Law Abiding Citizen Reviews

Top Critic
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
November 27, 2009
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 | Original Score: 2/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
October 21, 2009
As a social statement, Law Abiding Citizen is a flawed attempt at holding the legal system accountable for its shortcomings. As a movie, it's a ridiculous execution of a misguided concept.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Dan Kois
Washington Post
October 16, 2009
A preposterous exercise in high-minded brutality, "Law Abiding Citizen" tries to pass itself off as a dialectic on justice betrayed, but instead plays like a snuff film with our nation's legal system as the victim.
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Laremy Legel
Film.com
October 16, 2009
Sure, it's outta place for October, but there's no reason you can't enjoy a mindless piece of candy against the backdrop of fall foliage.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
October 16, 2009
Law Abiding Citizen is such a lazy action-drama underachiever, it seems unfair to target stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler for bringing their C game.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Times
October 16, 2009
Say what you will about Death Wish, but Charles Bronson was never boring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 16, 2009
This strikes me as narrative cheating, but you may play the critical game by more relaxed rules.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 16, 2009
It's about the cat-and-mouse game between two very smart guys, and it's perfectly happy to be as dumb as it wants.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
October 16, 2009
"Final Destination" meets "Saw" meets disaster.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
October 16, 2009
At last, the missing link between Phantom of the Opera and Saw. Welcome to the gonzo revenge saga Law Abiding Citizen.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
October 16, 2009
Butler has the showier part, but his impersonation of the tragic hero is undercut by his weird resemblance to Soupy Sales.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 16, 2009
You want to see what happens, even as logic tumbles, and there are fascinating undercurrents in the bargain.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 16, 2009
The more Kurt Wimmer's screenplay reveals about the lead character's scheme, the more difficult it is to believe that Law Abiding Citizen is intended to be taken seriously.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 16, 2009
It's a "Who dies next?" slasher film masquerading as a revenge thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 15, 2009
The exploration of right and wrong, and its complicated lack of clarity, gets trammeled amid the bevy of explosions, volley of bullets and mounting body count.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
October 15, 2009
It winds up feeling overwritten yet underexplained, foregoing plausible revelations in favor of gusty debate about the ethical challenges of practicing and upholding the law.
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
October 15, 2009
Vigilante movies hold a firm place in cinematic history, but for them to work, the vigilante needs to be a sympathetic anti-hero.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 15, 2009
An exercise in illogic and Death Wish cribbing that lets a bunch of good actors collect big paychecks for playing way less than their A game.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 15, 2009
The movie is not -- putting it courteously -- tightly constructed. The narrative shifts are jerky and the tone bounces around like a Jeep on a dirt road.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
October 15, 2009
Like a lot of action-movie directors, Gray lacks the imagination to view the art of cat-and-mouse as more than a chance to play with state-of-the-art war technology.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 15, 2009
All we're left with are ticking time bombs and a chunk of our own time that we'll never get back.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
October 15, 2009
An implausible thriller with a few horror elements in the guise of social criticism.
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 15, 2009
A flagrantly ridiculous thriller that tries to retrofit Saw to function as a mainstream, semi-respectable vigilante picture about the failings of our justice system.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 15, 2009
That the film, directed in swift strokes by F. Gary Gray from a screenplay credited to Kurt Wimmer, doesn't really work -- unrelentingly grim, unintentionally funny -- is almost beside the point. It's a wild concept.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 15, 2009
The explanation of Clyde's methods is preposterous, but it comes late enough that F. Gary Gray, the director, is first able to generate considerable suspense and a sense of dread.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 14, 2009
The big problem with the movie isn't the violence, or the message about coddling criminals, or the two lead actors, although they've never been worse. It's the utter implausibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
October 14, 2009
Not only is it a hapless crime drama about outrage and revenge, it provides the sad spectacle of a movie far less intelligent than the one its filmmakers thought they were making.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 14, 2009
What I mostly noticed is how quickly I've grown tired of Butler's mush-mouthed bravura, and also how much I hope that Foxx, who looks bored, holds his slumming down to this one film.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
October 14, 2009
Saw with a conscience is not what the world needs.