tried to dissuade this bacon burger of his ignorant opinion, but a) I was busy exercising my right to remain silent, and b) he would not possess the mental capacity to comprehend me; which might have led to c) a nightstick to the throat.

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is about a vigilante, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler), who takes revenge on the men who murdered his wife and child. Clyde is apprehended by the police (see? "apprehend without discernment") and from his jail cell he terrorizes lazy, despicable attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) to teach him a lesson. Nick let the murderers walk on a plea bargain, instead of taking it to trial and risking losing a case.

CITIZEN starts as a very satisfactory, righteous vigilante story and an indictment against the criminal "justice" system, and turns into a one-dimensional vendetta that involves Clyde blowing stuff up, Hollywood style.

The movie's first half is a rollout of counterintuitive surprises: Clyde carving up his wife's murderer and then letting himself be taken in - naked, mind you, ladies! (that's some Sparta-licious booty!); Clyde citing an obscure case number at his hearing and the judge allowing him to walk - then chiding the judge for almost letting a suspected murderer go free and being taken into custody for contempt!; Clyde blackmailing Nick into getting him a Duxiana mattress and a steak dinner in jail.

When Clyde kills his cellmate unemotionally and lies back waiting for the warden peacefully, we realize something is going askew - it's a cool scene, but Clyde is starting to look like Hannibal Lecter, rather than a man bent on revenge for his wife. It astounds me how writer Kurt Wimmer and director F. Gary Gray lost the movie's message so inelegantly.

To stop Clyde blowing stuff up and teaching him lessons, Nick Rice decides to go vigilante and blow up Clyde, Hollywood style. Which means he learned NOTHING from Clyde. Taking the law into your own hands is EXACTLY what Nick was trying to stop Clyde from doing. Further, Nick had no proof that Clyde was perpetrating all the vengeful acts - you might "know" a person has committed crimes but before you BLOW THEM UP, shouldn't you take them to trial first, or at least read them their rights?

But that cop said this movie was "awesome." Getting an idea of the shallow mindset of uniformed flatfoots?

It gets tiresome when we can figure the "winner" of the movie by figuring the biggest paycheck. Butler may have carved his name into the A-List with 300, but Foxx (RAY, DREAMGIRLS, THE SOLOIST) is the money here.

Clyde states unequivocally, "everyone must be held accountable for their actions," yet Nick is never brought to justice himself when HE goes vigilante without evidence. I've said it before: Vigilantism is as malformed and unjust as The Law that it thumbs its nose at. Two sides of the same confused coin. This movie chooses to ignore any further consequences of vigilantism or the law or justice after the moneyboy gets his way.

In the DVD Commentary, the filmmakers say Nick Rice is interested in Justice as a concept - but they've got it wrong. He's interested in The Law as a Job. Clyde laments he is a law abiding citizen, thus the law should deliver him justice. So we take it for granted the title pertains to him. But the unrealized irony in this movie is that detective Nick Rice is playing the LAW ABIDING CITIZEN - the one who suckles at the black teat of The Law for his advancement - and Clyde Shelton is the Justice-seeking citizen.

So explain the Justice of why I'm in the back of this police car? Geez, look who I'm asking...
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Promising premise - disappointing second half.
admtechnologies15 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing the trailer and thinking that this would be a great flick. I thought Jamie Foxx would make the perfect arrogant Lawyer type.

As the movie progresses, you can see that he is more concerned with his career than seeking Justice which you hope will lead to a humbling experience for him later on.

As the movie progresses, early on you can see that his actions have come back to haunt him but stops.

No Lessons, he is still an ass at the end and learns nothing.

What at first seems to start as a morality play soon devolves into an action flick with a preposterous "twist" which destroys any suspense for the second half because it is so implausible.

It seems like they did test screenings and then altered the script/ending to please a focus group, which has resulted in an ultimately empty and unsatisfying movie experience.

It would have been so much better to have had a climactic scene between Foxx and Butler where Foxx's character would break down and apologize for failing Butler's character but he doesn't.

So in the end, the main protagonist(s)(Is it Foxx or is it Butler???) ultimately lose.

Foxx's character loses by ultimately learning nothing about being a parasite racking up convictions by brokering unfair deals to further his career and Butler loses his family and proper justice by not having Foxx's character own up to his failings as a public servant.

It would be interesting to see if the DVD has alternate endings that may have been more satisfying to the viewer.
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Without the ending...
oskar-598-93773 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
...This movie would be a real treat...

I enjoy'd this movie really much and i must say that i find my self wondering - why this good movie had to end so badly. The characters are good and there is no question why... Jamie is good and no need to say that Gerard is one of the best "new" actors in "the market". Also the story is good and even better is the story telling, but this is only my opinion.

