Law Abiding Citizen

Rated 2.0

A bereaved man (Gerard Butler) thinks the killers of his wife and daughter got off too easily, and blames the judge and the prosecutor (Jamie Foxx). When people involved in the case begin dying horribly, the district attorney is sure he knows who’s behind it—he just can’t figure out how the guy is doing it from inside prison. Writer Kurt Wimmer and director F. Gary Gray go for the grisly right off, and their opening treatment of a rape and double murder prompts a shudder at what the next hundred minutes will bring—how far will they take things if this is how they start out? The deaths do get nastier, but as the plot grows increasingly far-fetched, the effect isn’t revulsion, or even suspense, but numbness. Still, Gray moves things with relentless efficiency, and there’s good cat-and-mouse work between Foxx and Butler.