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Law Abiding Citizen
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Law Abiding Citizen

2009
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 49m
An everyday guy decides to take justice into his own hands after a plea bargain sets his family's killers free. His target: The district attorney who orchestrated the deal. (imdb)
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Law Abiding Citizen

2009
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 49m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 46.45% from 3610 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(3610)
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Rated 17 Jan 2010
7
68th
My score would've been higher had the ending not been so terrible. It didn't even make sense and it was a huge cop out. Why spare Nick? It was still entertaining and pretty solid up to the end. I also had a hard time believing that the guy who sang the song "Do What It Do" could be a lawyer. Whatever, it's mindless fun.
Rated 18 Nov 2009
40
19th
Neither Butler (too whiny to be menacing) nor Foxx (bland) delivers in this one. The script feels incredibly dated. If you hate mediocrity, make sure to steer clear. On the other hand, if you're nostalgic about 90s-thrillers then this might just transport you back in time.
Rated 04 Dec 2009
86
63rd
Okay, "Law Abiding Citizen" is absolutely absurd and you'll find a lot of unlogic things in it, even if you don't search but this movie is good. for just one reason. this family father did, what millions of people would love to do. to burn the hole corrupt and dirty system down to the ground. let everyone bleed for their wrong interpretation of justice..just let the right one die, only one time. It's a pity that the ending is inconsequent!!!
Rated 25 Nov 2009
81
78th
A pretty decent thriller that could have been better had Butler superceded Foxx in screen time. Personally, I have a pretty gruesome mind, so I would have liked some more meticulous torture and killing scenes, so it really bothers me to see Hollywood pull the punches like this. But nothing tickles me like a righteous man torturing people.
Rated 06 May 2010
3
9th
I was simultaneously bored to death and entertained by this film, something which doesn't happen very often. You're not really sure which side you're supposed to take and the film seems to make most up as it goes along. And don't tell me he dug that tunnel on his own, now that I can't abide...
Rated 28 May 2010
39
27th
Way too far fetched and very predictable, with a terrible ending. Worst of all "Law Abiding Citizen" treads the line of moral ambiguity & dilemma as delicately as a hammer to the head! It's not completely without merit however, and has it's enjoyable moments, with Butler and Foxx both more than good enough. But when a script & plot are this poorly executed, with such lazily drawn characters, it is hard to admire this film too much. Likeable, but seriously flawed.
Rated 19 Oct 2009
5
57th
It's objectively bad, but there's a rough sort of charm in the gore and absurdity, giant plot holes and all. Gerard Butler's character seems like an attempt to fuse Hannibal Lecter and Jigsaw from the Saw movies. It's definitely one of the most Republican-friendly movies I've seen in some time, with an actual, stated moral of "fuck civil rights!" But I guess everyone needs entertainment, so I won't hold that against it too much.
Rated 14 Nov 2009
50
38th
Would have worked much better for me as a courtroom drama than a thriller, but its not surprising that the latter is what it is. Quite enjoyable nonetheless, I like Butler and Foxx both and the one court scene with Butler alone was enough to make the film worthwhile for me. I cannot dislike anything that carries such appropriate criticism of the American justice system, which is one of the worst in the western world no doubt.
Rated 27 Jun 2010
35
5th
Trying to have the "moral ambiguity" card as your central theme is completely ridiculous when the film is so over the top its laughable. Its as if LAC wants us to take it seriously...really? Bad script, bad acting, and plot holes galore are the least of this film's problems. The first 35min or so...ok you hooked me. Guilty.
Rated 23 Jun 2014
30
12th
The institutions of human justice are found wanting by a man possessing magical powers granted to him by the feeling of injustice. As a result, a representative of earthly law learns to reject fallible human justice and instead become a murderer himself, as the true path of salvation for the city. More importantly, as has long been established by Hollywood, all transgressions can ultimately be forgotten, so long as a father learns the importance of attending performances by his daughter.
Rated 05 Mar 2012
40
18th
The premise was interesting enough and as a late-night TV time waster it worked fine. But the whole things seems to have been made from a "Can't we just wrap this up? I've got dinner reservation tonight" approach to movie making. Especially Foxx appears to wish himself far away.
