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.

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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, Rovi
R (for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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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
Emerald Angel Young
as Denise Rice
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
Dan Bittner
as Sereno
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 Stacy Mills
as Clyde's Wife
Brooke 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 Mattress
Dave Huddleston
as Newscaster at Execution
Gabra Zackman
as Another Reporter
Brian Anthony Wilson
as Homeland Security Supervisor
Stephanie Humphrey
as Local Newscaster #1
Tracy Toth
as Local Newscaster #2
Patrick F. McDade
as Charlie - City Hall Security
Jim Fitzpatrick
as Messenger
Lawrence Laravella
as Bailiff #1
Lawrence Laravela
as Bailiff #1
Barbara Lambert
as Bailiff #2
Timothy Whiteside
as Prison Guard
Nakia Dillard
as City Hall Sheriff
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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 26, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

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… | October 20, 2009
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

There's the core of a fascinating amoral movie here before it gets amped up into a standard thriller

Full Review… | October 19, 2009
I.E. Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

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… | October 16, 2009
Top Critic

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… | October 16, 2009
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Law Abiding Citizen


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
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
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

Fun and exciting. I enjoyed it a great deal.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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