Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 26
  2. Negative: 12 out of 26
  1. 38
    Jeez, did the "surprise" climax have to be this eye-rollingly stupid?
  2. Such a lazy action-drama underachiever, it seems unfair to target stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler for bringing their C game.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    If the filmmakers meant a word of it, they'd quit making films and do something more useful. "Saw" with a conscience is not what the world needs.
  4. 30
    Wears its preposterousness with a certain pride. It’s about the cat-and-mouse game between two very smart guys, and it’s perfectly happy to be as dumb as it wants.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Butler has the showier part, but his impersonation of the tragic hero is undercut by his weird resemblance to Soupy Sales. You start hoping that Shelton will kill somebody with a custard (or puffer-fish) pie to the face.
  6. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    A movie devoted to baroque revenge would be, on its own terms, acceptable; what makes Law Abiding Citizen so risible is its humorless conviction that it's got Big Ideas at its core.
  7. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    Generally I don’t mind a little recreational fascism as long as it’s deep-fried in savory violent vengeance, but this overwrought mess gives vigilantism a bad name.
  8. 25
    At last, the missing link be tween "Phantom of the Opera" and "Saw." Welcome to the gonzo revenge saga Law Abiding Citizen.
  9. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Vigilante movies hold a firm place in cinematic history, but for them to work, the vigilante needs to be a sympathetic anti-hero.
  10. 25
    Like a lot of action-movie directors, Gray lacks the imagination to view the art of cat-and-mouse as more than a chance to play with state-of-the-art war technology.
  11. A vigilante/torture-porn potpourri, is particularly toxic because it's scented with phony importance.
  12. 25
    A flagrantly ridiculous thriller that tries to retrofit "Saw" to function as a mainstream, semi-respectable vigilante picture
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 92
  2. Negative: 21 out of 92
  1. Dec 19, 2011
    Its so generic, straight forward, and predictable that it ruins the movie. Jamie Foxx is a terrible lead as well, The rest of the cast was ok. Gerald Butler is good though and the only reason to watch the film. The action was ok as well but the entire script was just terrible. A lot of ruined potential here. Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2011
    The movie ends with a pretty cliche on top, but its the first 30 minutes of "Law Abiding Citizen" with the tension between Butler and Foxx that will entertain you. Full Review »
  3. Nov 2, 2011
    I had to check to make sure it was the same movie by the end, because it wasn't nothing like the first half hour.
    What a complete disaster for
    a movie that started so strong, could have easily been an 8. Full Review »