Rated 28 Nov 2009
43
16th
Starts out as an effective revenge thriller, but the plot holes and increasing absurdity take the whole thing down.
Rated 11 Dec 2009
69
41st
it was going suprisingly well until the finale kicked in. What a disappointment for the last minute, followed by a huge plothole.
Rated 21 Jan 2010
65
29th
What a shit at the end. Hays' fucking resurrection.
Rated 11 Feb 2010
60
49th
Utterly ridiculous, yet so full of action. There's not a likable character in the entire film, but that may be the point. Truthfully I'm unsure what the point of this film is. All I know for sure is it's full of explosions, unintentionally hilarious scenes, a few intentionally funny scenes too, and some decent acting. It's ending is absolutely terrible, however. A pointless, somewhat fun film that ultimately leaves you asking yourself why you bothered watching it.
Rated 21 Feb 2010
65
45th
I came in with very low expectations for this movie and was pleasantly surprised. The story is rather interesting (just ignore plot holes) and surprisingly it isn't *too* predictable. On the other hand, the ending was lame and I just don't like Jamie Foxx as an actor much. It's fun and a lot of people will enjoy it.
Rated 23 Feb 2010
85
55th
I'm sorry, but anyone who rates this movie poorly is a pretentious schmuck. This movie was really well done. Sure, it was a little unbelievable, but it kept me on the edge of my seat and interested and seemed somewhat relevant to our modern justice system. Here's one case where I let others' perceptions cloud my judgments, but I actually ended up liking the movie more than expected.
Rated 22 Oct 2018
7
76th
The first half of this movie is expcetional. However, Law Abiding Citizen tries to come off more clever than it really is, and in reality it gets less interesting closer and closer to the end of its run. That said, it was entertaining, and by no means was the second half horrible, but they could've taken this a lot more different directions. Butler and Foxx are obviously the stars and they do live up to it. Overall, it was actually better than I was expecting.
Rated 08 Mar 2010
2
15th
This movie is fucking absurd. Not a bad ride though.
Rated 18 Mar 2010
55
8th
Just total crap, plot makes littles sense and advocates for "Saw- like" ethics. Avenging white man decides to gruesomely kill his family's murderer and wipe out the Philadelphia Judicial System that failed their persecutions. Torture porn, advocation of libertarian/"conservative" right wing white male terrorist fantasies. Would be harmless if not for a current real world media climate preaching similar messages.
Rated 04 Apr 2010
65
16th
The first half of the movie was spectacular. You could never be sure of where it was going to go, the moves that he was making were wonderful. Gerard Butler's character extensively studied law, and I wish they'd done more with that in all honesty. By the time things started exploding, it was like the movie had burnt itself out and they ran out of new material. It stopped being interesting and became predictable, leaving you off with a very boring, standard finish. Yawn. Love Jamie Foxx' swagger.
Rated 05 Apr 2010
71
50th
Although the beginning is rather weak and distant, I walked away quite impressed. Gerard Butler as always was great, and the film worked through a number of script and character issues to be entertaining and a little thought provoking at the same time. However, the ending is rather unsatisfying and feels tacked on, to the detriment of the overall story. That aside, this is a pretty good film that merits seeing on account of its style and a fair amount of tension. Definitely exceeds expectations.
Rated 19 Apr 2010
40
25th
After a decent start and some good tension being built, it is frustrating to see the plotline crumble in it's own stupidity. The final twists make me want to laugh.
Rated 18 Aug 2014
75
30th
Fun and hilarious reverse Batman movie where the wronged takes it out on the criminal justice system. Unfairly criticized for depicting lawyers, judges and legislators as buffoons.
Rated 07 Jun 2010
83
85th
However the first thirty or forty minutes were just breathtaking, the movie falls apart towards the end, which is just too bad. You sympathize with Butler's character and try to live his emotions to a certain level, hoping that everything works out for him. This way you just have to be disappointed with this ending.
Rated 25 Jun 2010
24
27th
This movie was, well, like Jesus Christ. It was making such a strong and righteous stand that somebody just had to kill it. The plot was strong and the main character was great right up till the end.
