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The Underrated Gerard Butler Crime Mystery Climbing Netflix's Top 10

Scottish actor Gerard Butler has had the good fortune of being able to explore many different movie genres throughout his career. From horror films like "Dracula 2000" to action-adventure flicks like "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life," and even the adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway musical "The Phantom of the Opera," Butler has proved himself to be a pretty versatile performer.

Butler's biggest breakthrough came in 2006 with the ferocious role of the Spartan King Leonidas in "300," director Zack Snyder's visually stunning adaptation of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's graphic novel (and yes, Butler's abs were real). Since then, Butler has played many more heroes in films like "Angel Has Fallen" and its two sequels, as well as champions of the romantic kind in comedies like "P.S. I Love You."

Despite Butler's general versatility, the actor has found a comfortable niche as the antihero, where he plays characters who are on the wrong side of the law, yet their actions make audiences root for them anyway. And while Butler's antihero turns have had varying degrees of success over the years, his role in a 2009 revenge thriller is currently enjoying a moment of renewed popularity on Netflix's Top 10 Movies list.

Despite getting bad reviews, Gerard Butler's Law Abiding Citizen is a hit with Netflix viewers

When it was released in 2009, "Law Abiding Citizen" had a fair amount of success at the box office, earning $131.1 million worldwide against a $53 million budget (via The Numbers). However, reviewers weren't as kind, and at the time of writing, the movie has a 26% critic's score on Rotten Tomatoes. Butler stars in the film as Clyde Shelton, an engineer in Philadelphia who witnesses the horrific murders of his wife and daughter at the hands of brutal criminals during a home invasion. But while the two criminals are caught, a botched case by officials leads Philadelphia District Attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) to cut a plea deal with the accomplice of the main killer, and he gets a lighter sentence and an early release. Devastated by the turn of events, Shelton takes matters into his own hands and begins exacting brutal revenge. 

It's hard to say why "Law Abiding Citizen" is finding a surge in popularity on Netflix. But it could be due to the way the film plays on the fear of watching your family be torn away in an instant and then feeling that true justice hasn't been served. In watching the movie, viewers can explore these emotions while remaining unscathed. It probably also doesn't hurt that, in addition to Butler and Foxx, the movie co-stars Viola Davis, Regina Hall, and Leslie Bibb.

No matter the case, Netflix viewers are clearly enjoying watching Gerard Butler flex his antihero muscles in "Law Abiding Citizen."