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Law Abiding Citizen Review Critics


Dave White Profile

"Saw"-abiding citizen. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 42

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Clyde is meant to be nuts, but too often it's Law Abiding Citizen that checks rationality at the door.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Deep within Law Abiding Citizen lurks a thought-provoking movie. But most of what we see on the screen is implausible, superficial and only marginally involving.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The script does create sufficient tension and intrigue to hook viewers along with a photogenic, hardworking cast.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    One of those movies you like more at the time than in retrospect.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Law Abiding Citizen reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Violent vengeance thriller has lots of bloody brutality.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Law Abiding Citizen contains several scenes of extremely bloody violence -- in addition to the home invasion/robbery/attempted rape/murder sequence that it begins with, there's a brutal stabbing and a horrifying torture scene in which a chemically paralyzed man is strapped to a gurney and has his limbs and organs sliced off. Viewers don't see the actual slicing, but they do see the man's limbless, mutilated corpse, and some of the crueler acts are discussed at length. The matter-of-fact nature of the brutal scenes is particularly disquieting. There's also plenty of strong language, some sexual content (including partial nudity), drinking, and drug use.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How does the impact of the violence here compare to that of "torture porn" horror movies like Saw? Which is more upsetting, and why?
  • Where's the line between vigilante justice and cold-blooded murder? Are we supposed to admire Clyde when he kills criminals, but not when he kills people at the district attorney's office?
  • What's the difference between "justice" and "law"? Do pleabargains and other deals keep the mechanism of justice tunning smoothlyor divert it from its true intent?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The plot's more philosophical points about the problems of the legal system are drowned out by its murders and gory violence.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Clyde is a grief-stricken man on a brutal terrorist campaign of revenge; Nick is a career lawyer who, at first is more interested in his conviction rate than in fighting to uphold the letter of the law.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Scenes of torture; also scenes in which a young child watches the torture on DVD. An attempted rape, which is called off in order to commit murder. A lethal injection is deliberately engineered to cause agony. Scenes of stabbing, shooting, beatings, and bombs going off -- both large incendiary devices and small, hand-held deathtraps. In one bloody, brutal, and shocking scene, a man is stabbed with a sharp object repeatedly in the jugular, with copious amounts of blood. Scenes of bloody corpses as well as people paralyzed by shellfish venom.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Nude male and female buttocks. Discussions of sex acts in vulgar language.

  • language false4

    Language: Frequent strong language, including "f--k," "motherf--ker," "balls," "prick," "ass," "piss," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "damn," "hell," "Jesus Christ," and more.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Very few brands are shown/talked about, but Pepsi products are seen, and iPod is mentioned by name.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cocaine use is shown; characters drink beer, wine, and liquor.