Rated 17 Oct 2009
18
7th
A repulsive film that feels like the kind of movie a 14 year old would write. Probably the kind of revenge fantasy for victim's rights if seen through the eyes of Falling Down, which at least had a sense of sarcastic intent. Another thing that disturbed me was the audience's reaction to the film. How does this garbage get greenlighted? At least Jamie Foxx did an okay job in his role, but it's not like they gave him much to work with. I even considered walking out on it. Avoid it.
Rated 29 Aug 2016
0
0th
I remember sitting in an AP English Lit class and some dumbass was talking about how this movie was the smartest movie ever. But no, this is the type of movie that makes you want to grab all the benzos you can and all the booze you have and hope you just fucking die before you have to see another minute of it. It's just so shameful that MILLIONS are wasted on picture like this. It really puts a damper on wanting to do anything artistic if this is the type of drivel that is wanted.
Rated 22 Oct 2009
3
23rd
Ridiculous, repulsive and - on many levels - just plain rubbish. Yet still way more fun than it has any right to be.
Rated 03 Jul 2011
0
0th
Wish I could give this a negative score.
Rated 09 Dec 2009
55
52nd
A movie that a future Tarantino would go for.
Rated 12 Jun 2013
52
24th
Richard Kimble he ain't.
Rated 28 Dec 2009
69
78th
Is it wrong to be rooting for the badguy?
Rated 29 Dec 2009
85
77th
awesommee movie. Loved the ways people died..:P
Rated 06 Jun 2013
20
1st
This movie made me angry. Seriously angry. I don't know who I was supposed to root for here, other than possibly Jamie Foxx's daughter (who was not at all loathsome, like everyone else in the movie). If you are not going to have sympathetic characters in a movie, the characters that you do have had better be damned compelling (No one in this movie is compelling).
Rated 09 Jan 2010
50
48th
This film disappoints after a fantastic opening half-hour. The plot developments then start to raise an eyebrow before becoming increasingly far-fetched (although some of the 'kills' were admittedly enjoyable), leaving inevitable feelings of unfulfilled promise as the credits roll. Butler's nicely convincing, Foxx could have been anyone. Worth a watch, sadly nothing more.
Rated 18 Jan 2010
64
37th
Gets more over the top as it progresses but stays entertaining all the way. It's rubbish but it's good rubbish. What a badass villain!
Rated 22 Jan 2010
82
70th
Good until nearly the end. Do keep in mind that this film is one where the TRUE HERO, the proud, honourable, righteous man is billed as being a villain for doing exactly what needs to be done.
Rated 22 Jan 2010
60
64th
Shitty ending.
Rated 24 Jan 2010
70
53rd
Ridiculous.
Rated 03 Feb 2010
25
4th
Could have been an interesting thriller, but is over the top in almost everyway imaginable. Acting, violence, and cinematograhpy. The dialogue is ridiculous, the motivations of the antagonist are at times obvious and at others ridiculously obscurant. The cinema I saw it in was constantly bursting out into laughter so I guess I'm not alone.
Rated 03 Jun 2013
80
77th
A movie that has you rooting for the bad guy the whole time. Would have been higher if the ending was a bit better.
Rated 24 Apr 2014
35
39th
Tries hard to be a tense revenge thriller, but the plot holes hit you so hard you miss the next 5 mins of the film because you're trying in your head to make sense of the nonsensical thing that just happened. Talented cast, but most of them are sleepwalking their way through shallow characters. A very forgettable film.
Rated 23 Feb 2010
70
39th
Some cool ideas, but I'm getting really sick of these lame endings.
Rated 24 Feb 2010
74
85th
Good Movie
Rated 03 Jun 2013
35
25th
Good premise, and strong first half. However the writing goes downhill quickly as it becomes clear that we actually aren't supposed to be rooting for Gerard Butler. A better second half would be Butler carrying out his plan, systematically killing off officials until finally doing away with Foxx's family; and then using his legal knowledge to get a deal for a light sentence, or otherwise find some way to get away with a slap on the wrist for a couple dozen murders. That would be a great film.
