Law Abiding Citizen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Law Abiding Citizen Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 12, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2013
Fun and exciting. I enjoyed it a great deal.
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2009
No offence but if you liked this movie, I am probably a lot smarter than you.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2013
Law Abiding Citizen is entertaining, but not much else. The plot is so implausible and unbelievable that it's almost laughable. Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx as well as the rest of the cast deliver sup-par performances as well making Law Abiding Citizen an entertaining, confusing, implausible mess. Don't waste your time unless you want a brainless action movie.
Jack Hawkins
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2012
This film is silly, and not in a good way. Any film you have criticised in the past for farfetchedness or implausibility will be put into perspective by this truly ludicrous film.

Firstly, all characters are wholly flat and featureless; there is no depth or anything of interest in any of them, the film is just comprised of stock characters. Gerard Butler co-stars as 'Clyde Shelton', a seemingly omnipotent God-like figure who appears to be stronger and more capable than the FBI, the Philadelphia Police Department and various other judicial bodies combined. He's on a mission to correct the judicial system, which he deems to have failed him after the murder of his wife and child. His extraordinary tactility and expertise are tenuously explained in a frivolous scene in which a back story is given to Shelton, a cliched story of how he was a human disposal expert, the character predictably saying "He was the best". His superhuman capabilities are all very convenient, but I don't think he's all that bright, he clearly makes everything much harder for himself. Once the credits roll, it becomes apparent that the plot has one gaping hole, there was no reason for Clyde Shelton to want to be in prison, it would be a completely illogical decision for him to want to be there; you'll know what I'm talking about if you decide to see it. Besides this fatal flaw, there are the ways in which he exacts revenge, they become increasingly nonsensical and boring as the film progresses.

All of this absurdity is fatally compounded by the fact it takes itself seriously. I expected to enjoy this film in a similar way I enjoyed 'Commando', a film which is implausible too, but works through caricatures, hilariously bad acting and fantastically corny one-liners. In 'Law Abiding Citizen' however, there was barely a grain of humour. Despite this, the film gave me one laugh, a scene in which a particularly irritating, somewhat cliched character is inexplicably killed by means of a maliciously modified mobile phone.

This juvenile, unbelievably far-fetched narrative means Law Abiding Citizen is boring. It makes the mistake of adopting a serious approach on a script that appears to have been written by an eleven year-old, but even with humour and interesting performances, I doubt this film could be salvaged. The film is just a brain dead heap of cheap viscera manufactured for the multiplexes; it speaks volumes for today's audience's tastes.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2011
Despite devoted performances and a decent job building suspense, Law Abiding Citizen manages to come up with one of the most ridiculous twist endings I've ever seen - so dumb in fact that it almost seems like a joke. The movie is entertaining on a basic level, but just expect to be incredulously let down by the final scenes.
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2011
Clyde Shelton: Well, justice should be harsh Nick... especially for those who denied it to others. 

"How do you stop a killer who is already behind bars?"

Law Abiding Citizen is an unrealistic film with plot holes aplenty. It's also an extremely fun and entertaining one. The fun outweighs the negative aspects of the movie and makes for a really enjoyable thriller. The movie doesn't waste any time jumping into the brutal nature and violence that will fill the one hour and forty five minute running time. It's a nonstop action and violence extravaganza, with more than a few twisted killings. The premise is cool, even if it leads us down a predictable path.

The film opens on Clyde with his family. He hears a knock on his door and when he answers it, two robbers beat him down and enter the house. They kill his family and leave him for dead. He doesn't die though. One of the killers makes a deal with the prosecutor, that allows the other suspect to be killed, but he will get out after three years. This doesn't make Clyde very happy. The plot jumps ahead ten years after these events and that's when the movie really starts.

Law Abiding Citizen isn't as good as I had initially thought after my first viewing a few years ago. With a second watch, I still really enjoy, but I found a lot of things about it bothersome that I must have missed in all of the excitement the first time around. Good thing I don't watch movies like Law Abiding Citizen for their realism. As all the critics will point out, it isn't realistic. No shit. 

