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Law-abiding citizen - Gerard Butler, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Foxx, F Gary Gray

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) is an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx), a hotshot young Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Over his objections, Nick is forced by his boss to offer one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice. Fast forward ten years. The man who got away with murder is found dead and Clyde Shelton coolly admits his guilt. Then he issues a warning to Nick: Either fix the flawed justice system that failed his family, or key players in the trial will die. Soon Shelton follows through on his threats, orchestrating from his jail cell a string of spectacularly diabolical assassinations that can be neither predicted nor prevented. Philadelphia is gripped with fear as Shelton's high-profile targets are slain one after another and the authorities are powerless to halt his reign of terror. Only Nick can stop the killing, and to do so he must outwit this brilliant sociopath in a harrowing contest of wills in which even the smallest misstep means death. With his own family now in Shelton's cross-hairs, Nick finds himself in a desperate race against time facing a deadly adversary who seems always to be one step ahead.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Law-abiding citizen theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime thriller murder revenge plea bargain lawyer family kill judge plan bomb high-tech prison politics

Persons of interest

  • Gerard Butler .... Clyde Shelton
  • Michael Gambon
  • Jamie Foxx .... Nick Rice
  • Leslie Bibb .... Sarah Lowell
  • Christian Stolte .... Clarence Darby
  • Bruce McGill .... Jonas Cantrell
  • Regina Hall .... Kelly Rice
  • Viola Davis .... Mayor of Philadelphia
  • Colm Meaney .... Detective Dunnigan
  • Michael Kelly
  • Gregory Itzin .... Warden Iger
  • Josh Stewart .... Rupert Ames
  • Michael Irby .... Detective Garza
  • Richard Portnow .... Bill Reynolds
  • Annie Corley .... Judge Burch
  • Dan Bittner .... Sereno
  • Emerald-Angel Young .... Denise Rice
  • Brooke Stacy Mills .... Clyde's Wife
  • Damien Colletti .... Officer Bruno
  • Evan Hart .... Collins
  • Ksenia Hulayev .... Clyde's Daughter
  • Reno Laquintano .... Dwight Dixon
  • Chetan Dave .... Administrator Powell
  • Kurt Wimmer .... Screenwriter
  • F Gary Gray .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Australian resident rewards programme

You could win one of five DVDs of Law-abiding citizen by sending an email to the Director of Intelligence with your name and address in the body. Closed 3 June 2010. Won by Carolyn, Dwayne, Melissa, Steve and Suzanne.

Theatrical report

Apparently, every second or third conviction in the USA is a miscarriage of justice, requiring an ordinary man to step up and become a hero, because when incompetence and immorality are entrenched in government it takes multiple acts of terrorism and murder to make a change - it is not so much about power attracting the corruptible as it is about self-interest being more important than the greater good (the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many, especially when the one is this one); the longer a government runs without being torn down and rebuilt, the more entrenched mistakes become, the more hide-bound its servants, the more convinced of its righteousness, the harder to shift, until only something like a Pearl Harbour or a 9/11 can generate enough impetus, and even then, the bureaucrats are masters at covering their arses (when the shit hits the fan it's like turning on the kitchen light and watching the cockroaches scurry for the cracks) so whatever you do has to get personal, which means targeting the individuals who have fucked things up and not stopping until you get the change you need - of course, becoming a terrorist means that you give up your right to a happy ending so you're going to die from the get-go, but it's worth it in the end, right?

The most commonly-committed crime in the USA is murder. With a gun. Most home invasions involve the deaths of the innocents (ie mothers, children). In moral terms, this means that the father has failed to protect his family, so he (a) is free to kill anyone involved and (b) he will have to die to make up for his failure (Hollywood morality). Still, most American men work for the CIA (Not this one, the other one - Director of Intelligence) so they have special skills which enable them to exact revenge in exotic and exciting ways. There will be blood.

Gerard Butler shows off his stuff, all the stuff that got him the lead in 300. Jamie Foxx is an arsehole lawyer (if that's not a tautology). Their conflict is good. So are the supporting cast. Unfortunately, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so Law-abiding citizen is not as exciting as it could be. There's a bit too much focus on the Saw-like aspects (ie clever ways to create gore and mayhem) and not enough on the intellectual aspects of morality and legality. I mean to say, how dense can a lawyer be?

The crime, thriller movie Law-abiding citizen is directed by F Gary Gray and stars Gerard Butler, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Foxx.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo 2.0
  • Languages: English
  • Special features:
    • Documentaries: Law in black & white - behind the scenes
    • Featurettes: The justice of Law-abiding citizen
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English

Media intelligence (Blu-ray)

  • Audio: 5.1 Dolby True HD, 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Languages: English
  • Special features:
    • Commentaries: Producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel
    • Documentaries: Law in black & white - behind the scenes
    • Featurettes:
      • The justice of Law-abiding citizen
      • The verdict - winning trailer mash-up
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Versions: Theatrical, Unrated Director's Cut

Government security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Strong violence and coarse language)

Surveillance time

108 minutes (1:48 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 28 January 2010
Disc: 3 June 2010

Cinema surveillance images

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