Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Genre(s): Thriller
Anchor Bay || R - 109 minutes - $29.98 || February 16, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-02-19

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer(s): Kurt Wimmer (written by)
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Bruce McGill, Colm Meaney, Leslie Bibb, Regina Hall

Theatrical Release Date: October 16, 2009

Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 3 Featurettes

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby Surround 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Back in October when Law Abiding Citizen was released, no one ever thought that the film would go on to make nearly $100 million in the entire box-office run of the flick. I was expecting the movie to tank completely, and instead it surprised everyone with glowing reviews about the excellent cast and story compiled within. I must say that for once I agree with the majority of others out there, as this was an excellent flick that had me griped to the television screen wondering what was going to happen next.

Clyde’s (Gerard Butler) home is broken into by two robbers named Rupert (Josh Stewart) and Clarence (Christian Stolte). They kill his wife and child and leave him for dead. Flash forward to months later, with Clyde meeting attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) who informs him that a plea agreement was reached. Clarence offered to give up his partner Rupert in exchange for a three-year sentence, even though Clarence was the one who killed the family and Rupert didn’t. Clyde is ticked off that justice wasn’t served, and yet again we get another flash forward in time. Nick and his assistant Sarah (Leslie Bibb) are watching the execution of Rupert along with many others when something goes horribly wrong. The plungers don’t pump the right liquid into Rupert’s body and he dies a painful death, which causes suspicion at the police station and the attorney’s office.

Clyde contacts Clarence and helps him get out of his apartment as though the police are coming to capture Clarence. He aids him, and then when Clarence is distracted by a phone call, captures him and tortures him for hours on end as punishment for what he did to his family. Nick figures out that it’s Clyde who did all of this to Rupert and Clarence and orders for his arrest. The police bust in to a nude Clyde standing at attention and he’s hauled off to jail. Nick needs a confession out of Clyde or else he’ll walk free, but that’s not exactly what Clyde wants in this situation. It turns out that the father wants way more than a walk: he wants to change the legal system or at least someone in it to see how corrupted the system truly is. Can Nick prove that Clyde is behind the killings, or will yet another killer walk free in the land of America?

I must say that after all the buzz surrounding the flick I was expecting to be disappointed by far. Instead, what I got was an amazing flick with some truly awesome acting from Foxx and Butler. Just a small point of order but does Butler need to show his butt in every darn film? What’s the big deal with that? Is it written in his contract that he needs to have a nude scene a flick or else he won’t get paid?

Foxx has always been a great actor in my eyes, especially since I saw him in Collateral many years ago. Granted he’s been in movies since then but that movie reminds me of his character here. He plays the role of the good guy to the teeth, and respectively, Butler does an amazing job as the evil guy that you are secretly rooting for with his mission to advocate the legal system. That was the best part about this film: you want to root for Nick to save the day and capture Clyde, but you also really want Clyde to fulfill his plan to truly help the legal system become less corrupt.

The plot of the movie really is excellent, but I had a big problem with some of the side stories that go on throughout. The main one I had an issue with was the role of Nick’s wife and daughter, as they really serve no purpose throughout the movie. At one point Nick’s daughter gets the tape of Clyde murdering Clarence, but it never goes anywhere. There’s no retribution or anything after that point that deals with his family, so I don’t see the purpose of why the characters are there. I would have preferred Nick to be single and dating his paralegal friend chick who was incredibly hot. I was thinking they were dating the entire time anyways, so why not make it true?

Putting everything into perspective; this is a great flick that truly does need to be enjoyed by all. The few problems I have set aside the acting is phenomenal here and the ending has a great twist.


Commentary by Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel: Sadly, Butler and Foxx aren’t on the track but instead we get the two producers of the film. The two are admirable in talking about the film’s story, including the ending and how many times they reshot it and other various things. At first I was disappointed that the two main actors weren’t available, and then after listening both Foster and Siegel do a good job on this track for fans of the movie.

The Justice of Law Abiding Citizen (6 minutes): The crew talks about how the film is different from the normal “Hollywood” format and explain the movie in entirety. This is a decent look at the rules of law and how they came to be involved with the flick.

Law in Black and White (15 minutes): This is your basic behind the scenes extra that shows how some scenes were shot and also some commentary from the cast and crew. I actually laughed a few times as though Foxx is quite entertaining as is the rest of the crew.

The Visual Effects of Law Abiding Citizen (7 minutes): A simple neat little extra that delves into how much effort went into making the visual effects for the flick. The last few are neat, although this extra will probably only appeal to people who like these types of behind the scenes features.


Colors are bright and colorful, although at a few times during the viewing process I did notice a little bit too much blue in some of the outside shots. That is really the only overblown color that I noticed the entire runtime, so that’s always a positive. Flesh tones did look a little bit outdated though, as I did see at some points flesh tones being a bit paler than they were in past scenes. Contrast on the other hand was a major issue, as at times I struggled to see the prison sequences. There was also a little bit of an issue with massive amounts of grain plaguing the screens, mostly during the night time scenes. This is still a great transfer though for a new release flick though.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track doesn’t fare as well, but still manages to hold its own. The dialogue for the flick is loud and engaging, but the problem here is that the action sequences, all three of them, just don’t sound properly. I was expecting the gun scene, the blowing up scene, and the other blowing up scene to sound loud and blow my ears away. Instead, the shots sounded dead and rather dull. By comparison, the audio had more “oomph” in terms of dialogue than the action sequences did. That’s incredibly disappointing, along with the fact that surround use was minimal at best, so this track lost some points there.


Law Abiding Citizen stunned everyone at the box-office and will do the same to those who have yet to see it on DVD and Blu-Ray. The story is excellent and had me riveted the entire duration and the special features package accompanying the flick is admirable as well. The technical package is above-average for a DVD release also, which makes this decision pretty easy. This is one citizen to add to your collection right away.