Rated 31 Mar 2010
55
14th
There was a point while watching this film that I started to buy into it. I knew this was not great filmmaking, but it was interesting none the less, and I seemed to forgive some bad dialogue and predictable story. Then the twist, and the end just was too much. It really was a stupid way to end the film. I've changed the score three times while writing this. Pass on this, unless you have a hard on for Gerry Butler.
Rated 24 Mar 2011
54
5th
Very cliche. Not that I expected much, but it could've turned out nice - the story idea wasn't bad. The result, though, was your standard good-guy-after-bad-guy flick, with a not so original good guy and a not cool enough bad one. The dialogue was particularly awful, and the so-called 'twist' in the end couldn't really impress anybody. Finally, Jamie Foxx is not at all convincing as a DA; I guess he's played the cop so many times, he just can't shake it off.
Rated 06 Jun 2021
68
33rd
Silly but passable mash-up of FALLING DOWN and DEATH WISH is (hopefully) not meant to be taken too seriously, but still suffers from absurd gaps in logic and credibility which make the drama difficult to become invested in; everything plays out arbitrarily and there's not quite enough fire in the direction for this to work as a spin on, say, TAKEN sensibilities. Butler and Foxx make a great pair of antagonists, and are both fun to watch - they are really the chief reasons for watching this.
Rated 03 Dec 2012
70
70th
The story is pretty far fetched and unbelievable, but still clever and complicated. Classic story of injustice int he justice system, and vigilante justice dispensed in a novel way. Gerard Butler was a grieving husband mourning the loss of his wife and daughter to brutal killers. When justice is not served, he take the solution into his own capable and clever hands. Most of the story was pretty incredible, and the rest was pure fantasy. Still it was entertaining.
Rated 23 Mar 2011
56
19th
It might have been interesting, if it hadn't been mired in all the possible cliche dialogues a la Dirty Harry, or if it hadn't been lazy for using all the tired ways to develop tension between the characters. It touches a subject (The seperation between justice and the legal system) that probably must not be dealt in such an infantile way, if you just want to do a thriller do a thriller. If you want to make people think, blowing cars and simple traps are not the way to go
Rated 10 May 2010
75
46th
A story of revenge. I know the Conservative manifesto proposed more rights to self defence for the householder but this is ridiculous! The story keeps you engaged though much if it is unbelievable. Some horrific scenes, one in particluar not leaving much to the imagination. Perhaps truth and justice should be left to Batman where it is allowed to be unbelievable! Worth watching but the unlikely story let it down.
Rated 17 May 2010
36
34th
Ridiculous and ideologically offensive, but entertaining throughout. Watch Jamie Foxx pretend to be a lawyer pretending to be a cop.
Rated 22 May 2010
60
46th
The film begins very well, with its realistic violence and discussions of the justice system. But the character of Butler wins a profile supergenius of the crime with high technology, losing all the reality and focus of the film.
Rated 06 Mar 2011
67
43rd
Movie would have been much, much better if he would have just gotten away at the end of it. Jamie Foxx should have been the first character killed. Bonus points though for Colm Meaney surviving to the end. Should have fucking taken charge though. Fuck Jamie Foxx.
Rated 20 Jul 2010
58
34th
I have to admit, In this movie I am willing to partially forgive this movie of its faults for it really was just damned entertaining. The pacing works well and the viewer is very much kept on the edge of their seat with each act of vengeance. Yet, the film has a awkward sense of self-importance, unable to even decide what its absolute message is. The ending is really quite unsatisfying as well, mostly because the audience is largely unaware of Gerard Butler's sudden role shift to antagonist.
Rated 04 Oct 2011
80
79th
Good stuff but Gerry's accent sucks. And the moral is "you have to kill a bunch of people to make a lawyer act decently".
Rated 14 Aug 2010
40
9th
Saw for the CSI crowd. Terrible.
Rated 03 Sep 2010
72
32nd
This spurs an awful lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand it's a reactionary mess with a moral that is somehow both blunt and wishy-washy. On the other hand the message is subordinate to a tense thriller with some really exciting, if unbelievable, twists and turns. As a pure ride I enjoyed it a lot even as I was put off by what it was saying.
