“The Ultimate Movie Review!”
“An Implausible Movie Which Downplays Jurisdiction”
“Clever Half The Time, And Lazy The Rest.”
“Someone Should Pay Attention And Fix The Flawed Justice System!!!”
“It Lived Up To My Expectations”
“Short Review Based On Rankings”
“An Action-packed Tense Thrill Ride!”
“Awesome Brutal Movie”
“I'm Just Getting Warmed-up”
“Release Me. Or I'll Kill Everyone.”
“IF U Think He Was Bad Ass In 300!!”
“Both Butler And Foxx Deliver Some Of The Worst Performances Of Their Careers While Director F Gary Gray Creates A Second Rate Thriller Which Is Only As Smart As It Thinks It Is.”
“Do Not Cross A Man Who Lost His Daughter And Wife”
“Its Not What You Know Its What You Can Prove In Court”
What I mostly noticed is how quickly I've grown tired of Butler's mush-mouthed bravura, and also how much I hope that Foxx, who looks bored, holds his slumming down to this one film.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
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.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
It's silly and nasty at the same time: not a good combination.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The exploration of right and wrong, and its complicated lack of clarity, gets trammeled amid the bevy of explosions, volley of bullets and mounting body count.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
A preposterous exercise in high-minded brutality, "Law Abiding Citizen" tries to pass itself off as a dialectic on justice betrayed, but instead plays like a snuff film with our nation's legal system as the victim.
Dan Kois - Washington Post
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.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Saw with a conscience is not what the world needs.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
Law Abiding Citizen is such a lazy action-drama underachiever, it seems unfair to target stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler for bringing their C game.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The explanation of Clyde's methods is preposterous, but it comes late enough that F. Gary Gray, the director, is first able to generate considerable suspense and a sense of dread.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
That the film, directed in swift strokes by F. Gary Gray from a screenplay credited to Kurt Wimmer, doesn't really work -- unrelentingly grim, unintentionally funny -- is almost beside the point. It's a wild concept.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
The movie is not -- putting it courteously -- tightly constructed. The narrative shifts are jerky and the tone bounces around like a Jeep on a dirt road.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
As a social statement, Law Abiding Citizen is a flawed attempt at holding the legal system accountable for its shortcomings. As a movie, it's a ridiculous execution of a misguided concept.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
It winds up feeling overwritten yet underexplained, foregoing plausible revelations in favor of gusty debate about the ethical challenges of practicing and upholding the law.
Justin Chang - Variety
At last, the missing link between Phantom of the Opera and Saw. Welcome to the gonzo revenge saga Law Abiding Citizen.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
It's a "Who dies next?" slasher film masquerading as a revenge thriller.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
You want to see what happens, even as logic tumbles, and there are fascinating undercurrents in the bargain.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Sure, it's outta place for October, but there's no reason you can't enjoy a mindless piece of candy against the backdrop of fall foliage.
Laremy Legel - Film.com
This strikes me as narrative cheating, but you may play the critical game by more relaxed rules.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
The more Kurt Wimmer's screenplay reveals about the lead character's scheme, the more difficult it is to believe that Law Abiding Citizen is intended to be taken seriously.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
An implausible thriller with a few horror elements in the guise of social criticism.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
All we're left with are ticking time bombs and a chunk of our own time that we'll never get back.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Butler has the showier part, but his impersonation of the tragic hero is undercut by his weird resemblance to Soupy Sales.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
An exercise in illogic and Death Wish cribbing that lets a bunch of good actors collect big paychecks for playing way less than their A game.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
"Final Destination" meets "Saw" meets disaster.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
Say what you will about Death Wish, but Charles Bronson was never boring.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Dave White - Movies.com
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
It's exactly the kind of film the phrase 'by-the-numbers' was invented for, but like the best genre films, it acknowledges its niche and goes all out to top its predecessors.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
One of the more repugnant examples of Hollywood's cheap-thrill approach to violence, its voyeuristic brutality is matched only by its innate stupidity.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
The film can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be an audience pleasing popcorn treat or a serious, political thriller. It ends up being partly both... with varying degrees of success.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
Putting aside the ideological posturing, this hyper-violent fantasy about a seemingly unstoppable killer who continues his murder spree behind bars delivers on its promise of an intriguing mystery, however far-fetched.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
While one man's terrorist may be another's freedom fighter, it's not quite as simple when it comes to CIA operatives and your basic serial killer. Or rather, a CIA psycho family man that might make Jack The Ripper envious.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
The diverting garbage that is Law Abiding Citizen would be more deplorable if it were possible to take this wholly implausible film seriously.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
For large portions of Law Abiding Citizen we're not sure who is going to be the winner here, nor who we want to be, and though it won't make for much of a date flick, as far as intelligent action flicks go, it gets two big burly thumbs up.
