Law Abiding Citizen - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Law Abiding Citizen Reviews

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½ March 24, 2016
There's no denying that Law Abiding Citizen's plot is flawed and a little over the top. However, intriguing performances by Jaimie Fox and Gerard Butler and an awesome revenge premise allows Law Abiding Citizen to be a watchable and at times, a downright fun popcorn movie.
½ March 9, 2016
It's a guilty pleasure popcorn flick. That's all.
Super Reviewer
½ February 29, 2016
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.
February 27, 2016
How did critics not like this movie more?
February 26, 2016
I liked it quite a bit
February 22, 2016
A fantastic thriller focused on one thing: the broken nature of our justice system. Gerard Butler plays the anti-hero, and he is spectacular. The thought experiment here is great, and Jamie Foxx and the supporting cast are awesome. Great film.
February 20, 2016
while some my feel it is impossible, the guy had 10 years to set it up, so il say plausible, but entertaining all around, excellent movie. I really wish he pulled off the bomb at the end and got taken down by Jamie Foxx after would have made a better ending for a movie that exposes the false promises the judiciary system gives to the victims of those it prosecuted.
February 16, 2016
I see a lot of scrutiny on how action thrillers today are simply implausible and this film got that type of rating from Rotten Tomatoes "top critics". Rotten Tomatoes top critics give this movie a squashed review of 25% saying that it is "nihilistic", "implausible", and "not possible". Now I do understand that to pull off all these stunts that Gerard Butlers character Clyde seems to do, does seem impossible, but do I remind you that just this last year Mexican drug lord El Chapo has done this sort of thing multiple times in maximum security prisons and that I do remind you is not Hollywood, but real life. While watching Law Abiding Citizen, I kept that in mind and that these things were absolutely not physically impossible, especially considering the movie states that he had 10 years to plan these diabolical plans. This film is rated R and I think that speaks for itself when I say do not bring your kids to this movie. The film is not only gory, contains sexual content, and also uses a decent amount of profane language, but it is also too complex for most kids to understand or even keep them entertained. This movie is great for a friends night for young adults or all action-thriller lovers. This movie has not one, but two great actors in Jamie Foxx starring as an everyday law attorney and Gerard Butler who stars as an inventor living happily with his family until a single knock at the door turns his life around. The movie gets into the thrill right away and never stops. If you liked the movie "The Gift" then you are sure to like this film, as they both keep you at the edge of your seat while also giving you some great action. I put this movie somewhere in my top 10 favorite films of all time, because of how this film intrigues my mind after every scene of what could possibly happen next, the small punch lines of comedy they throw at you, and also the great dose of action that is Law Abiding Citizen.
January 27, 2016
What do critics know? This is the movie that made me love Gerard Butler. For those who love vicarious vigilantism, this is your film.
January 21, 2016
I hated everything about Jamie Foxx's role, but Gerard Butler was amazing as usual.
January 10, 2016
Although Se7en might have done this type of "justice" film better, this one manages to be very entertaining and gets its points across despite overdoing the gross-out violence at times. Gerard Butler carries it throughout.
½ January 10, 2016
Law Abiding Citizen is a smart, innovative Thriller that's wholly implausible but nevertheless a whole lot of fun. It's Saw with less violence and a bit more of a focused structure and brain power, and even though much of the film plays out with an absurdity that's hard to ignore, the picture works as sheer and imaginative entertainment that's good enough to keep the audience guessing and immersed in a topsy-turvy world of deliciously-realized improbabilities. Rounded out by slick direction and solid acting, Law Abiding Citizen won't be up for a host of Oscars but it's certainly good enough to enjoy as a thinking man's Horror/Thriller delight.
January 6, 2016
Hell of a film with spot-on performances by Butler & Fox!
½ December 30, 2015
I would rather seeing him using legal system rules to defend the allegations against him regarding his revenge to those two bad guys, instead of killing all legal service men. I makes no point, defused the purpose.
December 7, 2015
I have the Movie & it is Awesome
November 15, 2015
If you forget about reason, Law Abiding Citizen can be quite engaging.
Nonetheless, this movie suffers a messy and uneven script.
October 18, 2015
Truly a story defies reason .... I shouldn't have watched it at all.
½ September 15, 2015
Pairing up director F. Gary Gray with Jamie Foxx, Law Abiding Citizen sounded like a collaboration of talent on both sides of the camera.

