Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Reviewed on 2010 May 17
Really brutal, nasty vengeance flick about a man who tries to take the legal system to task and goes too far.
Clyde Shelton’s (Gerard Butler) life is shattered one night when two thugs break into his home and murder his wife and child. Turning to the Philadelphia courts for justice, he learns that assistant D.A. Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) plea-bargained one of the scumbags a reduced charge in exchange for the death penalty for the other. Shelton wants them both to hang, and when he feels ill-used by the criminal justice system he decides he’s going to teach everyone who let him down a lesson.
I realize that’s one of my shortest synopsis of a movie, and I’d rather be overly vague than overly descriptive here. It’s not for squeamish people, especially when Shelton starts his revenge. What’s remarkable is how unlikable Clyde is — from almost the get-go you see that this is not a well man and I am glad I had a strong stomach — and yet the movie works. The ending is a little weak but that’s okay, it’s still with a look. Jamie Foxx does a great job as Nick Rice; in fact, all of the acting is good or better.
Two chocolate morsels. It was gruesome but it didn’t drag, and it didn’t glamorize Clyde either.