Giles Hardie - smh.com.au
While Law Abiding Citizen is in no sense a successful work of art, a film that offers the illicit thrill of cheering on an all-American terrorist is at least pursuing something more complex than ''moral clarity''.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
A high-octane, high body-count thriller posing the question, how do you stop a psycho vigilante on a killing spree? Apparently, by any means necessary."
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
An entertaining thrill ride but not much more.
Julian Shaw - FILMINK (Australia)
Bloodshed and torture abound in this sadistic thriller with pretensions.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
In another time and place, Law Abiding Citizen could have been an intelligent critique of a flawed criminal justice system. Instead, I present you Gerard Butler, ruthlessly hacking a guy into 25 little pieces.
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
The screenplay mashes up its elements and develops as a hairbrained plot without enough character substanc
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
On a side note, can you believe the Oscar-winning star of RAY made a crack about Helen Keller?
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
What sours F Gary Gray's film is the drawn-out sadism of its violence - a depressing case of torture-porn methods infecting another genre.
Edward Porter - Sunday Times (UK)
Law Abiding Citizen tries to be two kinds of exploitation film at once, and it ends up as neither.
Nicholas Barber - Independent on Sunday
[It's] pretending to examine the nature of justice, test the parameters of law and probe the relationship between good and evil. But really it's just intent on blowing shit up.
Jason Solomons - Observer [UK]
When reality melts and major US cities become porous, we need some of the mad panache recently demonstrated by Roland Emmerich in 2012.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Relentlessly ugly, preposterous and hackneyed of dialogue: guilty on all counts. It will do well, then.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
The film doesn't take itself too seriously and there are enough cool deaths and thrills to entertain despite the ridiculous premise.
Limara Salt - Little White Lies
The motto of Law Abiding Citizen, endlessly repeated by Shelton, is that everyone must account for their actions. Does that apply to the people who made and star in this truly dire film?
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
Sadly, there's nothing here but bloody off-cuts from 'Death Wish', 'Saw' and 'The Silence of the Lambs', in roughly that order.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
Full of incoherent, spitting rage, ignorant, paranoid violence and a complete lack of internal logic.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
The film's entertainment value resides almost entirely in the ingenuity of Butler's modus operandi; but this is cancelled out by the film's underlying stupidity.
Robert Hanks - Independent
Put simply, this writer would take any number of bad movies over one nasty film. And make no mistake about it, Law Abiding Citizen is a very nasty movie indeed.
Richard Luck - Film4
A morally dubious, deliriously demented thriller.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
With film, the question is not always, "Do I believe it?"; more often, it is "Do they believe it?" And in the case of Law Abiding Citizen they believe it so much that revenge becomes a thing you can taste.
Andrew O'Hagan - This is London
A piece of big, brash, brains-out popcorn fodder best savoured after last orders.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Wildly implausible tosh.
Laila Hassani - Heat Magazine
Dodgy politics aside, Law Abiding Citizen is a slickly made, trashily entertaining thriller that builds to a suitably explosive climax.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Foxx is perfectly cast as the moral compass of the film, but it's Butler's edgy portrayal, walking a thin line between madness and genius, which leaves a lasting impression.
