Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

  • Time: 109 min
  • Genre: Crime | Drama | Thriller
  • Director: F. Gary Gray
  • Cast: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Bibb


Clyde Shelton’s family is brutally murdered. The ones responsible are caught. However, because of improper procedure, the D.A., Nick Rice only has circumstantial evidence. So he decides to get one of them to testify against the other. When Shelton learns of this, he is not happy. Ten years later, the one who was convicted is being executed but something goes wrong; his execution goes awry and he suffers. They learn that someone tampered with the machine. And the other one is found dead, killed in a gruesome manner. Rice suspects Shelton, so he has him picked up. At first, Shelton agrees to a plea agreement with Rice but changes his mind. It appears that Shelton is not done, it appears he blames the whole system and is declaring war on it going after everyone involved with his family’s case. So Rice has to stop him but Shelton is way ahead of him.

One comment

  • I’ve seen Law Abiding Citizen a few times now and despite feeling that film would be poorer on the second viewing it was not the case. For me it’s an intense thriller experience which explores the two main characters (Played by Butler and Foxx) in great depth. Many people seem to complain about how they were expecting more violence, but the style of the film is to emphasise the importance of the scenes of violence in terms of the deep human emotions of the lead character, without making an hour and thirty minutes of grotesque torture.

    You sympathise with Butler’s character and accept the motives behind his actions; the main themes are morality and the justice system which in my opinion is the enemy in this film. The film does frustrate as the ending is a little ‘Hollywood’ and unrealistic which detaches itself from the gritty realism of the rest of the movie. It is also very hard to agree on who is the real hero in the film at first we are supposed to back ‘Clyde’ a man who has everything taken from him but as the story goes on we are supposed to take a more liberal view by backing ‘Nick Rice’ and the authority figures.

    The film is very good at exposing visible flaws with the justice system and taps into the misconceptions of morality. Overall it’s a fairly clever, well paced gripping thriller slightly let down with the clich├ęd ending.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *