Law Abiding Citizen Review

Published 4 years ago by

Short Version: Law Abiding Citizen is a satisfying (and at times funny) revenge movie that unfortunately loses its way in the last 20 minutes.

law abiding citizen reviews Law Abiding Citizen Review
Screen Rant reviews Law Abiding Citizen

It seems like Law Abiding Citizen is one in a series of husband/father avenges the death/mistreatment of his family movies spawned by the success of Taken (next in line is the Mel Gibson-starring Edge of Darkness).

In this one we have Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton, loving father and husband (established quite effectively in just the first couple of minutes of the film) up against Jamie Foxx as prosecutor Nick Rice in a game of psychological cat and mouse.

Clyde’s wife and very young daughter are brutally murdered (his wife, before his eyes) by a couple of burglars who break into his home. In order to guarantee that at least one of the perpetrators gets the death sentence, Nick cuts a plea bargain with the other, who will only serve five years. He does this without first consulting with Clyde, who doesn’t buy Nick’s argument of it being better to see some justice served rather than take the chance that both men go free. Within the first 10 minutes you’ll get the entire set up for the film.

Cut to 10 years later – Nick now has a 9 year old daughter and the death row inmate is about to be executed. What should be a standard death by injection goes horribly wrong in a scene that will probably have you cringing in your seat at least a little. Soon after the bad guy who only served five years gets put in a compromising position by Clyde – and he is going to have a very, very bad (last) day.

One thing leads to another and Nick determines that Clyde is the guy behind both deaths. In a scene that frankly makes no sense other than to show Gerard Butler’s naked butt, the cops capture him and take him in. It soon becomes clear that Clyde wanted more than revenge – he wants to expose the corrupt justice system where compromises are made and the letter of the law sometimes leads to injustice.

Murders of those involved in the plea deal continue to take place even with Clyde behind bars, where he makes a series of odd and interesting requests – all of which turn out to be made for very specific reasons. Of course the big mystery is how these things continue to happen despite the fact Clyde is behind bars – who is his accomplice? Unfortunately the longer this goes on, the bigger the shovel that is needed to dig out the answer to this question, and the solution is hard to swallow.

Gerard Butler basically chews the scenery and Jamie Foxx isn’t given a whole lot to do here other than look and act solemn.

The movie is very violent, at times quite funny (Gerard gets some great lines that had the audience laughing out loud) and has at least one scene that comes at you out of nowhere with a hell of a punch. I’m a big fan of this sort of film being a husband and father myself, and was really enjoying it up until about the final 20 minutes where it took a turn in a direction that ends up putting a big damper on the experience. The ending seals the deal and really left me pretty cold (unfortunately).

So while the ending is pretty unsatisfying, I had a lot of fun for most of the movie. So overall if you’re into this sort of film and you’re a fan of Gerard Butler and/or Jamie Foxx I recommend Law Abiding Citizen.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

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TAGS: 3 star movies, law abiding citizen

52 Comments

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  1. Clyde was probably the secret source, lol.

  2. the secret source was Chester. The boyfriend.

  3. the secret source was Chester. The boyfriend. He e-mailed nick.

  4. Um, yah, I know, I’m saying it would be funny if it was actually Clyde pretending to be Chester to feed him the information so he will get caught, maybe he wanted to get caught, so someone will know all the effort that was put into it…

  5. The ending was perfect you queer, who are you to think your opionon counts lol!

  6. *spoiler*

    I was also very disappointed with the ending. I can think of loads of better ones. Clyde would have had some way out of that situation. He made the bomb,therefore he should be able to disarm it.

  7. Is everyone retarded! The Movie ending was amazing. I am almost certain there will be a second. Clyde wanted to be caught. He was Chester. Lets see, he got Nick as the DA taught him the lesson to make a change where he is now in the position to make a change. He wanted the bomb to be moved. He never had a single thing written down in the whole movie, yet Nick found the blue prints to the court house and the janitor stuff. He left the cart sit outside the room. Clyde was described as only giving you what he wanted to give you and he dies with a smile on his face. Does no one remember the line Sarah said before she died. She said chester wasn't ready for Nick to meet him. She was asking the questions to Nick that she wanted to make sure that this was all going to make a difference before that too. The writers of this were amazing and people need to not let a small twist blind there vision of the big picture

  8. Is everyone retarded! The Movie ending was amazing. I am almost certain there will be a second. Clyde wanted to be caught. He was Chester. Lets see, he got Nick as the DA taught him the lesson to make a change where he is now in the position to make a change. He wanted the bomb to be moved. He never had a single thing written down in the whole movie, yet Nick found the blue prints to the court house and the janitor stuff. He left the cart sit outside the room. Clyde was described as only giving you what he wanted to give you and he dies with a smile on his face. Does no one remember the line Sarah said before she died. She said chester wasn't ready for Nick to meet him. She was asking the questions to Nick that she wanted to make sure that this was all going to make a difference before that too. The writers of this were amazing and people need to not let a small twist blind there vision of the big picture

    • Your the ‘tard the ending spoiled an otherwise good film. Foxx should have died possibly with a carbon fibre noose in one of his neckties.

    • Exactly , thats what I felt too, I don’t have any problems with the ending. The movie is more deep that most people think. The ending was really extraordinary and very much unpredictable. I mean , common, atleast most of you might’ve thought that he would kill Nick and perhaps plant a bomb in his daughters cello. All of u would then b**** about it saying that you knew it right from the start,ending should’ve been better, blah blah.

    • smartiepants you said ‘clyde is chester’but sarah was dating chester personally and sarah knows clyde’s face, can’t she tell the diffrence? There is no way clyde was chester.

  9. I enjoyed the thriller until the end. It would have been better if the ending was reminiscent to Arlington Road. Instead of trying to make Jamie Foxx the hero, that just didn’t work for me.

  10. I’m going to ask some of u to review the scene where nick and his boss meet with the the spy informant and garner the info on who clyde really was….. remember the special ratcheting carbon fiber tie invention.
    At the end of the movie, I couldn’t help noticing the nick’s yellow tie at the final scene stood out in an otherwise sea of black tie’s. I think clyde had the final word after all…???????

  11. Nicely written but I have to disagree with your score. This movie isn’t that bad, it deserves a 4/5.

    Yeap, the ending was pretty disappointing. One of the things which I never got to understand was, even with his factory/building next to the prison, how is it possible he could dig a hole into every single cell without being noticed by anyone? This is just impossible. Other than this, everything else is entertaining.

  12. The film was v good, and i like most think the ending a tad confusing.
    Why would a man with 10 years of planning allow Nick and Paddy to access the tunnel so easily, and then not notice they had been there.
    Nick breaks into the factory for a start, all to damn easy for me, this man was supposed to be a super brain…
    I would love to think there was a second film, this would then explain the whole thing, i.e. he set it all up to walk away a free man with no intention of killing a lot of innocents.

  13. I have to agree completely about the ending. The entire movie to me was done well and kept me in suspense. Being from Philly it was nice to see the Philly PD being wrung up. The end made no sense whatsoever though. When they find the bomb at city hall they decide not to disable it because he would see them. So instead they bring it to the jail. I guess the transfer was suppose to take place in the time it took butler to walk from his bunker back to his cell. Really, WTF were they thinking. Is it just me or does it seem like all to often nowadays, movie endings are terrible.

  14. The ending should have gone according to clydes plan and then the twist where they find the underground passage way leading to clydes death hence the movie could have been longer with a better ending.

  15. horrible ending. Clyde was portrayed as one of the smartest men in the world, and some dumb lawyer out-smarts him in the end? NO. The ending ruined what could have been a perfect movie.

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