Terry Staunton - Radio Times
Arguably the most preposterous picture of the year.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
If you want a crazy mix of Saw and Shawshank, where a lot of people get killed in nasty ways and Gerard Butler gets his bum out, then this is a decent bet.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Hollywood hokum of the tallest order. Riddled with supernova-sized plot holes and soaked in cliches, it's that rare breed of film that succeeds despite its credibility-straining premise and black and white morality.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Super-slick filmmaking masks this thriller's reprehensible message that violence can solve any problem.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Could have made for a decent enough B-movie renter if it had just aimed a bit lower, but the moral drum-banging only serves to throw its failings into even sharper relief.
Dean Essner - Total Film
It should be put under citizen's arrest as it's one colossal disappointment.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
While preferably to the typical Saw entry by about a five-to-one ratio, Law Abiding Citizen still isn't any good.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Jamie Foxx's Nick mostly repeats the part played by Denzel Washington in Ricochet, the superior first incarnation of Law Abiding Citizen.
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
Entertaining, without making sense. Film tries to say something about the judicial system, but fails badly. Nevertheless, an intriguing idea. Paul Chambers, CNN.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
It's never clear how we're supposed to feel about Butler and when he's gone too far. Should he kill the judge? Maybe the court clerk for filing the paperwork?
Adam Lippe - Examiner.com
Shamelessly crass and blatantly stupid. There oughta be laws against films like this.
Josh Hurst - Christianity Today
full review on Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
So blatantly nonsensical that the action quickly tips over into campiness.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
F. Gary Gray draws up some nifty car explosions, but he delivered a more exciting, thoughtful and better-acted system-challenging movie 11 years ago with "The Negotiator." This is immeasurably dumb sludge masquerading as rage against the machine.
Nick Rogers - Suite101.com
It's a toss-up what's dumber: the forehead-slapping contrivances director F. Gary Gray sets up for each killing, or the Neanderthal political "message."
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Sadistic and silly, 'Law Abiding Citizen' takes the revenge movie to ridiculous extremes.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Director F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) heightens a sense of anticipation with his deft direction, and Butler delivers an excellent performance as a brainiac who can outthink a horde of law officials.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
What might've saved the movie is if Viola Davis was the one who was wronged by the justice system and seeking revenge. Ms. Viola could read the back of a Listerine bottle and make it award-worthy!
Clay Cane - BET.com
You won't like yourself for liking it, but you probably will like it
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Has the audience for these kinds of films demanded this sort of torture-porn titillation from their popcorn thrillers?
Michelle Orange - Movieline
There's the core of a fascinating amoral movie here before it gets amped up into a standard thriller
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
When smart people make dumb movies.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
Gerard Butler's scene-chewing performance holds interest even as the story alternately melts and congeals like a mobile bowl of poorly mixed Jell-O.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Despite the gore, which is marginally justified to drive the revenge aspect, the film is worth seeing for the clever plot turn finale as well as above average performances by leads Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.
