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The Equalizer (2014)

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A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

Director:

Antoine Fuqua

Writers:

Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan (based on the television series created by) | 1 more credit »
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577 ( 192)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Robert McCall
Marton Csokas ... Teddy
Chloë Grace Moretz ... Teri
David Harbour ... Masters
Haley Bennett ... Mandy
Bill Pullman ... Brian Plummer
Melissa Leo ... Susan Plummer
David Meunier ... Slavi
Johnny Skourtis ... Ralphie
Alex Veadov ... Tevi
Vladimir Kulich ... Vladimir Pushkin
E. Roger Mitchell ... Lead Investigator
James Wilcox ... Pederson
Mike O'Dea ... Remar (as Mike P. O'Dea)
Anastasia Mousis Sanidopoulos ... Jenny (as Anastasia Mousis)
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Storyline

The Equalizer stars Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a former Black Ops commando who faked his own death in hopes of living out a quiet life in Boston. However, when he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to save a young girl named Teri "Chloë Grace Moretz", he finds his thirst for justice reawakened after coming face-to-face with a syndicate of brutal Russian gangsters. Afterwards, McCall becomes the go-to man when the helpless require the kind of vengeance they would never find without his skills.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What do you see when you look at me?

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | Spanish

Release Date:

26 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Equalizer See more »

Filming Locations:

Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,137,828, 28 September 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$101,530,738

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$192,330,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last pull-away shot of the film is an homage to the scene by artist Edward Hopper's painting "Nighthawks." Edward was also the first name of Mr. Woodward, who originally played McCall in the television show, The Equalizer (1985). See more »

Goofs

The quote shown at the start of the movie, "The two most important days of your life are the day you're born and the day you find out why." is attributed to Mark Twain whereas the source of this quote is actually unknown. See more »

Quotes

Robert McCall: I've done some bad things in my life, Nicolai... Things I'm not proud of. I promised someone I love very much that I would never go back to being that person... But for you, I'll make an exception.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema, DVD and Blu-ray versions are cut for violence to secure a 15 rating, removing or reducing the following:
  • The closeup of the corkscrew being pushed further into Tevi's mouth, and the final shot of his face right before it's withdrawn.
  • The first shot of the mercenary bleeding and choking on the barbed wire noose.
Columbia made additional cuts in two more scenes, which appear not to have been requested by the BBFC:
  • A closeup of Teddy beating Little John's bloodied face twice, and a shot from behind that shows him readying another punch.
  • The gangster being impaled through the neck was shortened at the start and end.
The six cuts totaled approximately 15 seconds. The UK 4K Blu-ray is uncut and rated 18. See more »

Connections

Featured in Inside 'The Equalizer' (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Valse-Scherzo
Op. 34
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Dmitry Yablonsky
Courtesy of Naxos
By arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gruesome at times, The Equalizer is a rewarding action film for every single Denzel Washington fan out there.
24 September 2014 | by LloydBayerSee all my reviews

Rooting for a badass hero with a kickass attitude has never been as satisfying as watching Denzel Washington dish out some brutal punishment. This is exactly what you get in The Equalizer, an action thriller based on the late 80's TV series of the same name, but amped up with ultra-violent realism.

Reunited after their collaboration in Training Day, Washington (received his first Academy Award in a leading role) and director Antoine Fuqua are back in this simple yet deadly effective action film. Using a Mark Twain quote about people who find their true purpose late in life, Washington plays Robert McCall, a loner and tragic widower with a mysterious past. On the surface, he is an amiable home depot worker who keeps to himself, indulging in conversations only when spoken too, and slave to some sort of OCD while remaining invisible to people around him. After befriending a Russian teen escort called Alina, (Chloe Grace Moretz all grownup), and discovering she is the victim of sexual abuse, McCall's nice-guy demeanor melts away to expose an aura reverberating layers of darkening complexity. There's a tightly restrained compassion in McCall's eyes, fighting a father-figure compulsion to do what he must, while Alina's is a muted plea for deliverance. This scene takes place in a diner they frequent in Boston, and it's the first of two powerful moments in the film. What follows is the film's first action sequence in a Tarantino-styled dialogue first, and blood splatter later, McCall dispatches Alina's Russian pimp and his goons. When news reaches Moscow, mob kingpin Pushkin sends Teddy (Marton Csokas), to clean up the mess. Covered with satanic tattoos, Teddy is anything but the moniker he goes by and with half the Boston PD on his payroll, it's just a matter of when and where McCall is eliminated. Or so they think.

Having previously scripted The Expendables 2, Richard Wenk's story here is nothing new when considering McCall's proverbial 'set of skills', a comparison if you must, to certain characters Liam Neeson has played. On the other hand, there is a mechanism in place, partly due to the aforementioned OCD, allowing McCall a brief study of the situation before striking with lethal accuracy. While that sounds like a knock-off version of combat tactics employed by Guy Ritchie's titular hero in Sherlock Homes (2009), the payoff is watching McCall take out bad guys with improvised weaponry. It gets a bit hokey towards the end, with McCall using all manner of booby traps to slice, dice and blow up Teddy's dumber-by-the-minute henchmen. Having said that, it is still rewarding to watch Washington demolish enemy after enemy and this is largely due to Csokas' terrific portrayal of Teddy's loathsome nature. To that effect, the best scenes in the film are when Teddy and McCall are face-to-face and denting each other's armour with nothing but well written dialogues. One such scene is a powerful dinner table battering-of-wits, a taut reimagining of that iconic scene in Heat (1995).

While humour and drama throw some light on Boston's mob controlled dirty cops, McCall's relationships with his colleagues, and even a short segment that suggests his origins as a trained killer, The Equalizer really shines with Fuqua's deft handling of action scenes. But topping it off is Washington in a vigilante role that is the best we've seen in years. Fans of Man on Fire (Washington opposite Dakota Fanning) and Léon: The Professional (Jean Reno opposite Natalie Portman), both films about male heroism influenced by female protégés, are in for a visual treat. Heck, who needs improbable superheroes when you have an average Joe with extraordinary capabilities and all without hiding behind a mask or costume? Although compelled to use the N-word, I'll just say – Ma man Denzel. . .doesn't disappoint and neither does The Equalizer.


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