The Equalizer (film)

2014 film by Antoine Fuqua

The Equalizer is a 2014 American action drama film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Richard Wenk, inspired by the television series of the same name. Denzel Washington stars as Robert McCall, a retired black ops agent who has promised his recently deceased wife that he'd leave his old life behind, but is compelled to act to protect a young teenage friend Alina (aka Teri), played by Chloë Grace Moretz.

I am offering you a chance to do the right thing. Take it.

Robert McCallEdit

  • Progress — not Perfection.
    • Advice to a co-worker in a hardware store, training to be a security guard.
  • That girl, Alina, she's gonna go on living. You — you're gonna bleed out all over this funky floor... All over 9,800 dollars.
  • When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too.
  • I am offering you a chance to do the right thing. Take it.
  • You're supposed to stand for something, punk. Protect and serve. Uphold the law. Justice. Remember?
    • To a corrupt policeman.
  • I couldn't tell you why — it mattered. Why what they did to her, that mattered to me so much. One day somebody does something unspeakable to someone else to... someone you hardly knew, and you... do something about it because you can.
  • The men I killed, your men, I gave them a chance, they made their decision. I'm giving you the opportunity to make yours.
  • 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'm going to make an exception. You asked me what I saw when I looked at you. What do you see when you look at me?

Brian PlummerEdit

  • You had a nice funeral, in case you were wondering.
    You know, when they told Susan you were dead, she couldn't comprehend it. She said, "Oh, no. Not Robert." "And not from something as trivial as a car bomb." That you're alive … is a big relief. But it didn't come as a complete surprise to her. We used to talk about you over the years, and she said if anyone could have figured a way out, a way to walk away from it all for good, you know, like a real fresh start … it would have been … You.

Susan PlummerEdit

  • You didn't take out five pimps, Robert. You took out the East Coast hub of Vladimir Pushkin. … He's similar to the oligarchs who jumped in bed with the Russian mafia, only he funds everything: gasoline, weapons, girls, you name it. He's built an intricate network on both U.S. coasts that are incredibly well-insulated. His money and political ties make him untouchable. Your friend here is who Pushkin sends when he's got a problem. Teddy Rensen — real name, Nicolai Itchenko. Skill set honed in Spetsnaz. He's formidable and smart. Ran a wing of the secret police for years. Went private when the Union fell. Basically, he's a sociopath with a business card.
  • Robert, I don't have to tell you what happens next. He won't stop until he kills you and anyone you care about.
  • Sometimes we make the wrong choices to get to the right place. I know a part of you died when Vivian did. But not the part she loved the most. Go be him.

Teddy Rensen / Nicolai ItchenkoEdit

  • A man with his skills, I want to know who he really is. I want to know who he's working for.
  • When you look at me... what do you see?
    The answer's nothing. … I have no feelings about you one way or the other. You're like... like lint or a bottle cap. You're just a thing to remove.
  • You think you know me? You strike me as a sentimental man, Mr. McCall. That's surprising. I... I don't possess that chip. I never could understand what comes from feeling that way, except weakness.


You and I know what I really am.
Robert McCall: I was a Pip.
Jay: You were a pimp?
Robert McCall: No, not a pimp, a Pip. "P - I - P", Pip.
Jay: What the fuck is a Pip?
Robert McCall: Why you got to curse so much? You know, like Gladys Knight & the Pips? Like this. [starts dancing]

Robert McCall: [explaining the ending of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, which he was just finishing] Old man tied the fish to the side of the boat, had to row back to shore, fish bled in the water, sharks came and ate the whole fish till there was nothing left.
Teri/Alina: That's just kind of a waste, isn't it?
Robert McCall: Depends upon how you look at it. The old man met his adversary when he thought that part of his life was over. He saw himself in the fish. Came to... Came to respect it the more it fought.
Teri/Alina: Why didn't he just let the fish go?
Robert McCall: The old man's gotta be the old man. Fish gotta be the fish. Got to be who you are in this world, no matter what.

Ralphie: I'm not strong enough.
Robert McCall: Don't doubt yourself, son. Doubt kills.

Teri/Alina: I'm Teri.
Robert: Bob. …
Teri/Alina: You know, you don't look like a Bob.
Robert: Yeah?
Teri/Alina: You look like a Robert. Robert reads books like this and Bob watches TV... My real name's Alina.
Robert: What happened to your face?
Alina: Someone stupid. [after an uncomfortable pause, she get's out a CD of her singing] Okay, it's not professional. Just tell me what you think, okay?
Robert: Wow. Alina the singer.
Alina: You and I know what I really am.
Robert: I think you can be anything you wanna be.
Alina: Maybe in your world, Robert. Doesn't happen that way in mine.
Robert: Change your world.

Alina: You know, I see a lot of widowed guys. Something in your eyes. You know, it's not sad. It's just kind of... lost, you know? You always read books?
Robert: My wife did. She... She was working through the 100 Books Everybody Should Read. She made it to 97, so I figured I'd give it a shot. And one day we'd have something to talk about. We'd get together.

Alina: I love being up at this hour.
Robert: Yeah?
Alina: Yeah. You know, everything's so dark. It makes everything seem possible again.
Robert: Yeah, me, I can't sleep at night.
Alina: Yeah, well, I get to hear your stories. What's your new one about?
Robert: It's about a guy who thinks he's a knight in shining armor. The only thing is he lives in a world where knights don't exist anymore.
Alina: Kind of sounds like my world.

Ralphie: [asking about Robert's injured hand] What happened?
Robert McCall: I hit it on something stupid.

Vladimir Pushkin: Who are you?
Robert McCall: Everybody wants to know. …
Vladimir Pushkin: What do you want?
Robert McCall: I want the head of the snake.
Vladimir Pushkin: So it's you. And now you've come to kill me.
Robert McCall: Yes.
Vladimir Pushkin: And tell me, what do you gain from my death?
Robert McCall: Peace.


  • The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.
    • This appears on the opening placard, attributing it to Mark Twain, but no published attributions have as yet been located prior to two in 2014, the year in which this movie was released: Reset Your Life Path: Find Your Purpose, Change the World (2014) by Mark Gelhaus, p. 39; and "Step Four : Find Your Purpose, and Forty Days to Breakthrough (2014) by Skye McKenzie, Ch. 38 Day Thirty-eight: Anointed and Sent…, p. 87


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