More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.77%
Worth A Look: 12.77%
Average: 27.66%
Pretty Bad: 17.02%
Total Crap29.79%

5 reviews, 17 user ratings

Latest Reviews

MLK/FBI by alejandroariera

Locked Down by Peter Sobczynski

Eye of the Beholder by Jack Sommersby

Brazil by Jack Sommersby

Krasue: Inhuman Kiss by Jay Seaver

Shadow in the Cloud by Peter Sobczynski

Curveball by Jay Seaver

Assassins (2020) by Jay Seaver

Coded Bias by Jay Seaver

Sylvie's Love by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

Law Abiding Citizen
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"This... Is... JUSTICE!"
3 stars

In a weird way, 'Law Abiding Citizen' isn’t crappy enough.

As written by Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) and directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job), it starts out welcoming the moral ambiguity that comes when a father (Gerard Butler) is forced to watch one of two thugs who murdered his wife and daughter walk free when his assistant district attorney (Jamie Foxx) makes a deal ensuring that the other will get the death penalty, lest they both walk due to circumstantial evidence. Ten years later, a certain execution goes botched while a second thug is found dismembered; Butler is willingly taken into police custody and begins arranging deals with Foxx in exchange for the lives of those in the legal system who helped botch justice a decade earlier. After all, if he was willing to make deals with murderers then, surely he’d still be game to extend the same courtesy to a citizen scorned…

Alas, vengeance soon gives way to violence, and Law Abiding Citizen succumbs to its baser crowd-pleasing desires; if it were merely Jigsaw Goes to Court from the get-go, a grittier B-movie reveling in its elaborate bloodshed, Citizen might’ve been better off for it. But from its ‘who’s really right?’ opening all the way down to its Constitution-shredding climax, Gray and friends genuinely think that they’re making an Important Film About Serious Issues, a scathing indictment of a flawed justice system that’s really only being exploited for the sake of exploitation fare. It’s a film that thrives on the hypocrisy of describing in detail how Butler will go about (and has gone about) dispatching the freed criminal, but holds back from showing the actual mutilation, only to turn around and graphically kill off a judge and a prisoner in short order.

And from there on out, things are only fun in the sense of how far-fetched they can get. The early suspense of watching Butler’s schemes unfold from behind bars gives way to the last-act impatience of waiting for Wimmer’s plotting to unravel, as Butler spouts proverbs and Foxx gives steely-eyed assurances that no one else will die. But isn’t that way we’re here, Jamie? Your hot-shot attorney’s not about to learn a lesson, so let’s let the long-time mentor and good-hearted colleague meet their respective ends before you decide to draw a line between a good guy committing a righteous murder and a bad guy doing the same.

In the end, formula abides above all else in 'Law Abiding Citizen'. It’s a revenge thriller that tries to filter out all the pulp and doesn’t always succeed; if only they had left it all in, it might have seemed more justified when they let it all out.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/17/09 05:53:19
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

4/07/18 Langano For people who like shiny things. 2 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell pretty good death wish clone 4 stars
9/21/10 true12 one of the best 5 stars
6/28/10 Jeff Wilder Sets up questions and avoids answering them. Foxx ok Butler weak. 2 stars
5/07/10 mr.mike Weak Foxx character undermined the movie. 3 stars
3/15/10 Raul Valdez Jr I liked the movie and hated the ending nice acting and cool action 5 stars
2/17/10 action movie fan death wish meets dirty harry in this engrossing revenge thriller which butler goes too far 5 stars
10/28/09 Salander Not involving, superficial and dumb movie form such interesting director. What a pitty! 1 stars
10/24/09 Man Out 6 Bucks Foxx character typical Philly affirmative action hire, which explains ultraviolent climax 4 stars
10/24/09 His_wife89 He said no way, kids cannot go to the park by themselves, even high school kids. , <a href= 5 stars
10/24/09 Crazy45 Notification ServiceThe notification service is a WCF Service listening to a Service Bus ev 4 stars
10/24/09 Merlin76 I'm averaging quite a few views each day so I would like my readers to be able to find me o 5 stars
10/23/09 Miss75 The plane was equipped with a weather radar too. , 5 stars
10/23/09 JXL23 She reports that she couldn't focus on the coursework until she got out of the classroom. , 4 stars
10/21/09 April May it was a sweet movie..i went to be entertained, and i was! i would watch it again! 4 stars
10/20/09 sephen breezy jadon it although highly entertaining in its build up ultimately its demise was the end basically 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  16-Oct-2009 (R)
  DVD: 16-Feb-2010


  DVD: 16-Feb-2010

Directed by
  F. Gary Gray

Written by
  Kurt Wimmer

  Jamie Foxx
  Gerard Butler
  Viola Davis
  Leslie Bibb
  Michael Gambon
  Bruce McGill
  Regina Hall
  Colm Meaney

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast