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  Law Abiding Citizen (2009)  
  Rating: (8.3/10) (3 votes)
Directors: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Kurt Wimmer
Kurt Wimmer
OMDB: 0434714
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English
Duration: 109 min
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 Cast: (all known cast)

Jamie Foxx Nick Rice
Gerard Butler Clyde Shelton
Colm Meaney detektiv Dunnigan
Bruce McGill Jonas Cantrell
Leslie Bibb Sarah Lowell
Michael Irby detektiv Garza
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Law Abiding Citizen

Theatrical release poster
Directed by F. Gary Gray
Produced by Gerard Butler
Kurt Wimmer
Mark Gill
Lucas Foster
Alan Siegel
Written by Kurt Wimmer
Starring Gerard Butler
Jamie Foxx
Leslie Bibb
Colm Meaney
Viola Davis
Bruce McGill
Music by Brian Tyler
Cinematography Jonathan Sela
Editing by Tariq Anwar
Studio The Film Department
Distributed by Overture Films
Release date(s) October 16, 2009
Running time 109 min.
Budget $50 million
Gross revenue $21,250,000

Law Abiding Citizen is a 2009 thriller film directed by F. Gary Gray from a screenplay written by Kurt Wimmer, and starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler. The film takes place in Philadelphia and tells the story of Clyde Shelton (Butler), a man who decides to exact revenge on his family's killers, as well as the criminal justice system. Law Abiding Citizen was released theatrically in North America on October 16, 2009.[1]

[edit] Plot

After a home invasion leaves his wife and daughter dead, Clyde Shelton (Butler), a retired "Think Tank", is told that one of the criminals who killed his wife and daughter will not be convicted, as much of the evidence against him was compromised by a bungled forensic investigation. After Shelton pleads with Nick Rice (Foxx), a power-hungry attorney with a 96% conviction rate, to take the case to court, Rice tells Shelton it does not matter what is right, but what can be proved in court. Rice then makes a deal with Clarence Darby, the person who raped and murdered Shelton's wife and daughter, for third-degree murder, while his accomplice, Rupert Ames, is sent to death row, for a charge of what is essentially theft.

Ten years later, Ames is executed; due to a chemical alteration, he dies an agonizing death. Initial evidence leads to Darby, who fires repeatedly at police after being contacted by a stranger. After being led to a cop car, Darby is directed to an abandoned warehouse, where the police officer, Shelton in disguise, poisons and tortures Darby to death. Rice quickly arrests Shelton, who is found naked in his home, surrounded by law and engineering books.

Rice arrives to interrogate Shelton, and congratulates him on removing Darby from society. Shelton initially confesses to the crime, and Rice begins to depart, when Shelton points out that his statement is not a confession by any stripe, at least, not that can be proved in court. During this, Rice's family, whom he maintains strained relations with, receives a DVD of Shelton torturing Darby to death. Shelton agrees to make a real confession in exchange for an expensive mattress in his prison cell. Despite his disgust, Rice agrees after being ordered, as there is virtually no real evidence connecting Shelton to the murder. The following day, Shelton makes a case, using multiple obscure legal precedents, to have his confession thrown out. After the judge, the same who presided in Darby's trial, agrees, Shelton begins a tirade, railing against the judges myopia for the law vs justice, and is removed for contempt.

Rice meets with Shelton again to get a new confession, and Shelton wants to make another deal, for the life of Bill Reynolds, Darby's attorney. Shelton claims that Reynolds is alive, and will give his location in exchange for an expensive steak dinner delivered at precisely 1 p.m., along with music from his iPod. Despite his demand, Warden Inger forces multiple searches, resulting in Shelton receiving his lunch at 1:08. Giving his location, Rice goes on a 15 minute helicopter ride to find Reynolds buried alive and only minutes dead, with Warden Ingers delay causing Reynolds to suffocate. Shelton, after finishing lunch and sharing with his cell mate, brutally murders him, and is thrown in solitary.

DA Cantrell takes Rice to meet a CIA operative, who tells Rice and Cantrell that Shelton is a "brain" with the CIA, a man capable of coming up with labyrinthine and complex ways to kill people, and mentions a Pakistani warlord who Shelton managed to murder with a necktie (Rice stops wearing a tie for the remainder of the movie), and states that if Shelton wants Rice and Cantrell dead, they already are. The following day, Rice and Cantrell convince a judge to sign an order restricting Shelton's privileges, to removes opportunities for him to talk to his accomplice. Moments later, the judge answers the phone, a small bomb in the phone detonates, killing the judge.

Rice confronts Shelton, who says this is not about revenge, but about the failure of the justice system, and Rice's personal failure to be able to keep his word. He then claims that, unless he is released, and all charges dropped, he will kill everyone in the DA's office. The office workers congregate at the prison, and the time comes and goes. While leaving, several car bombs erupt, killing seven staffers, including Rice's personal assistant. Shelton's spree of murders on the outside while he's behind bars continues to puzzle Rice, leaving to Rice to only speculate Shelton has an accomplice.

At the funeral for the staffers, a remote drone, armed with anti-tank weaponry, slaughters several attendees to the funeral, including DA Cantrell. Rice is appointed acting DA by the mayor, and a massive meeting is called to determine a way to remove Shelton. Rice, via his assistant's computer, receives some information that points to Shelton owning a garage right next to the prison, and finds a tunnel system leading into every solitary cell, including where Shelton is being held. This discovery reveals Shelton's murder of his cell mate was not random at all. Shelton wanted to be in solitary all along so he could have direct access to the tunnel, revealing he had no accomplice at all. Upon reaching Shelton's cell the two men find it empty.

Shelton, dressed as a custodian, plants a bomb in city hall, planning to kill the mayor and most of the senior staff of the Philadelphia police force, which Rice finds. Shelton returns to his cell and finds Rice waiting for him. Shelton offers one final deal, which Rice outright refuses, which Shelton congratulates as being one of the main points of his exercise. Rice calmly tells Shelton that if he attempts to detonate the bomb, he'll have to live with the consequences of that action. Shelton, after considering for a long moment, does so anyway, and Rice locks shut Shelton's cell, while a detective locks his escape route. Shelton quickly realizes the bomb was placed under his cot, and is incinerated while staring at a bracelet made by his daughter just before the home invasion.

[edit] Cast

[edit] Production

Filming took place in and around Philadelphia. Filming locations included Philadelphia's City Hall and the old Broadmeadows prison.

Butler and his production company developed the film. For the two years of planning, Butler planned to play Nick Rice. At the last minute he decided that it would interesting to take on the role of Clyde. Since Jamie Foxx was already signed on to play Clyde, he asked if he would mind switching roles. Foxx loved his performance in "300" and thought that as a viewer he would love seeing Gerard "beating people and blowing stuff up".

[edit] Music

The score to Law Abiding Citizen was composed by Brian Tyler, who recorded his score with a 52-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.[5]

[edit] Release

[edit] Theatrical

The film was released theatrically on October 16, 2009.[6] The first theatrical trailer was released on August 14, 2009 and was attached to District 9.[7]

[edit] Reception

The film has received generally unfavorably reviews from critics. [8] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 24% of critics gave positive reviews based on 91 reviews with an average score of 4.4/10. [9] Another review agggretator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating based on 100 reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film an average score of 33% based on 25 reviews. [8] It currently holds a user rating of 7.5/10 on the Internet Movie Database.[10]

Despite negative criticism, the film took second place in its opening weekend with $21.3 million behind Where the Wild Things Are.

[edit] References

soundtrack CD

[edit] External links

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