Review of Law Abiding Citizen


Movie Review: "Law Abiding Citizen"

--Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes
Release date: October 16, 2009
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx, "Law Abiding Citizen" is a movie that is sure to please audience members. Aimed at fans of crime films, this unique take on what can happen in a corrupt legal system is a thriller that any adult can enjoy.

This movie has won the ASCAP Award for the Top Box Office Films in 2010, and it was nominated for five other awards, including Best Actor for Jamie Foxx and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture for director F. Gary Gray. The film brings together fantastic actors and a successful director, and it combines a plot that is easy to follow with intense drama that is sure to keep the audience captivated.

The movie begins with Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) as he witnesses two burglars rape and murder his wife and daughter. He works with district attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) to get the two men arrested and sentenced. Unfortunately, it proves to be extremely difficult to persecute either robber, because the forensic evidence is botched. In addition, Shelton's testimony can't be used, because he blacked out during the event. Behind his back, Rice makes a deal that saves Darby (the first robber) from the death penalty in exchange for pleading guilty. This same plea would send his partner, Ames, to death row. Ames is executed ten years later, while Darby, the actual cause of the violence, is released.

The story follows Shelton as he kidnaps, paralyzes, and brutally dismembers Darby in revenge for his family's destruction. Shelton then tries to take down everyone involved in the crooked trial, while remaining a step ahead of the crime team tasked with pursuing him.

This movie is the perfect thriller for those who enjoy crime, investigations, and dramatic moments. From brutal killing scenes to the surprising moments in which you realize how twisted the characters have become, the movie has something to offer everyone. The movie is rated R due to violent scenes of rape and murder. The dark nature of the film lends very well to the tone of situations it depicts, although this is not something that everyone will be able to appreciate.

Jamie Foxx performs masterfully as Nick Rice in this film. In an impressive departure from his normally comedic roles, he is a serious and dedicated prosecutor, although he twists the outcome of the trial to his benefit in some ways. This more serious role is a nice change for the actor, and audience members will find themselves pleasantly surprised at the skill with which he handles the role..

Gerard Butler makes the movie with his dedication to the role as a vengeful parent and husband. Butler has played other dark roles before, often in violent films like "300" and "The Phantom of the Opera," although his character in "Law Abiding Citizen" is his most intense yet. He is able to effectively portray a character who is twisted enough to admit to his own crimes in exchange for a more luxurious jail cell.

Those who are used to seeing Butler in romantic roles will be impressed by the range of his acting abilities. This film is also a departure from his more outwardly violent roles, as he portrays a chilling and calculating character.

"Law Abiding Citizen" was nominated for (and won) awards for the acting abilities of both Butler and Foxx. The director, F. Gary Grey, was also nominated, which is no surprise given the movie's fantastic storytelling and his excellent handling of the constant action, drama.

Those with weak stomachs or trouble with violence may have trouble with this film. However, if you enjoy thrilling and dramatic moments with twisted characters and fast-paced plots, this is the ideal movie for an evening in with other adults.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars