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Law Abiding Citizen

A movie directed by F. Gary Gray, Starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.

< read all 7 reviews

A great premise which equals an okay movie

  • Feb 26, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+1
I wasn't sure what I was going to get going into this movie. I can recall this film, "Law Abiding Citizen" being in the theaters for like five seconds. This could either be a good thing or bad thing nowadays. Nevertheless after watching this movie, I feel that this movie had potential but seemed to miss the mark.

The premise is somewhat simple. Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is attacked and witnessed both his wife and daughter's murder. After the two men who committed this crime are caught, Shelton's attorney, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) tells him that he should make a deal. This deal would put one of the murders in death row and the other will receive a reduced sentence. This technique would assure that these "crooks" will have to pay for their crimes. Shelton protests this approach, but Rice tells him it is too late and the deal has already been made.

Fast forward ten years. Clyde Shelton has spent a great deal of time orchestrating his revenge. This isn't just limited to the men who actually killed his wife and daughter. Anyone who was involved with the legal and/or justice process better keep looking over their shoulder. This really comes back to haunt Rice, since after all he was Shelton's lawyer. The insane thing is Shelton conducts the majority of his revenge from his jail cell.

These conditions really set things in motion for one intense thriller/action movie. However, after about half way through the movie, I felt the movie became befuddled and going astray. It is difficult for me to explain why I feel this way without revealing many details of the film. I will do my best.

Shelton's revenge is both intelligent and brutal. This is evident by his astute candor when speaking to a judge about the justice process and chopping a person up with a buzz saw. I really felt the spirit of Charles Bronson in many of these scenes. Rice is faced with dualism at its best. He empathizes with Shelton but still feels he needs to uphold the law.

There were too many loop holes in this movie. The following are examples as such.

-It was never explained why Clyde Shelton and his family were targeted in the first place. This resulted in a lame MacGuffin.

-Clyde Shelton's body count and havoc continues while he is in prison, but no one every assigns a guard and/or has a security camera on his prison cell.

-Many "important figures" are killed as a result of Shelton's wrath and only the local police are involved.

-Shelton is permitted to do what he wants and is granted total impunity. (The legal system isn't perfect, but come on).

The performances by Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler were rather good. I found both of them to be very believable. (I still see Butler as Dracula from "Dracula 2000".) I also found the supporting performances wonderful as well. Bruce McGill, Viola Davis, Leslie Bibb and Gregory Itzin were all awesome.

If there were anyway the last half hour or so of this movie could be re-worked. I strongly believed this would not only result in a better movie, but it would have made a statement. Just like "Death Wish" made oh so many moons ago. Sadly, the movie reached a plateau of nonsense that basically undermined and contradicted what its gimmick was in the first place. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun ride but I felt less than satisfied when the credits rolled.

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More Law Abiding Citizen reviews
review by . February 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   We’ve all seen movies about the simple family man who has lost everything to misfortune made worst by a system that ultimately also fails him. “LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN” is one such exercise that goes into the theme of a wronged man who exacts vengeance and seeks justice for his family’s killers.      Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is a family man who had just witnessed his wife and his only daughter get brutally abused and murdered. When hotshot prosecutor …
review by . September 21, 2010
Don't make this man angry
I recently had the pleasure of watching this film.      The story is dramatic and well told.      Gerard Butler portrays Clyde Shelton who is playing with his little daughter at the start of the movie. Someone comes to the door and Shelton opens the door, unaware of the danger that awaits.      Shelton opens the door, smiling in anticipation of a friendly visit, only to be smashed on the head with what appears to be a bat and then he is …
review by . November 01, 2009
Taking INJUSTICE into his own hands.
It's always a terrific pleasure to go into a movie with low or even no expectations and come out of it feeling pleasantly surprised. Such was my experience with Law Abiding Citizen. The trailer seemed good enough to lure me into the theater seats, but despite an intriguing plot and compelling marketing, I pretty much gambled on this one being a typical legal-esque thriller.      Turns out I was wrong.      This isn't a mrere good-guy-lawyer-trying-to-catch-the-bad-guy-cr …
review by . June 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
3 stars : Many escape justice none escape vengance....
Picture it you have a beautiful wife a loving and sweet daughter a great job that you love and every night you come home to your family knowing there will be a great dinner waiting for you so you can sit around the table and just share some quality time with the ones you love. It is essentially the American dream; the dream that all want and most get but what if one day that dream was taken away from you? What if some crooks from off the street broke into your home rob you and murdered the …
Quick Tip by . June 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Has a well thought out story but the premise is overused and the dialogue and acting fall flat when they are needed to hold up this bloody revenge thriller. But all in all "Law Abiding Citizen" works despite the fact.
review by . February 22, 2010
All the internet chattering aside, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is just what it sets out to be - a thriller that keeps the viewer involved in the mind games of a passionate man right up to the end (uh, well almost - except for the needlessly sugary revolting Hallmarky last few frames meant to clean up the mess the movie suggests...)    Kurt Wimmer wrote this 'taking justice into our own hands' story with a good deal of imagination and gadgetry and F. Gary Gary keeps the momentum of the …
review by . February 14, 2010
Butler does what all of us would want to do if someone were to come and kill our closest loved ones, he gets revenge and gets away with it! His character is smart, rich, connected and worst of all, patient. I loved watching him work the system to his benefit and getting back at those who ruined his life, we were definitly rooting for him! This film is brilliant as it shows very elaborate thought out plans that he excutes brilliantly to finish off his enemies. A must see!
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Joshua E Hoppock ()
Ranked #40
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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Wiki

In LAW ABIDING CITIZEN, a prisoner's incredible reign over the city outside his cell is interrupted by an assistant district attorney. Gerard Butler (300) stars.

Law Abiding Citizen is a 2009 thriller film directed by F. Gary Gray from a screenplay written by Kurt Wimmer, and starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler. The film takes place in Philadelphia and tells the story of a man who decides to exact justice on his family's killers, as well as the criminal justice system.

Cast
 
Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice
Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton
Viola Davis as the Mayor of Philadelphia
Bruce McGill as Jonas Cantrell
Leslie Bibb as Sarah Lowell
Colm Meaney as Detective Dunnigan
Regina Hall as Kelly Rice
Michael Kelly as CIA Operative Bray
Michael Irby as Detective Garza
Roger Bart as Brian Bringham
Christian Stolte as Clarence J. Darby
Josh Stewart as Rupert Ames
Cast
 
Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice
Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton
Viola Davis as the Mayor of Philadelphia
Bruce McGill as Jonas Cantrell
Leslie Bibb as Sarah Lowell
Colm Meaney as Detective Dunnigan
Regina Hall as Kelly Rice
Michael Kelly as CIA Operative Bray
Michael Irby as Detective Garza
Roger Bart as Brian Bringham
Christian Stolte as Clarence J. Darby
Josh Stewart as Rupert Ames
Cast
 
Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice
Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton
Viola Davis as the Mayor of Philadelphia
Bruce McGill as Jonas Cantrell
Leslie Bibb as Sarah Lowell
Colm Meaney as Detective ...
view wiki

Details

Director: F. Gary Gray
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 2009
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010
Runtime: 1hr 49min
Studio: Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment
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