Rated 22 Sep 2010
62
30th
The first part of this revenge thriller is actually not bad but it turns south after that.
Rated 17 Oct 2009
71
59th
It seemed too implausible, and although I had high hopes after watching the first half (which was great), the ending was disappointing.
Rated 18 Oct 2009
65
64th
If you didn't find this movie fun then you have no soul. It's so absurd, so over the top and even so campy that you can't help be amused by it. I'm not sure if that's what Gray was going for, but that's what it is.
Rated 18 Oct 2009
50
14th
Starts out good, but degenerates from the pursuit of justice to outright terrorism, and throws in a few absurdities to boot. And I never understood why they fried the lesser of two evils and let the worst one go. On second thought, the more I think about it the more holes I find....taking it down from a 6 to a 5.
Rated 11 Nov 2009
0
12th
The humble flatfoot hits the nail on the head: "Un-fucking-believable."
Rated 12 Nov 2009
75
12th
a ridiculous premise, which is revealed in the end, undermines this film.....
Rated 12 Nov 2009
50
35th
Flawed but entertaining.
Rated 04 Dec 2009
87
86th
If brains like this existed the world would be a much cooler (but ultimately dangerous) place. I felt sick, I felt outrage, and then I laughed. Thoroughly enjoyable thriller, don't look too deep into plot holes or they'll suck you in,
Rated 07 Dec 2009
80
69th
I don't care if it is full of holes, it's got enough "justice" to keep me interested.
Rated 25 Aug 2017
59
20th
Strays a little too close to the torture porn line for my taste but the head to heads in the interrogation/interviews are good.
Rated 28 Jul 2012
50
5th
Sooooo american there's no telling. At the beggining I had hope for it, but it became predictable, and empty, flashy. This film wanted me to like it, and it ruined it all. The guy really just gone mad, there's nothing else to it. senseless violence. On top of that, it's racist: All white guys are evil and kill and die, and in the end, the nigga lefts standing, victorious...lame. A few good scenes make it up for it just so you won't switch it off. And the ending...? Fuck, no. Don't watch this.
Rated 25 Dec 2009
50
55th
Could have been a good movie, but the ending lacks that certain "twist" most of us were probably waiting for the whole 2 hours. However, the fact that the JL Foxx character has almost no character arc is probably the most disappointing aspect of the film. One watch is enough.
Rated 28 Dec 2009
65
47th
Solid but predicatable. Well acted, good production values but a slightly far fetched story.
Rated 03 Jan 2016
74
61st
This film showed a lot of promise and if it wasn't for such a weak ending, it could've been great. Such a shame.
Rated 18 Feb 2018
60
47th
A messed-up Gerard Butler goes on a crusade. Definitely worth a watch.
Rated 11 Jan 2010
78
55th
good idea, not so good realisation, worth watching
Rated 15 Jan 2010
35
9th
Bad acting, bad script, bad messages.
Rated 11 Nov 2015
81
51st
Solid thriller, of course Phily PD won't be that easy to fool, but apart from being predictable at the later end, this is a very good action-crime-revenge combo.
Rated 25 Jan 2010
70
69th
Very Good. The theme of vengeful justice is exploited here to the fullest. The wronged hero unleashes his wrath no-holds barred, everyone pays. Probably the smartest, funnest action flick of the year. Highly recommended.
Rated 28 Jan 2010
70
42nd
This movie just goes from one plot hole to the next. Could have been really good, but doesn't reach its potential...
Rated 12 Nov 2023
89
69th
I love it, it wasn't bad. I never got bored (like I usually do when watching movies), and it got me on the edge of my seat multiple times. I didn't like the ending, but it was a great ending. Bittersweet. The detective learned his lesson, and I don't wanna say more since it'll spoil others.
Rated 18 Feb 2010
58
34th
I was a bit confused if the film was trying to achieve an award for worst actor or supporting actor. I don't know who I got tired of first...the egotistical, stale Gerald Butler or the pessimistic, phony Jamie Foxx. The plot is shallower than low tide and the film drags on with inconceivable killing throughout the nauseating duration. Rent it if you must...
