A Nail Biting Fall Sleeper?

October 7, 2009 | Law Abiding Citizen News

Summer is supposed to be the season of the “audience movie,” with an occasional art film tossed in as counter-programming, while October belongs to more serious movies with a rare thriller breaking through.

Well, the “sleeper” among the fall “audience pictures” may turn out to be “Law Abiding Citizen,” a tightly directed thriller starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler. The movie is violent and bizarre and sufficiently off-center enough to become an audience favorite.

“Citizen” could be a break through film for Gerard Butler, who might grab some nominations for his depiction of a high-IQ killer. It also marks a formidable comeback for F. Gary Gray, a gifted young filmmaker who decided to take a four year sojourn, traveling the world and studying after turning out six movies in a row (among them “The Italian Job” and “Be Cool.”)

“Law Abiding Citizen” also marks a departure for Overture Films, which has been limiting itself to smaller, softer films. This one is a $50 million white-knuckler that was originally developed by Mark Gill and Neil Sacker’s Film Department, directed by Frank Darabont. After “creative differences” imploded the project, Overture came aboard and Gray was brought on as director six weeks before production.

Many projects show the scars of such a bumpy birth but “Law Abiding Citizen” delivers a tight, shrewdly produced nail biter. For audiences fleeing “Love Happens,” it may provide an effective antidote.

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