You might want to crank up the air conditioning.

Theatrical Release Date: 10/16/2009
Director: F. Gary Gray
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb, Regina Hall, Gregory Itzin, Michael Irby, Christian Stolte

“Law Abiding Citizen” explores how making plea bargains impacts victims. Clyde (Gerard Butler) loses everything after a deal gets made in court to set the man who brutally murdered his wife and daughter free. Clyde, a ‘Law Abiding Citizen’ decides to take matters into his own hands. He seeks both to exact revenge against his family’s murderer and to reform the broken legal system that failed him.

A shocking commentary on the pitfalls of said legal system, this film starts off with the visceral murder of Clyde’s family and continues to assault the senses throughout, making it hard not to flinch at points. Clyde delivers on his promise that “It’s [his revenge] going to be biblical” and the movie truly earns its R rating with loads of extreme violence, blood and gore, and strong language. Therefore, it is not recommended for those who are easily offended or the faint of heart.

After torturing and killing the man responsible for his family’s deaths (Christian Stolte), Clyde lands himself in jail. Logically, one would think that this would end his killing spree, yet it appears to be part of his ingenious plan. A born tactician, I was impressed by Clyde’s methodical, well thought out revenge and intrigued by what he would do next. I found it fascinating how he would make seemingly innocuous requests that would lead his targets to make fatal mistakes. Although, I don’t condone vigilante justice, this film blurs the lines of morality and admittedly I found myself secretly rooting for Clyde at times.

The film was well cast with strong performances from everyone, particularly Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. The script is well written. It is paced with a good deal of action and suspense throughout. I found myself freaked out from the tension on several occasions, as I waited for Clyde to continue his quest for justice/vengeance/revenge. Finally, the ending is visually stunning, and oddly beautiful.

As an avid movie watcher and reader, I find that I’m usually able to figure out complicated plot lines relatively easily, yet I was unable to do so here. This movie will make you think and keep you guessing as you try to figure out Clyde’s next move. For you ladies, if you can get beyond the violence and gore, there is a decent butt shot as well as a shirtless scene that will make you a Gerard Butler fan (should you not be one already). Honestly, I left this movie breathless,… thinking …and muttering ‘WOW’! “Law Abiding Citizen” is a solid 5 out of 5 and a must see in my book.