Rated 20 Feb 2010
71
52nd
F. Gary Gray has directed the most absurd action-thriller premise of the decade that audiences are expected to take seriously. And he really makes it work no matter how far-fetched it is. This revenge-against-the-system movie is little more than a stolen script for the latest "Saw" installment, but it consistently held my interest and had me engrossed in its ludicrous plot. Foxx and Butler do fine, although Butler outshines the Oscar-winner. This is a suspenseful thriller, but a bit too gruesome
Rated 28 Jul 2021
41
10th
So much potential and it was so well acted,but then fox made the film about him as backstory, he spoke to the director as he wanted to be the good guy so they all then reworked it as fox refused to play it if he wasn't the good guy
Rated 04 Mar 2010
71
39th
Full of action, and quite good at building tension - I must say that it's a different approach many crime movies take; however it still fails to deliver something out of the cliche, evil genius motive. Truthfully it's nothing new in the genre, except some new gadgets.
Rated 14 Mar 2010
70
69th
You would have to search the galaxy for black holes to find bigger holes than the ones in this plot. Never the less I wasn't bored at any point. It did a good job flowing from one scene to the next. Even though this movie was completely outlandish and unrealistic it was still entertaining to a certain degree. Although the ending lacked closure and left me completely unfulfilled.
Rated 30 Aug 2015
70
54th
I love these fast paced drama movies! Good story about choosing good or evil - when does avenging become evil? Too bad he gets caught in the end.
Rated 08 Apr 2010
63
27th
Gerard Butler's character is out of a comic. Bent on revenge based on personal tragedy seemingly smarter then everyone else! Is he mad or brilliant? Meh. Jaimie Foxx is much better in character roles.
Rated 29 Nov 2011
60
28th
really good movie throughout the first 85 minutes, turns really lame after that...
Rated 23 Jun 2010
4
22nd
...or I will kill everyone
Rated 23 Jun 2010
65
11th
What an awful film! A family man, the law-abiding citizen of the title (??!!), morphs into a combo James Bond + Wolverine when his family is murdered. Before he is caught for the murder of one of the villains, he breaks into jail, again and again, tunneling beneath every cell in solitary, figuring he will wind up in one of them. He's caught, goes to jail, and emerges from solitary (off-screen) to wreck vengeance on the guilty and sometimes the innocent. Oh come on! Hollywood, sober up!
Rated 25 Jun 2010
17
77th
This was almost genius! Then to make it politically correct they dialed it all back in, fucked up the ending, and made a mediocre film with a contrived ending. When they could have just just let it glide right into to port it was headed for pure genius!
Rated 14 Sep 2017
50
28th
sonu hariç 75-80
Rated 02 Aug 2010
60
17th
Far from a great film, and some moments are painfully stupid. But there's a certain amount of logic to the psychosis.
Rated 12 Nov 2012
70
25th
A decent movie. But the whole film wants you to root for gerard butler for the first half, and switches to jamie foxx for the second half and conclusion. so I was a little dissapointed when he loses at the end, even though his endgame involved killed hundreds.
Rated 20 Nov 2011
80
18th
Predictable, your average Hollywood production.
Rated 22 Aug 2012
71
58th
It's really over-the-top, but that can still be enjoyable. Gerard Butler's character is more scheming than your average Bond villain, only he doesn't have to contend with the world's greatest spy. Just Jamie Foxx.
Rated 14 Nov 2010
35
5th
Ethically and structurally confused, as well as thoroughly underexposed. Seriously, is Philadelphia that dark at noon?
Rated 02 Dec 2010
20
14th
Random medicore action flick.
Rated 16 Dec 2010
49
31st
Does the IMDB description really describe Butler's character as "an everyday guy"? That's laughably misleading. Aside from a supreme lack of plausibility in the plot (which I can excuse), I really can't appreciate a film that is purely based on moral ambiguity for the sake of moral ambiguity without any real discussion or meaningful resolution.
Rated 03 Nov 2020
60
30th
Lol

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