Overall, it is a fun, action filled ride with solid performances from both Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, who play off each other extremely well. It manages to be thrilling, but not suspenseful, as everyone and their mother knows how movies like this will eventually turn out.
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2011
Law Abiding Citizen was a movie of revenge, and corruptness. Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx are really good in this, but nothing award winning. The plot is boring, until the end where the story actually gets somewhere. It does have a few cheap thrills but it also has some cool WTF moments. It had a pretty good message about the justice systems corruption. Overall I dissagree with the reviews and I agree with Roger Ebert, this was a pretty good movie.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2011
WOW! One of the most underrated movies I know, that includes inside and outside of Rotten Tomatoes. First of all, it didn't do well in theatres (probably due to poor marketing), and second, a 25% on here!?!? No justice at all! Please....if you're reading this and haven't seen it, go watch it. Im annoyed.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2011
It's an entertaining movie, but it doesn't break any ground in terms of great cinema. Subpar performances and an unrealistic story are only some of it's flaws, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Super Reviewer
January 9, 2010
I thought this film was fantastic. From start to finish you are in suspense. I read some comments on here and seen some people saying the ending was a let down, but in my opinion it was a great ending. It was the whole point of the story...the whole time Gerard Butler is trying to make a point that the system is corrupt and you shouldn't make deals with murderers, etc. At the end it finally sinks into Jamie Foxx. It proves a point and Gerard Butler then doesn't mind dying because his lesson has finally been taught, and Jamie Foxx then learns to appreciate his family more.

Suspenseful, upsetting, amazing, unpredictable, a must watch!
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2011
Law Abiding Citizen had so many things going against it--Jamie Foxx's presence, Gerard Butler's refusal to commit to an accent (any accent at all...!) and its (possibly not completely unfounded) presumption that its target audience is completely retarded. There are many movies that are simply just... there and the final 10-20 minutes determine if the last two hours were a complete and total waste of time or not and if it was actually maybe even a good movie. Ridiculous dialect or not, I was pulling for Butler's character. And despite all of the executions, each one more preposterous than the one before it, I was just... "fine, whatever." But the dickbag explanation given as to how this level of bullshit was able to be achieved was too much even for me. I love the occasional piece of shit movie myself and I knew I wasn't going to get a latter-day Bridge on the River Kwai here but seriously?
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2011
This is quite literally a dreadful film. Every once in a while there comes a revenge flick that captures audiences imaginations, a few examples I can think of is Man on Fire or The Punisher but this film fails on almost every level. It begins fairly well but then it catapults into barbarism. Somehow I could not believe Gerard Butler as an avenging evil genius, he was extremely miscast, he had supposedly lost his entire family and Mr. Butler didn't conjure any empathy for me to feel. In terms of unbelievability, there's only so much you can take when the script is so poorly written, by the end there was nothing left for me to do but roll my eyes. All in all, the film is imbalanced by so much violence and silly action that it is lacking in substance and narrative.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2009
This film has all the right ingredients to be a great film and it starts off really well, I disliked the ending though and felt it didn't match the cleverness of the rest of the film.

The film is still better than a lot of reviews I received for it though.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2010
First of all, I probably would have given this 4 1/2 stars, but I just am not crazy about Jamie Foxx. Stupid reason, I know, cuz he did an ok job, but I just kept picturing someone better for his part. All in all, though, it was a very exciting and interesting movie to watch. Gerard Butler rocked!
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
5 stars
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
WOW!! Much better than I imagined. Very poor promotion for this movie unless the goal was expect little so the surprise is more significant. Jamie Foxx' and his character are pretty much one dimensional, but Gerard Butler was like 300 "the star"! I like the wake up to the consequences of your action movies.... I want to be like Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) to Cigna Insurance Company. ;-)
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2010
Law Abiding Citizen is very entertaining, and keeps you on the edge of your seat, waiting for something big to happen. Although it is beautifully concluded, it was a little predictable of how it was going to play out. It was not the greatest film, but it was a good solid popcorn suspenseful movie!
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2010
A well made and enjoyable to watch revenge action/thriller. The biggest let down really was how far fetched the plot was!! It starts well and has some quite violent scenes for this type of film. It's hard to say who you should be rooting for. At the start you can understand why a man in that position would want his wife and child murderers to suffer......but as he starts to seek revenge on anyone associated with the case, he himself becomes the bad guy. So despite the unbelievable plot it's still an entertaining film.
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