The best that i can say is: if you have seen "Taking of Pelham123" and liked that movie, then you will also like this one. And both of these movies have two things in common, they both were good movies, with bad endings...

I don't want to be critical and also don't want to say much good things about this movie, because this one of these movies what go to the department of "have to see it my self" And I'm about 75% sure that you will enjoy this movie. But once again, what a shame about the ending...
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Good but not great due to Foxx and bad ending
DaShAg22 March 2010
Clyde Shelton's ( Gerard Butler ) wife gets murdered in the beginning of the movie and justice doesn't prevail because one of the killers is only sentenced for 10 years. Clyde is angry as hell and will make sure the people responsible for the horrible trial of the killers will all suffer and die. So basically you got yourself a revenge movie here. Clyde is killing them and isn't even hiding it, he admits it. Nick Rice ( Jamie Foxx ) is the DA on the case and needs to find out what the hell is going on. Now the fun part is that Clyde is performing the kills from within his prison cell, he even has to sit out in solitary and is still killing people, now how cool is that.

I totally dig the idea of a highly intelligent man orchestrating kills on specific times and places from his prison cell, all planned ahead of time. If you're a smart ass while watching this movie you'll find out there are a lot of plot holes so I recommend you not to think it all through. Heads up for Gerard Butler, this guy is making some mayor progress on this one after some sh!tty movies last year. I think we'll be seeing more of King Leonidas in the future so hurray to that. On the opposite, Jamie Foxx is on a decline. Ray was an excellent movie but after that it's just bad. As Nick Rice the DA he is just one stone face mofo, no emotion no nothing. Jamie and the ending of the movie are the only 2 things that suck. The movie is just handing out it's surprises like candy, like spoiling your daughter's birthday present a week before her actual birthday. Watch it with a time progress bar and stop the movie before the last 15 minutes, then close your eyes and make up your own ending and I promise you it will be way better then the awful piece of movie you just skipped...
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Very very very disappointing finish
davidgough113 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Great movie for about 80% of the time ... great acting, great story line, great film-making ... thoroughly enjoyable... BUT... the end is atrocious! I'm sorry, but the end to this completely ruined it for me, and as such, wished I hadn't watched it. If it had followed in the footsteps of "The Usual Suspects" (AWESOME movie) this film could have ranked a 10. Any father, any husband, any "law abiding citizen" would agree. Don't want to ruin it for future watches - but there you are. As I said, the film-making is great, the acting is great, but why does Hollywood insist that the good guy always wins? So sad, that such a potentially excellent script was destroyed by "the good guy!".
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A Movie That Loses It's Way
Willie-1221 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Law Abiding Citizen, in a way, is a movie that became too big for it's own good. The Gerard Butler character was a mastermind. He was so intelligent that no one could figure out how he was doing the things he was doing. So crafty, that no matter what safety precautions were taken, people were still dying. The problem, though, became very apparent as Citizen was nearing the last half hour. How do you explain it all. It's almost as if 3/4 of this movie was made, and then the makers remembered that they had to end this thing. And so they did. Only what we were given, the resolution to it all, was so anticlimactic (and for that matter, unbelievable) that it was almost laughable. I think it would have been better to leave it a mystery then to give the audience what was one of the most outlandish conclusions to a film I've seen in a long time. That's not to say that what came before this was a masterpiece. The dialogue was, at times decent, and at other times sub-par. The characters were never developed enough for people to really care about what happened to them, and the editing left something to be desired. But even with all of that I was still interested. I still wanted to see where all of this was going, and how all of this was happening. I shouldn't have been so eager. They say that sometimes, the unknown is much more intriguing than the known. I guess the makers of this film should have kept that in mind.
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Like a great relationship gone bad
happygrl1227 February 2011
This reminds me of the start of a great relationship, starts out wonderful, continues to grow, and then out of nowhere, BAM, it ends and you are left wondering what just happened.

As so many other reviewers have stated, it starts out with great suspense, originality, and creativity, and somewhere in the last 20 minutes, you are left wondering, did it really just end that way? Ouch! I found myself incredibly disappointed.

We all love Jaime Foxx's funny side, but really wanted to see something else happen to him in this film. I get the idea of the end, that he learned his lesson so to speak, but it was still really weak for what it could have been.

