Law Abiding Citizen

Not today, he's not!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: March 14, 2022 (URL is not
Available on: Netflix
Content release date: 2009-10-16

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Review Rating: 7.5

Ten years after his wife and daughter were murdered and one of the killers has escaped justice by making a deal with the legal systems, one extraordinary husband decides to take justice into his own hands.

This film is indeed everything it promises from the previews, trailers, and interviews with the cast members, except for one thing – the ending. But we’ll get to that. So, we have Clyde Shelton, a far from ordinary engineering genius who loves his family literally beyond death. Clyde is beaten pretty badly when his home is robbed, not enough to kill him but hard enough to prevent him from saving his wife and child. And then one of the bad guys makes a deal in court, to get himself 3-4 years in jail while his partner who was supposedly the only one responsible for the killings, goes on death row. Clyde’s lawyer Nick tries to tell him it’s a good deal, that’s how the justice system works, blah blah, just live with it already since I already took the deal. Clyde, played by the memorable Gerard Butler, just stares at Nick the lawyer played damn well by Jamie Foxx, with tears shining in his eyes before leaving.

Now, fast forward ten years. Ten long years in which Clyde has had the chance to brood, plot and plan. And boy, has he, he’s thought of everything – escape routes, legalities, bombs, you name it. First the guy on death row dies in a bone-wrenchingly agonizing way, hey that’s not supposed to happen, lethal injection is supposed to be painless. One for Clyde. Then Aimes, the bad guy who copped the plea, is found dead with most of his parts separated from each-other, and that includes his head. There’s a wonderfully dark scene where Clyde tells Nick what he did to Aimes in minute detail, and while yes it’s quite sick, I find it hard to believe that there weren’t a lot of people out there thinking the exact same thing. (Whether or not a person would have the stomach to actually do it, is another matter.) Clyde tells Nick he’s bringing shocks to the legal system, to show just how corrupt and worthless it really is, and continues on a series of intricately timed deaths, while sitting in solitary confinement in prison. Ordinary, law-abiding citizen my ass. Anyway, there comes a point where Nick and some police friends of his do manage to find Clyde’s plotting lair, figure out what his end game plan is, and foil the hell out of it. Which rather bothered me, the ending and what they do to poor Clyde. (No, I won’t spoil that, at least.) While I do agree that a line has to be drawn somewhere, I think Clyde just brought to life (or a lot of death, ha) what a lot of us would like to do, especially in the name of justice.

Many explosions and death make for a raucous good time, although the ending might make you want to explode!