Law Abiding Citizen

Featured In Issue 147, March/April 2010

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
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(MPAA Rating):
Unrated / R
(Rating Reason):
Strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(Running Time In Minutes):
118 / 109
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
F. Gary Gray
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(Disc Soundtrack):
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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(French Language):
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Law Abiding Citizen follows Clyde Shelton (Butler), an upstanding family man whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered during a home invasion. When the killers are caught, Nick Rice (Foxx), a hotshot Philadelphia prosecutor, is assigned to the case. Nick offers one of the suspects a light sentence in exchange for testifying against his accomplice. Fast forward 10 years, the man who got away with murder is found dead and Shelton cooly 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 crosshairs, Nick finds himself in a desperate race against time, facing a deadly adversary who seems always to be one step ahead. (Gary Reber)

The two-disc set includes on Disc One the unrated Director's Cut (01:58:06) and on Disc Two the theatrical version (01:48:49). Special features include commentary, featuring Producers Lucas Foster and Alan Siegel, two featurettes: The Justice Of Law Abiding Citizen (HD 06:15) and Law In Black And White—Behind The Scenes (HD 15:06), Preliminary Arguments—Visual Effects Progressions in five segments (HD 06:46), The Verdict-Winning Trailer Mash-Up (HD 01:05), the theatrical trailer, and up-front

The 1080p 2.40:1 AVC picture is terrific, with a natural visual character that stylizes the cinematography with fabulous imagery details, especially highlighted in the backgrounds of scenes. The color palette exhibits a perfectly natural tonal balance, with rich and warm hues. Contrast is perfectly balanced with deep, richly defined blacks and impressive shadow delineation. The imagery is nicely dimensional, with excellent depth and resolution in the backgrounds. The imagery is sharp and clear and exhibits excellent detail, which reveals intricate textures and facial features. Soft imagery is rare, and the soft grain structure enhances the cinematic look. Rarely has there been a release with such precise resolution and image depth enhanced with such a natural color palette. This is a technically superior picture and is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is well produced. Each sound element is technically precise, though, at times, dialogue, in the form of ADR sound, compromises spatial integration. Otherwise, most scenes sound perfectly natural and balanced against the other elements. The music score is a sweeping, orchestral recording, with a wide and deep soundstage that expands nicely into the surrounds. The music is solid in its low-frequency depth, which enhances the tension. At times the .1 LFE channel extends to below 25 Hz, with impressive impact. Gun shots and even machine-gun rounds sound convincingly real. Surround envelopment is often aggressive and directionalized, but most impressive is the atmospheric ambiance that permeates the soundfield. The sense of holosonic® spatial realism is impressive. This is a technically creative and impressive soundtrack that is reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)