The vigilante film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists engage in vigilante behavior, taking the law into their own hands. Vigilante films are usually revenge thriller films in which the legal system fails protagonists, leading them to become vigilantes.
In United States cinema, vigilante films gained prominence during the 1970s with "touchstones" like Death Wish and Dirty Harry, both of which had sequels. The Los Angeles Times said, "Vigilante vengeance was the cinematic theme of the decade, flourishing in the more respectable precincts of the new American cinema even as it fueled numerous exploitation flicks," referring to Taxi Driver as a respectable example of the genre. It reported in 2009 that such films were making a comeback after "the comparatively prosperous and peaceable 1990s", with examples like Walking Tall (2004), Death Sentence (2007), and Law Abiding Citizen (2009).
List of films
The following vigilante films are listed alphabetically.
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- Steinberg, Don (September 18, 2014). "'The Equalizer': Vigilante Justice". The Wall Street Journal.
- Lichtenfeld, Eric (September 13, 2007). "Killer Films". Slate. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
- Stringer, Rebecca. "From Victim to Vigilante". www.academia.edu. Routeledge. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
- Scott, A. O. (April 15, 2010). "Brutal Truths About Violence". The New York Times.
- Coyle, Jake (June 24, 2013). "Carrey says 'Kick-Ass 2' too violent after Newtown". The Big Story. Associated Press. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
- "Hugh Jackman to Star in Vigilante Thriller PRISONERS for November 2013 Release". Collider.com. March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- Hoppenstand, Gary (1993). "Lethal weapons: The gun as icon in the popular urban vigilante film". In Loukides, Paul; Fuller, Linda K. Beyond the Stars 3: The Material World in American Popular Film. Popular Press. ISBN 978-0-87972-623-2.
- Novak, Glenn D. (November 1987). "Social Ills and the One-Man Solution: Depictions of Evil in the Vigilante Film". International Conference on the Expressions of Evil in Literature and the Visual Arts.