Law Abiding Citizen Film Review

Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler


Clyde Shelton played by Gerard Butler, witnesses the brutal murder of his family. Unfortunately the legal system lets him down, allowing one of the murderers to walk free. Distraught and angry with the outcome, Shelton takes the law into his own hands and targets both murderers, the district attorney and everyone involved in handling the case.

Film Review:
Law Abiding Citizen the movie is a thriller with elements of suspense, horror and action.

The movie stars Gerard Butler and Oscar academy winner, Jamie Foxx.

This film is about tragedy, injustice & revenge.

The moral of this story is that the American legal judicial system is imperfect.

The story is about a man (Clyde Shelton played by Gerard Butler) who witnessed the rape and murder of his wife and daughter in his own home.

The director exposes the audience to the scene of violence and rape with the intention of building a personalized experience of severe injustice and emotional anger towards the two home invaders, and empathy towards Shelton as the key victim of this terrible crime.

Gerard Butler clearly portrays the father as the powerless victim at the beginning of the film.

The emphasis of the film then shifts away from the point of the crime, towards legal proceedings and law enforcement.

Jamie Foxx plays Nick Rice in this movie, who is the Assistant District Attorney assigned to this case. The case is difficult to prove against both defendants due to inadmissible DNA evidence and an unreliable witness testimony from Clyde Shelton because he blacked out at the scene of the crime.

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Rice is very objective in handling the case and is more concerned about maintaining his high conviction rate, instead of fighting for the maximum penalty against both murderers.

Rice eventually cuts a deal with one of the co-conspirators, which enabled the system to sentence one of the murderers to death by execution. However, this was not the judicial solution that Shelton wanted; because the deal enabled one of the co-conspirators to eventually walk free.

Shelton is clearly distraught by the judicial outcome.

There is the old saying, that time is the best healer of traumatic events in life.

However, ten years passes by, and Shelton’s being is clearly transformed by this huge sense of injustice.

Shelton is angry, psychotic and wants to take down the system and everyone connected to the case.

Shelton becomes a significant threat to society, as it is revealed that he is no ordinary citizen. Shelton has a background in black ops and possesses the intelligence and capability to destroy and kill any target.

The audience is exposed to the full terror of Shelton’s genius and anger, which involves sophisticated yet gruelling methods of torture, such as dismemberment to the likes of scenes on par with SAW the movie. Shelton out wits the legal system and causes mayhem in and out of court.

The story tackles a number of complex issues as the film progresses.

The audience is challenged by the ethics of a complex narrative. For example, the film questions the audience’s moral judgment of individuals, and tests their willingness to separate the value of sentiment & compassion from the ethics of moral wrong doing.

Be prepared to shift allegiances from the grieving father and widow who turned into a psychopath, over to the well intended prosecutor full of regret.

There is some intelligent dialog in the movie, followed by lots of Hollywood action.

The film ends with an unexpected twist.

This movie has received mixed reviews.

It is true that some parts of the movie are implausible, but this is expected from any typical Hollywood action movie. If you go into the cinema with the expectation that this is not a true life documentary, then you may not be disappointed with the film.

It is also important to note that the movie is immensely violent; therefore this film is not for the faint hearted.

This movie is worth watching if you are a Gerard Butler fan, or action horror movies involving stomach churning scenes of violence and typical Hollywood explosions.

Gerard Butler is indeed one of the key producers for this movie, and invested a lot of time and money in making this film.

It is worth noting that Gerard Butler appears naked in one of the scenes in this film. This is not to imply that this should be the only reason to watch the movie, because that would be an insult to the audience’s intelligence and the people who made this movie a reality.

Although this movie is unlikely to win a major award this year, it is a very good achievement for Gerard Butler as a first time producer of a major movie.

Shelton claims things will get biblical. We suggest that you watch the movie and decide for yourself, on whether this happens or not?

