Acts of Vengeance (film)

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Acts of Vengeance
Acts of Vengeance poster.jpg
Directed byIsaac Florentine
Written byMatt Venne
Produced byBoaz Davidson
Yariv Lerner
StarringAntonio Banderas
Karl Urban
Paz Vega
Cristina Serafini
CinematographyYaron Scharf
Edited byPaul Harb
Ivan Todorov Ivanov
Irit Raz
Music byFrederik Wiedmann
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • October 27, 2017 (2017-10-27)
Running time
87 minutes
United States
Box office$320,705[1]

Acts of Vengeance is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Isaac Florentine. It stars Antonio Banderas as a lawyer avenging the deaths of his wife and daughter.[2][3][4] The film also features Karl Urban, Paz Vega, and Cristina Serafini.


The wife and daughter of Pittsburgh lawyer Frank Valera (Antonio Banderas), Sue (Cristina Serafini) and Olivia, are killed shortly after a talent show in which Olivia sings a song for Frank, and their bodies are dumped in a hole near the train yard. Before the murder, Sue sent a video of Olivia's performance to Frank. After the funeral, Frank's father-in-law Chuck (Robert Forster) confronts him and tells him not to speak to him anymore. Frank visits the police station to discuss the murders, and Pittsburgh Police Detective Bill Lustiger (Johnathan Schaech) informs him that the police found a gold fiber at the murder scene. Lustiger suspects that the murderers belong to the Russian mafia, which operates in the area of the crime.

After subjecting himself to beatings in an illegal mixed martial arts ring to atone for his perceived guilt for the murders, Frank is rescued by Pittsburgh Police officer Hank Strode (Karl Urban), whom Frank met earlier at the station. However, when Strode informs Frank that his family's case has become “cold," Frank leaves, dismayed and depressed. Later, when getting involved in a fight to help a child prostitute, Frank falls through a window of a book store, where he fortuitously grabs Marcus AureliusMeditations to help stop the bleeding of a leg wound. Frank reads parts of the book and changes his attitude about what he should do next and how he should proceed, adopting a Stoic philosophy. He then takes a Stoic vow of silence until the case is solved and sets out to learn the skills required to do so.

After learning combat skills with masters of karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Frank goes to the train yard, where the crime took place, to investigate. He encounters Russian thugs and defeats them, though he is injured in the process by a bullet. A nurse, Alma (Paz Vega), arrives and brings him to her home to treat his injuries. The next day, Frank returns to his home. On the way, he adopts a dog previously owned by his attackers. Later, Alma approaches to return his wallet, which he left at her place. Alma learns about his family’s death and the yard, and she befriends him.

Frank attempts to find the potential witness who lives in a makeshift shelter, but he loses him. As he drives Alma home later, she reveals that the shelter Frank investigated was the home of a man called “Mr. Shivers” (Clint Dyer), who works as a cook at the local diner. After he drops Alma off, Russian gang members appear and ask Alma if she is going to continue supplying drugs to them. Frank suddenly appears and incapacitates them. She explains that she worked with them for a year, stealing drugs from the hospital for them. Frank takes her to his home for her safety.

Frank finds Mr. Shivers working in the kitchen of a diner; they fight. Frank shows his family picture to Shivers, who witnessed the murders from his shelter. Shivers says that a police officer committed the murders. Frank then sneaks into the police station and finds that Hank Strode was assigned to patrol that particular district on the night of the murders.

After several days of following Strode, Frank enters Strode's house and finds a police jacket with gold fibers coming loose from an embroidered sleeve badge. Frank also finds a bag that contains magazines with Frank on the cover, news articles about Strode's 12-year-old daughter's murder, and Frank's legal defense of the suspect, who was freed on a technicality. Strode wanted Frank to suffer for freeing the suspect, and he wanted Frank to know what Strode felt. Frank leaves a note for Strode, saying that he will meet at a warehouse. As Strode arrives, a fight ensues, leaving both injured. Managing to subdue Strode, Frank overcomes his desire to kill him upon remembering Aurelius’ quote, “The best revenge is to be unlike your enemy,” and instead knocks Strode out.

Later, after Strode's trial and conviction, Frank and Alma visit the graves of his wife and daughter, where Frank finally ends his vow of silence by saying "I love you" to his family's graves.



On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 55% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10.[5] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 49 out of 100, based on four critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]


  1. ^ "Acts of Vengeance (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  2. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2017-10-26). "Film Review: 'Acts of Vengeance'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  3. ^ Scheck, Frank (2017-10-25). "'Acts of Vengeance': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  4. ^ Abele, Robert (2017-10-26). "Antonio Banderas kicks major butt in dumb-as-a-stick action flick 'Acts of Vengeance'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  5. ^ "Acts of Vengeance (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Acts of Vengeance Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 2, 2020.

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