"Questioning the Justice System"
What You Need To Know:
The lesson imparted by this movie is, Don’t make deals with murderers. Nick is only able to stop Clyde’s murderous revenge when he absorbs that lesson. Ultimately, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has a strong moral worldview that shines a light on the U.S. justice system. As such, it examines the conflict between expediency and the meaning of true justice. Happily, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has no explicit sex or nudity. Regrettably, the movie has plenty of graphic violence, both implied and shown, and plenty of strong foul language. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises extreme caution.
(BBB, LLL, VVV, N, A, MM) Very strong moral worldview asks provocative questions about crime and punishment, justice, and righting wrongs; about 58 mostly strong obscenities (mostly “f” words), five strong profanities referencing Jesus, and one light profanity; some extreme violence with blood includes two thugs invade home and incapacitate parents of little girl, woman’s head banged against an object, vaguely implied rape and murder of little girl and her mother, man saws off bound murderer’s leg and tells him he intends to cut off the rest of his limbs and castrate him, clothed bloody corpse shown in medium shot with no limbs or head, convicted murderer experiences great deal of pain and agony during his lethal injection, man buried alive to death, cars explode with people in them, woman trapped in car about to explode, woman shot in head, mechanical machine gun rips into car with people in it, man bloodily stabs man to death, and it is implied man is consumed by fire bomb; no sex scenes though criminal is with a scantily clad woman in an apartment; partial rear female nudity of woman lying around in an apartment, rear male nudity in one scene, and upper male nudity in one scene; alcohol use; no smoking; and, revenge and prosecutor plea bargains with a vicious murderer in order to get a conviction of his partner.
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is a riveting, tense thriller that has some provocative messages about the U.S. justice system, but it contains graphic violence and strong foul language, so extreme caution is warranted.
The movie opens with the family of Clyde Shelton, played by Gerard Butler, being attacked by two thugs invading their home. One of the thugs apparently murders Clyde’s young daughter, and his wife is also murdered.
Hotshot prosecutor Nick Rice, played by Jamie Foxx, doesn’t want to risk his conviction rate, so he decides to make a deal with the thug who may have murdered Clyde’s daughter in order to ensure the death sentence for the other criminal. Clyde objects vehemently to this deal, but Nick goes ahead with it.
Ten years later, the other thug faces execution. Unknown to everyone, however, Clyde has rigged the lethal injection to make sure the murderer suffer the most pain possible. He also kidnaps the other thug, who’s now out of jail, and videotapes himself in a welder’s helmet as he dismembers the guy alive (only the amputation of the man’s leg in a long, obscured shot and his corpse are actually shown).
Of course, Clyde is the prime suspect. After being arrested, he promises to give a confession to Nick, in exchange for a fancy bed in his cell. Nick agrees, gets the confession, but then learns that Clyde has also kidnapped the defense attorney and buried him alive with only so much air before he stops breathing. Clyde’s new demand? A fancy steak dinner.
Soon, Clyde is threatening the judge in the case, the district attorney, the people Nick works with, and even the mayor. As Clyde’s violent rampage against the justice system continues, Nick and the police race against time to stop him from killing more people.
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is extremely suspenseful. Viewers are put on the edge of their seats trying to figure out what Clyde may do next and what Nick’s response will be.
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is a provocative examination of crime and punishment, justice, and righting wrongs. The lesson imparted by the movie is, Don’t make deals with murderers. Nick is only able to stop Clyde’s murderous revenge when he absorbs that lesson. Ultimately, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has a strong moral worldview that shines a light on the U.S. justice system. As such, it examines the conflict between expediency and the meaning of true justice.
Happily, LAW ABIDING CITIZEN has no explicit sex or nudity. Regrettably, the movie has plenty of graphic violence, both implied and shown, and plenty of strong foul language. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises extreme caution.