Law Abiding Citizen (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Law Abiding Citizen (2009)



Critic Consensus: Unnecessarily violent and unflinchingly absurd, Law Abiding Citizen is plagued by subpar acting and a story that defies reason.

Movie Info

Jamie Foxx stars as an assistant DA who finds himself at the mercy of a spiteful vigilante (Gerard Butler) hell-bent on avenging the death of his wife and daughter, whose murderers are set free due to legal loopholes. F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) directs from a script by Frank Darabont and Kurt Wimmer. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovimore
Rating: R (for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Kurt Wimmer, Frank Darabont
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 16, 2010
Box Office: $73.3M
Overture Films - Official Site


Jamie Foxx
as Nick Rice
Gerard Butler
as Clyde Shelton
Colm Meaney
as Detective Dunnigan
Bruce McGill
as Jonas Cantrell
Leslie Bibb
as Sarah Lowell
Michael Irby
as Detective Garza
Regina Hall
as Kelly Rice
Gregory Itzin
as Waren Iger
Christian Stolte
as Clarence Darby
Annie Corley
as Judge Laura Burch
Richard Portnow
as Billy Reynolds
Viola Davis
as Mayor April Henry
Josh Stewart
as Rupert Ames
Roger Bart
as Brian Bringham
Evan Hart
as Collins
Reno Laquintano
as Dwight Dixon
Jason Babinsky
as Del Frisco Waiter
Richard Barlow
as Older Cop
Greg Young
as SWAT Captain
Jim Gushue
as SWAT Troop #1
Anthony Lawton
as Trunk Cop
Julian Marzal
as Sheriff at Shed
David Villalobos
as Print Reporter
Ksenia Hulayev
as Clyde's Daughter
Brooke Mills
as Clyde's Wife
Brooke Stacy Mills
as Clyde's Wife
Bijean Ngo
as Marvelle
Cecelia Birt
as Nick's Assistant
Cecelia Ann Birt
as Nick's Assitant
Lamont Clayton
as FBI Agent
Lynn Boianelli
as Princess on Air Matt...
Dave Huddleston
as Newscaster at Execut...
Gabra Zackman
as Another Reporter
Brian Anthony Wilson
as Homeland Security Su...
Stephanie Humphrey
as Local Newscaster #1
Tracy Toth
as Local Newscaster #2
Patrick F. McDade
as Charlie - City Hall ...
Jim Fitzpatrick
as Messenger
Barbara Lambert
as Bailiff #2
Timothy Whiteside
as Prison Guard
Nakia Dillard
as City Hall Sheriff
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Law Abiding Citizen

Critic Reviews for Law Abiding Citizen

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (30)

Sadly, there's nothing here but bloody off-cuts from 'Death Wish', 'Saw' and 'The Silence of the Lambs', in roughly that order.

Full Review… | November 27, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Law Abiding Citizen may be the most nihilistic movie I've ever seen.

Full Review… | March 29, 2011

It's exactly the kind of film the phrase 'by-the-numbers' was invented for, but like the best genre films, it acknowledges its niche and goes all out to top its predecessors.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010

One of the more repugnant examples of Hollywood's cheap-thrill approach to violence, its voyeuristic brutality is matched only by its innate stupidity.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010

The film can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be an audience pleasing popcorn treat or a serious, political thriller. It ends up being partly both... with varying degrees of success.

Full Review… | April 15, 2010
Fan The Fire

Putting aside the ideological posturing, this hyper-violent fantasy about a seemingly unstoppable killer who continues his murder spree behind bars delivers on its promise of an intriguing mystery, however far-fetched.

Full Review… | February 16, 2010
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Law Abiding Citizen

An excellent thriller that takes you to the edge of your seat. Excellent acting across the board makes this movie much better than the average revenge flick. Butler's bow as the "bad guy" truly makes the film as you tend to understand his want for revenge and makes him someone you can connect with. Overall a good action thriller.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


One of the early takes of the by now popular be-careful-who-you-mess-with cautionary revenge epics Hollywood produces, cause-he-might-be-a-retired-super-spy. Tension is quickly ratcheted up and stays there until the conclusion, all performers ably contributing. A decent thriller.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

As a fun, (un)intelligent revenge thriller, Law Abiding Citizen held my interest through and through. I would have preferred a less farfetched conclusion, but Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx give great performances as their characters square off and spew at each other there opposing yet equally flawed perceptions on the American legal system.

Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Law Abiding Citizen Quotes

Inmate: Nice bed.
Clyde Shelton: Thanks. It's a single.
– Submitted by Ausautas V (2 years ago)
Clyde Shelton: I did what I had to do.
– Submitted by Rolf J (3 years ago)
Nick Rice: I had to call his wife and tell her that her husband had been buried alive.
Clyde Shelton: Well, justice should be harsh Nick... especially for those who denied it to others.
– Submitted by Taylor A (4 years ago)
Detective Dunnigan: I believe those cots are bolted into the cell.
Clyde Shelton: Well, thats what wrenches are for... Dumbass!
– Submitted by Stephen C (4 years ago)

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