Law Abiding Citizen (2009) Poster


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  • After his wife and child are murdered by two criminals, Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is informed that one of the murderers will be sentenced to death but the other one, who killed his young daughter, will get off because of his cooperation with the police. Shelton decides to take matters in his own hands, getting revenge on the murderers as well as exposing, in his view, how faulty and inadequate the justice system is, using the very lives of those responsible for setting the one murderer free. District Attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), one of those who helped set the murderer free, tries to stop Shelton. Edit

  • Law Abiding Citizen is based on a screenplay written by American screenwriter Kurt Wimmer. Edit

  • That is going to depend upon the viewer's perspective. Rice is the assistant D.A. who has become jaded and corrupted in the sense that he is more concerned with his conviction rate than justice. Thus, Rice was willing to let the man who raped and murdered Shelton's wife and daughter go with a slap on the wrist while his partner who simply let it happen take the needle. Rice let this happen because he didn't want to risk going to trial and the smallest chance of losing the case would hurt his high conviction rate. The "law-abiding citizen" then goes into vigilante mode to get his own justice and revenge on both Rice and the system that allowed the murderer to go free. At that point, Shelton's anger, rage, revenge and vigilantism push him over the edge to doing things he wouldn't have otherwise had in his character to do. Rice and Shelton are both the "good" guy and the "bad" guy at times, and the viewers must decide for themselves whose side they support. Shelton's whole motivation for vengeance was to try and convince people that the laws needed to change so murderers couldn't go free so easily. While his frustration that he wasn't getting through to anyone, mixed with his rage at the death of his family consumed him to the point where he was the villain, at the end of everything, he did cause Rice to see the error of his ways and put him in a position to make changes. Edit

  • The Unrated Director's Cut that was released on Blu-ray disc only features mostly alternate footage and only some real extensions. Most of these are new story pieces but there are also prolonged scenes of violence. Edit



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