Steve Crum - Video-Reviewmaster.com
Pervasively absurd yet generally entertaining...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Revenge has never been so bland. Much of the fault for the failure of Law Abiding Citizen lands at the feet of its two equally monochrome stars Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
This is brilliant exploitation with A-listers. It's not an Oscar movie. It's way cooler because it's not looking for anyone's approval.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Increasingly preposterous and asinine, but nonetheless mindlessly entertaining thanks to Gerard Butler's oddly invigorating and captivating performance.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
May be lacking in social graces -- it's about as dignified and refined as a Hell's Angel fighting a caveman -- but on the red meat, reptile brain level, it scores.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
...the kind of ragged film that appeals to the lower common denominator rather than the intelligent portion of the viewer's brain.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
A gruesome melodrama that, too afraid to tackle the issues it brings up, instead elects to transform into a ridiculous thriller about a psychopath terrorizing a city.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
The film is filled with plenty of action but also laced with absurdities that make folks who work in law enforcement cry for justice.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
Revenge is a dish best served cold by a very angry, naked Gerard Butler.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
The film suffers from one unfortunate affliction: It makes absolutely no sense.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The movie remains admittedly entertaining, mainly because it's so shamelessly ridiculous that you can't believe an Oscar-winning actor (Jamie Foxx) can get through this thing with a straight face.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
The ultimate explanation behind Shelton's methods deflates some of the picture's fun, but by then you've enjoyed most of Gray's gritty ride.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
This dull film carries just a few hints that the screenplay may once have been a bit darker.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Absurd is not an original nor powerful enough word to describe Law Abiding Citizen.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Law Abiding Citizen doesn't follow the laws of logic, let alone competent storytelling.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
The deaths do get nastier, but as the plot grows increasingly far-fetched, the effect isn't revulsion, or even suspense, but numbness.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Avoid this drivel at all costs.
Paul Gallagher - Future Movies UK
a competently made thriller that attempts to make up in panache what it lacks in credibility. It fails.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
The overall moral focus is lost early on when the film turns into a highly entertaining and far-fetched action adventure. Butler hasn't been this good since 300.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
Law Abiding Citizen isn't going to win any honors for the most coherent, logical plot ever written.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Take the Death Wish movies, cross them with Dexter, add just a soupcon of the depraved Saw series, and you've got Law Abiding Citizen.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
'It's going to get Biblical!'...sets new standards of lunatic plotting as it goes about its smiting.
Peter Canavese - Palo Alto Weekly
The mixture of gruesome revenge picture and self-satisfied message movie is deeply off-putting.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Implausible and pandering.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Charles Bronson may have passed away, but the spirit of his Death Wish films lives on - albeit in an absurdly twisted fashion - in this gleefully over-the-top revenge thriller.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Simply rent Silence of the Lambs and Falling Down, then mash them together and maybe you'll have what this movie was trying to achieve. Maybe.
Jeff Bayer - RopeofSilicon
If you're in the mood for a '90s-style thriller, you're better off renting a '90s thriller.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
'It's gonna be biblical,' promises the self-righteous Butler about his vengeance, although moviegoers familiar with the Good Book may wonder how they missed the chapter in which the Philistines were smote with a booby-trapped cell phone.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The only thing really worth seeing in the film is Butler in his one moment of partial nudity. Otherwise, it's a bit of a slog.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
It's criminally contrived.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Not so much a whodunit as a howdhedoit that will frustrate any intelligent viewer
Sonny Bunch - Washington Times
90 percent awesome and 10 percent just okay
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
If you're looking for a movie that'll let you switch off your brain without insulting your intelligence, this might be the flick for you this weekend.
Christopher Monfette - IGN Movies
Law Abiding Citizen could be the movie of the year, but only if you're a big fan of stupid.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
An illogical, campy joke of a movie that suffers hugely in comparison to F. Gary Gray's earlier ****-the-injustice-system thriller The Negotiator.
Ryan Stewart - Slant Magazine
"Law Abiding Citizen" is a sizzling hot thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
Butler's character starts murdering people simply to get them out of his way so that his diabolically exact and completely preposterous plan can fully bloom.
Dawn Taylor - Movies.com
The crystal clear cinematography and superb lighting make effective use of aerial views of the City of Brotherly Love. The movie proceeds at a rivetingly brisk pace and never lets up on the accelerator.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
...even if it's not an open-and-shut classic, it occasionally makes a compelling argument for the kind of movie that thrills your pulse while not quite making you think.
