Metascore
34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 198 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Clyde Shelton is an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice, a hotshot young Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Over his objections, Nick is forced by his boss to offer one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice. Fast forward ten years. The man who got away with murder is found dead and Clyde Shelton coolly admits his guilt. Then he issues a warning to Nick: Either fix the flawed justice system that failed his family, or key players in the trial will die. Soon Shelton follows through on his threats, orchestrating from his jail cell a string of spectacularly diabolical assassinations that can be neither predicted nor prevented. Philadelphia is gripped with fear as Shelton's high-profile targets are slain one after another and the authorities are powerless to halt his reign of terror. Only Nick can stop the killing, and to do so he must outwit this brilliant sociopath in a harrowing contest of wills in which even the smallest misstep means death. With his own family now in Shelton's crosshairs, Nick finds himself in a desperate race against time facing a deadly adversary who seems always to be one step ahead. (Overture Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 26
  2. Negative: 12 out of 26
  1. 75
    One of those movies you like more at the time than in retrospect.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    60
    True torture-porn aficionados will be disappointed, as editor Tariq Anwar cuts away right before blade meets flesh -- a move that feels a tad, well, gutless under the circumstances. But elsewhere, "Citizen" proves startlingly graphic, even by R-rated standards.
  3. 50
    The biggest problem with Law Abiding Citizen, however, is that the plot is just plain dumb.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    40
    The film's greatest sin isn't its cynical moral posturing but its complete failure to engage audiences on even a visceral level.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    30
    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. 25
    A flagrantly ridiculous thriller that tries to retrofit "Saw" to function as a mainstream, semi-respectable vigilante picture

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 91
  2. Negative: 21 out of 91
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Way underrated, deserves at least a 70 from critics, but they know nothing, listen to the user reviews.

    Anyways it's full of action, and makes somebody really think. A++ movie would watch again.
    Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2010
    9
    I just finished watching this movie and I don't understand what people are complaining about saying this movie is not that good. It is a very clever movie that has a very clear and loud message "Everyone has to take responsibility for their actions." Nick played by Jamie Foxx was too concerned about his status and was focused on achieving a high conviction rate so cut deals for criminals that should be locked up for a very long time. Clyde was an innocent guy who lost his family and I can understand some people saying the good guy Clyde went way over the top to become the bad guy toward the end of the movie but I can understand why he went over the top because if you remember, Nick told Clyde at the beginning of the movie that he already finished the deal without even asking or considering Clyde's opinion. The guy lost his family and had his feet cut out from beneath him when Nick finished a deal. This is one of the best movies I've seen and it's very clever and has an important message. I'm from a different country, I wasn't born here in the United States, and I have read and witnessed about cases like these occuring often where justice is not correctly served and criminals escape day after day in my home country so maybe that's why I appreciate this movie more than others because to me, this movie is a partially a true story in some sense. Expand
  3. Apr 10, 2011
    8
    Law Abiding Citizen points out an imperfect justice system. In seemingly obvious cases of murder a judge might not care enough about justice and only obeys the law so as a killer can go free if there is a lack of physical evidence; lawyers might make deals with criminals just to put an easy end to a case; and if it gets really bad for those who work for this system they might try to find a way of how to take away the constitutional given civil rights of the person they feel threatened by. A very smart movie that gives you some food for thought about how law and justice might not always be the same. The first half of the movie is quite brutal and likely hard to watch for many viewers. The second half offers some surprise. Definitely worth watching. Expand
  4. Nov 24, 2011
    5
    What started off so interesting ends so poorly. The acting is fine (I didnt really like Jamie Fox as the lead, Thought he was a poor fit) and the action was good. The story is so generic though that it just takes away from the overall value. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 91 User Reviews