User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 209

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  1. Dec 19, 2011
    2
    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.
  2. Sep 12, 2010
    2
    This movie is what I imagine getting a colonoscopy is like. The acting was what you would expect from a middle school play, not a multi million dollar feature film. I would not recommend this to anyone.
  3. Nov 24, 2010
    3
    A poor man's "Seven." Gerard Butler is so unappealing on screen, but combined with the personality-less Jamie Foxx, it doesn't matter how on-edge some of the scenes are. It still comes across like a B movie.
  4. Nov 2, 2011
    2
    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.
  5. Oct 3, 2010
    4
    Law Abiding Citizen has a very strong beginning. I found myself caring for "Clyde" (Gerrard Butler) and wanting to see how he would change the American justice system. The scene where Clyde is in court and argues with the judge is a great example of this - he uses the system itself to prove his argument, and shows that the law needs to be changed for true justice to be served.

    Then the
    second half of the movie comes along, and Clyde's character shifts from an intelligent citizen to a complete psychopath. All that was clever about this film turns into a mindless bloody mess. By the end I was left wondering what had happened. Expand
  6. Jan 6, 2012
    4
    Law Abiding Citizen plays with some interesting themes and issues but it doesn't seem to have a clue what it wants to say. Is the justice system corrupt? Is serious reform needed? Are Clyde's (Gerard Butler) actions justified? The film never gets close to answering these questions as it fumbles from act to act. It's a shame really because the performances aren't bad, Butler plays light and dark well with Jamie Foxx actually being a perfect foil for him as the straight laced realist. They play well off each other and dialogue wise, the script is pretty good so some scenes are thoroughly entertaining at least aesthetically. The problem is that the final product is so remarkably empty you can't look back on the things you like and leave the viewing with a positive reaction. It's a film trying to make some kind of a point but all you really get is a dark, gritty thriller that is void of substance. It doesn't help that the last 40 minutes move the film from gritty, character drama to cliche filled farce with a final twist so remarkably stupid it just ruins it further. Expand
  7. Jul 15, 2012
    3
    Clyde (Gerard Butler) had a reason to kill the people who killed his family: REVENGE but why was he killing Police and FBI agents just to make Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) mad? They didn't do much to Clyde and already got his revenge which was enough. And you know what would of been a better ending? Clyde could of committed suicide and admitted his reason.
  8. Feb 19, 2012
    2
    This movie disgusts me, if I am being honest. The violence was without meaning, and it seemed spliced in for the sake of satisfying a bloodthirsty crowd. It has its enjoyable moments, and for that I give it a 2, but it is recycled garbage.
  9. sLm
    Oct 14, 2012
    3
    Meeeeeeeh... It started very, very good, at first revenge was justified, but then it just became into a non-sense murdering. At the end of the film, all I wanted was the "bad" guy to win at least, not the moron lawyer, but neither that happened. It was totally anticlimactic... Seriously, if you want a good version for this movie, watch "V for Vendetta" and stay away from this.
  10. Jun 24, 2013
    3
    This is what happens when the dig through John Grisham's garbage. It has a lot of inaccuracies with the federal law of the state of Philadelphia. Both Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler are miscast and don't provide energy in their roles. Their characters are poorly developed and the other characters don't have much focus, and on some occasions stupid And the ending is a big 180 to a decent resolution.
  11. Jan 26, 2012
    0
    bad writing, bad acting, bad everything. Gerard Butler should never try to pull off another American accent again...awful, just awful. Ridiculos premise, but lots of stuff blows up so it likely kept American audiences happy. When foreigners put down Americans for their cinematic stupidity, this movie is Exhibit A.
  12. Jun 15, 2012
    4
    Law Abiding Citizen has decent performances from its two leads Jamie Foxx, playing a dedicated prosecution lawyer and Gerard Butler as a man cheated by flawed American justice system who takes the law into his own hands as a murderous vigilante. It's technically competent throughout and with the addition of a serviceable script the film should be an intelligent and memorable thriller providing an insightful critique on law and morality. Somehow though, Law Abiding CItizen never rises above mediocrity, and is a largely forgettable affair. After an exciting initial setup, the narrative plods and becomes utterly ridiculous towards the final act, which is so over-the-top it wouldn't look out of place in a 70s disaster movie. Characterisation is also inconsistent, with Foxx's heavily moralistic and by-the-book lawyer conveniently able to bypass his long-held convictions when it suits the story. In addition, though he makes a decent enough anti-hero throughout, Butler does occasionally slip back into his natural Scottish dialect during the more intense and demanding scenes. Law Abiding Citizen only just manages to stay afloat thanks to director F. Gary Gray's craftsmenship and the talent of the lead performers. It falls utterly flat in other areas, however, because of misjudgements of tone, uneven pacing and a critical lack of commitment to the big ideas behind the film. The film is passable, but nothing more. Expand
  13. Feb 2, 2013
    4
    The potential was there and the movie definently had it's moment but overall, It not only failed to draw you in but the poor dialogue and acting by the cast (aside from Butler who was the only good one imo) sort of ruined it imo.
  14. Dec 23, 2013
    4
    Movie started out very disturbingly. What a strong start for a thriller? Well, it was, yeah. Though, at some point it started to become a bad movie. The way it started to focus on just violence and nothing else was just nothing i was hoping from the story. This movie could have been done better.
  15. Jan 30, 2013
    3
    Una lástima el final, termina significando q la corrupción de la justicia al final gana. Como un juez puede decir hago lo q quiero? que se creen? dioses? no creo q con la muerte, pero un cambio de sangre dentro de ese poder miserable es necesario. Uno tiene q pasar por un asesinato y después por la ley y ver lo sucia q es y como todo se compra, y como las vidas no valen nada, para poder ver q en esta película el principio es perfecto, tal cual como debería ser. El final desastroso. Solo lo liberan de la tristeza que es perder seres amados de la manera más violenta, sin q a nadie le importe. Solo somos un número.

    Too bad the end, meaning q corruption ends of justice at the end wins. As a judge I can say what I q? to be created? gods? q I do not believe in the death, but a change of blood within that wretched power needed. Q One has to go through a murder and then by the law and see how dirty and q is as everything is bought, and how lives are worthless, q to see this movie in the beginning is perfect, as it should be. The disastrous end. Only the release of the sorrow of losing loved ones in the most violent, no one cares qa. We're just a number.
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Metascore
34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 26
  2. Negative: 12 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    30
    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.
  2. Clyde is meant to be nuts, but too often it's Law Abiding Citizen that checks rationality at the door.
  3. A vigilante/torture-porn potpourri, is particularly toxic because it's scented with phony importance.