However, I'll still give it an 8 as it kept me quite intrigued hard to find these days in a quality film.
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Great start, terrible finish, what a shame this could have been great
imdb-602-7719617 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
What a terrible cop-out - coulda been excellent! This film begins with a great moral ideal of exposing and pulling down a corrupt justice system by a calculating husband whose family were brutally raped and murdered in front of him 10 years earlier, the rapist/killer walking free 3 years after the prosecutor made a deal for testimony against his partner-in-crime. Unfortunately, after a successful killing spree against numerous members of the justice department from within his jail cell in solitary confinement, the star of the show, who is smart enough to arrange all of this, is somehow clumsy enough to allow his methods, nightly exit route from prison and piece de resistance (napalm bomb) to be discovered, leading to an about face by the chief prosecutor (now DA) who suddenly goes from object of hatred to vilified victim/come star as the previous randomly dumped star of the show napalms himself by accident. What a shame, what a confusing and ridiculous ending. To me, this film was like a dark and violent Shawshank Redemption that ended about half an hour too early when the writer had a brain transplant and the production team ran out of money and ideas. Random and just wrong, and like I said,a real shame.
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A really good thriller, then... fail!! (Spoilers Below!)
DrStranglove18 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Look at it this way, what if in 300 King Leonidas in the last scene jumped out, tripped, and fell on his spear? That is what happens in this one.

A really good thriller but fails in the end when the super smart bad guy (Butler) does some very out of character things. It had a great all but the last 5 to 10 minuets. Then in the last few scenes, he misses key details and uses a conventional way to try to kill off city hall. What happened to the uber tech that Clyde was building? What happened to the Hans Gruber'esk bad guy genius? Sorry... fail!

After sitting through a really good first 90 minuets of Butler outsmarting and out playing the semi-crooked ADA (Fox), Butler suddenly and inexplicably resorts to a suitcase bomb full of eventually gasoline to try to blow up city hall. Also, again after time and again being one or even ten steps ahead, Butler then completely misses that cops etc have been in his lair and moved all kinds of item around. This would be like Batman not knowing someone had been in the Bat Cave, and the film failed at that point. For me, it lost something when the super smart lost out by becoming common in the last scene of the last act.
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A film is only as good as it's ending !
michaelscottwouda20 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
And this ending was disappointing to say the least. At what point of the film were we supposed to start liking Jamie Foxx's character. We spend the first hour hating that guy and he gets the last laugh, it makes no sense. If they are going to kill off Gerard Butler's character, I think the Jamie Foxx character should have died too! When did revenge become such a dirty word. It's a shame there isn't a film where Jamie Foxx isn't the hero.... It will be the last time I see a film with his name anywhere near the credits. I would have written a more detailed review, but I already wasted enough time viewing this garbage..
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Business As Usual For The American Moral Factory Warning: Spoilers
Why, oh why can't we see just one movie come out of the American Stables where the "bad guy" (who isn't really bad) wins? This film, as others have said so many times, is great until the last 15 minutes but then the whole automatic "but you can't take the law into your own hands" moral bull kicks in. I'd like to see just one director have the guts to show that sometimes the law has to be broken for justice to be done because the legal system can be corrupted. This film DID show that the system sometimes doesn't work. It illustrated that very well but it still followed the same path of countless others like it and veered away from the real justice towards the pseudo-moralistic tired old message; the Law is the Law. Sad.
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Promising Beginning, Disappointing Conclusion
claudio_carvalho6 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In Philadelphia, the family man Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is violently attacked at home by two punks and his wife and daughter are rapped and murdered by Clarence Darby (Christian Stolte). The two criminals are arrested by the police but the ambitious D.A. Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal with the assassin Darby that accuses his partner to keep his average of convictions in court despite the protest of Clyde. Ten years later, Darby's partner is executed by lethal injection but the defective machine makes him suffer lots of pain. Meanwhile Clyde abducts Darby and executes him in a sadistic way. Clyde is arrested without evidences and Nick negotiates his confession. Sooner Nick discovers that the purpose of Clyde is not only vengeance, but to destroy the corrupt justice system and the head of the city that released the assassin of his family.

Since I saw the trailer of "Law Abiding Citizen", I have been anxious to see this film. Last week, it was released on DVD in Brazil by Swen Filmes and after watching it, unfortunately I found it a blockbuster movie with a promising beginning and a disappointing conclusion. The plot works well showing the deception of an apparently common citizen with the way the corrupt justice system works. Then there is the first inconsistency: why should a man with his background wait for ten years to catch a criminal that had been released seven years ago? Why should he be in jail to destroy the justice system and the City Hall? Last but not the least, why didn't he kill the wife and daughter of Nick Rice to make him feel the same sort of pain and grief that he had been submitted with his decision? That would be the most appropriate revenge for an intelligent man after killing the murderers of his family, but probably the producers were more interested in the box office than in a reasonably more believable non-commercial plot. Only people that do not think might find this movie amazing as I glanced in some reviews. The exaggeration and accuracy of his plans are also annoying and absolutely unbelievable, and the arrogant character performed by Jamie Foxx is despicable to win in the end. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Código de Conduta" ("Code of Conduct")
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