Law Abiding Citizen Goofs & Trivia:

  • The name of the key character ‘Shelton’ may have been inspired by one of the writer’s name: Sheldon Turner
  • The movie was originally rated 18, but was reclassified to a 16 in Ireland after an appeal. This is a significant outcome, as it increases the available audience. Out of the 100 top films of all time, only 2 movies were rated 18 (Hannibal and Se7en). Now that the movie is rated 16 in Ireland, there is a greater chance that the movie will be a box office success.
  • Gerard Butler used to be in the legal profession.
  • Gerard Butler and his production company Evil Twins developed the film.
  • Gerard Butler originally planned to play the character Nick Rice. He then switched roles with Jamie Foxx last minute.
  • Production mistake: The scene where the bomb sets off at 6am, is filmed in day light. In Pennsylvania, it should be dark at this hour in the winter.
  • Actor’s mistake: Jamie fox calls Clyde ‘Clive’
  • Continuity mistake: The scene where Nick punches Clyde in the face, the blood mysteriously vanishes between lines.
  • Continuity mistake: The asparagus that Shelton consumes in the jail scene, changes in size between shots.

The DVD special features include:

  • Audio Commentary Featuring Producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegal
  • The Justice System; Law In Black and White – Behind the Scenes with Director F. Gary Gray, Producer Lucas Foster and Actors Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx
  • Preliminary Arguments – The Visual Effects of Law Abiding Citizen
  • The Verdict – Winning Trailer Mash-up!

Law Abiding Citizen DVD and Blu ray release dates:

  • Canada: February 16th 2010
  • USA: February 16th 2010
  • UK: April 5th 2010

Law abiding citizen quotes:

Clyde Shelton: I’m gonna pull the whole thing down. I’m gonna bring the whole fuckin’ diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It’s gonna be biblical.

Nick Rice: You think your wife and daughter would feel good about you killing in their name?
Clyde Shelton: My wife and daughter can’t feel anything. They’re dead.
Nick Rice: [to Darby] Please fuck this up, so I can destroy you.

Clyde Shelton: You’re the one who makes deals with murders yea? Well I’ve come to make mine. Release me.
Nick Rice: [smugly] Or what?
Clyde Shelton: Or I kill everyone.

Von Clausewitz law abiding citizen quote:
“There is only one decisive victory: the last.”
“Blood is the price of victory”

Director: F. Gary Gray
Producers: Lucas Foster, Alan Siegel, Gerard Butler, Mark Gill, Kurt Wimmer
Writers: Kurt Wimmer, Frank Darabont, Sheldon Turner
Producing company: Evil Twins
Distributor: Overture Films

Law Abiding Citizen Age rating:
Law abiding citizen film rating in usa: R
Law abiding citizen film rating in the UK: 18
Law abiding citizen film rating in Ireland: Originally 18, but recently reclassified to 16.

Law Abiding Citizen International release dates:
Refer to the bottom of this film review for a full list of international release dates.

Law Abiding Citizen Film Cast actors:
Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Michael Irby, Gregory Itzin, Regina Hall, Viola Davis, Annie Corley, Richard Portnow, Michael Irby plus film extras

Law Abiding Citizen Box office success:
The film grossed $21.3 million in its opening weekend in the USA, and delivered record audience exit polls for Overture Films to date.

Law Abiding citizen end credits song: Grand Funk Railroad – Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
Law Abiding citizen filming locations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Law Abiding Citizen Running time: 109 min.
Law Abiding Citizen Budget: $53 million
Law Abiding Citizen Gross revenue: $68,412,140

International film titles for Law Abiding citizen (Actually know as)
Lainkuuliainen kansalainen Finland
Nådeløs hævn Denmark
Nomotagis politis Greece
Un honnête citoyen Canada (French title)
Законопослушный гражданин Russia
Código de Conduta Brazil
Ctihodný obcan Czech Republic
Gesetz der Rache Germany

Law Abiding Citizen release dates:
Law Abiding citizen release date for the USA 16 October 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Greece 29 October 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Denmark 30 October 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Philippines 4 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Israel 5 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Russia 5 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Brazil 6 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Norway 6 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Czech Republic 19 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Germany 19 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Ukraine 19 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for UK 27 November 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Hungary 3 December 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Romania 4 December 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Netherlands 10 December 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for South Korea 10 December 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Finland 11 December 2009
Law Abiding citizen release date for Australia 28 January 2010
Law Abiding citizen release date for Italy 16th April 2010.

Law Abiding Citizen Vital statistics:

Production budget: $53,000,000

Box office sales 80 days since release (1/1/2010): Source NASH
Total US Gross $72,996,254
International Gross $25,050,000
Worldwide Gross $98,046,254

Click here to watch Gerard Butler movies for free.

Law Abiding Citizen Film Trailer:

[hdwplayer id=9]


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