Though Law Abiding Citizen has a screenplay with the potential to be something truly clever and a style of dialogue which conveys an interesting examination of the justice system, it is too challenging to get past the unbelievable narrative that the film is built on. The story in Law Abiding Citizen wants to challenge the morals of viewers, causing them to question where the line for the "eye for an eye" moral truly is. Unfortunately, it only makes an excessively brief attempt at doing this and eventually settles for a narrative which is far from believable instead. The story goes from one with potential into a conventional game of cat and mouse with killer and then into a simple manhunt. It's nowhere near as challenging as it wants to be or seems to think that it is because it is clear the viewer is supposed to be conflicted onprecisely how much sympathy they can maintain for the antagonist. Yet with a script that relies on paper thin characterizations which already play second fiddle to the style-over-substance approach of the film, there is little innovation on offer.
F. Gary Gray's directorial work is predictably an asset to Law Abiding Citizen because he is able to build atmosphere and style off the production values of the film, effectively giving it some sense of credibility. Yet even he cannot salvage the story. Because he cannot, he simply attempts to make due by filling the movie with powerfully captured imagery that uses a lot of close up cinematography and effective slow motion to build a sense of drama. The musical score also manages to match the pace of the narrative, allowing things to build tension at the appropriate times. It is clear that the man's stylish edge is able to convert the film into being a spectacle of sorts, even if it is rather overblown for a feature with a limited collection of characters and settings. The film is very much just a stylish star vehicle, though it does have styles and stars that work to its credibility.
What the experience all boils down to is the manner in which Law Abiding Citizen treats its supposedly most interesting character, Clyde Shelton. The film's characterization of Clyde Shelton ends up being a little too farfetched. For all the murders depicted in the film to acually occur, the events would have to line up with tenacious precision in timing and many other things. The script decides to write this off by saying his is some sort of technological assassin, but that is too far beyond belief for the film to maintain the credibility of a legitimate crime thriller. From that point on, it essentially becomes as ludicrous as a piece of science fiction. And considering the fact that Clyde Shelton kills his foes with exploding phones and guns that release venomous neurotexin into the hands of the holder, there is a sense that the film gets a little too 007 for its own good. But on top of that, the way that Clyde Shelton tortures his first hands-on victim seems very much derivative of the approach that serial killer Dexter Morgan takes to his victims in the television series Dexter (2006-2013). Essentially, Clyde Shelton is a combination of Dexter Morgan and James Bond without a sensible level of sadism for him to find an appropriate line between criminal mastermind and a bereaving widow. Ultimately, Clyde Shelton only gets sensible treatment from the actor in the role, Gerard Butler.
Though Gerard Butler is an actor very much memorable for portraying the remorseless Leonidas in 300 (2006), Law Abiding Citizen throws him straight into the other end of acting. Within a very brief amount of time on screen, Gerard Butler delivers a performance so far from Leonidas that the humanity is very powerful. He instantly projects a sense of internal pain within the character, a feeling of vulnerability that comes to him so naturally that it feels far from acted. And in the blink of an eye, he changes. Gerard Butler is stuck with thin characterization and a very odd role, but he is able to easily embrace the insanity of the character and convey a believable sense of cruel sadism in the part. Gerard Butler is stuck with a meandering role in Law Abiding Citizen, but his performance is really one of the finest things that the film has to offer. It is certainly far from effective enough to be anywhere on par with Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter which it seems to mimic in one particular scene, but the way that Gerard Butler delivers his lines with a tenacious confidence in understanding everything that he has to say helps to encourage a sense of beliavabilty in a narrative which is really beyond rational thought.
Jamie Foxx is also a nice touch. The man is an accomplished actor who hardly gets challenged in his role and instead has to essentially resort to playing an archetype, but the naturally sophisticated charm of the actor ensures that he is able to effectively come off as human to the audience and yet still remain intensively convincing. Jamie Foxx manages to build on Gerard Butler's performance by capitalizing on some really intense moments of interaction, effectively working a routine effort into capturing the interest of viewers. Jamie Foxx's instinctive understanding of all the legal concepts in the script boosts the credibility of the character and of him in the process.

So Law Abiding Citizen benefits from F. Gary Gray's keen eye for strong imagery and atmosphere as well as a duo of decent performances from Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, but it is ultimately overdone by a narrative which is too far beyond belief and constructed out of multiple generic crime thriller plot devices and a collection of murder scenes which all feel derivative of the wrong material.
½ September 8, 2015
Loved the movie, hated the ending -- one of those "Oops, we ran out of film money, let's just wrap this up and leave" endings.
September 7, 2015
I really liked it. The plot moved at a very quick pace and kept you guessing till the end.
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