Law Abiding Citizen movie review: Despite appearing like the world's most absent-minded lawyer, Nick (Jamie Foxx) has a 96-percent conviction rate, which he preserves by making a deal that only delivers justice to one of the two men responsible for killing Clyde's (Gerard Butler) wife and daughter. So Clyde does the only logical thing: Waits 10 years, brutally murders the other killer and then, after being arrested, somehow engineers the deaths of many others from prison.
The buzz: A good film could be made by examining our legal system's compromises. But Clyde's ridiculous actions and irrational feelings about his case (he disagrees with Nick's statement that, It's not what you know; it's what you can prove in court) are like someone just wanted to turn the Saw sequels into a thriller. Is the latest from F. Gary Gray (Be Cool) anything more than a ludicrous excuse to kill a lot of people?
The verdict: There are movies that stretch credibility, there are movies that destroy credibility, and then there's Law Abiding Citizen, about which it takes a lot less time to name the elements that make sense than it does to name the ones that don't. Butler, already a pretty bad actor, is at his worst, never depicting Clyde as someone who's gone off the edge with his desire for revenge. (Really, what was he doing for the decade he spent waiting to fight back?) Foxx's one-note performance is equally lost, as if the Oscar-winner has no idea what's going on around him—or how he wound up in such a steaming pile.
Box Office: The film took second place in its opening weekend, with $21 million behind Where the Wild Things Are. It went on to gross $126.2 million total worldwide.
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