Todd Gilchrist - BitterLawyer.com
An absolutely reprehensible, illogical, and poorly made thriller that raises more questions than it answers
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
A low point for all concerned, actors Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, and director Gray (Italian Job), this is a silly, preposterous, sleazy and ultra-violent revenge drama pretending to say something meaningful about our faulty justice and legal systems
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
One of the silliest action yarns in years...There's room for good pulp trash on screen, but lousy pulp, which is what this picture is, deserves a quick trip to the dumpster.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A confused, contrived mess that would be laughable if it weren't so noxious and mean-spirited.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
A ridiculous, white-collar Saw.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
A flagrantly ridiculous thriller that tries to retrofit Saw to function as a mainstream, semi-respectable vigilante picture about the failings of our justice system.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
A frustrating example of an intriguing premise and skillful execution gone formula.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
When does a highly watchable movie stop being a beacon of enjoyment and turn into a morally reprehensible insult? For one, when its name happens to be Law Abiding Citizen.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Somebody has given Law Abiding Citizen a lethal injection of absurdity. Although I have to say, as ridiculous movies go, this one has its moments.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Go anywhere near this idiotic thriller and your brain may break up with you.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
This is not just a bad film; it is a despicable one.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Director F. Gary Gray seems to have picked up on some "Seven"-like aspects of the script to arrive at the film's visual look, but the effect it produces is more like "Saw V" crossed with every cliched film about...a workaholic coming to appreciate his fam
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Law Abiding Citizen goes well beyond the realm of, to use a piece of legal terminology, reasonable doubt and hits the hammer until it arrives at the neighborhood of sheer ridiculousness with its tires smoking.
James Rocchi - Redbox
Its preposterous plot usually requires a generous suspension of disbelief. But for all of the promises of the narrative, which is filled with many genuine twists and shocks, the overall result is surprising flat.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
a slick cat and mouse where occasional splashes of gore substitute for any emotional depth or narrative context
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
A particularly cynical brand of celluloid nihilism, in which uber-wealthy movie producers finance their Hollywood mansions by marketing films to an audience feeling disenfranchised by the status quo.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
[E]mblematic of the unpleasant streak that runs through the American zeitgeist today... that we have to do away with... the rule of law and that pesky Constitution in order to 'save' America...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The movie starts out as a potboiler with a troubling character arc; unfortunately, it ends up becoming a goofy, story-overwhelming Rube Goldberg contraption that would make the producers of the Saw series blush.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Director F. Gary Gray keeps the thrills coming at a relentless pace that leaves little time to ponder the Mack truck-sized holes in the logic.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Anyone who enjoys this film and feels that the 'point' had been made must sit in their own padded cell with nothing but a copy of the documentary Dear Zachary to see what a true miscarriage of justice looks like.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
By the time a robot shows up in a graveyard to mow down the greater Philadelphia D.A. office, it'll take a heavenly force to keep most eyes from rolling.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Somebody call Charles Bronson.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Vigilante movies hold a firm place in cinematic history, but for them to work, the vigilante needs to be a sympathetic anti-hero.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
A smug, stupid, ridiculous, ham-fisted and morally and ethically reprehensible example of the crypto-fascist and ridiculously reactionary revenge genre that somehow manages to give such things a bad name.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
A pointless exercise in phony social commentary that has no idea what its real message is.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
While it probably doesn't hold up to much scrutiny, it's still a solid, entertaining thriller.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Law Abiding Citizen is a satisfying (and at times funny) revenge movie that unfortunately loses its way in the last 20 minutes.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
A movie with no use for logic, or realism, or basic rules of what is and is not possible within our world.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Cinematic headcheese assembled from umami-laden scraps of Se7en, Saw, The Dark Knight, and The Silence of the Lambs, with fun twists and superb explosions. Just don't dwell on what it's made of.
Shaula Clark - Boston Phoenix
The big problem with the movie isn't the violence, or the message about coddling criminals, or the two lead actors, although they've never been worse. It's the utter implausibility.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Not only is it a hapless crime drama about outrage and revenge, it provides the sad spectacle of a movie far less intelligent than the one its filmmakers thought they were making.
John Anderson - Newsday