Before I continue, I’m going do this:
SPOILER WARNING!! GO WATCH THIS FILM BEFORE CONTINUING!!
Vigilantism is a complex beast. When it comes in the form of a traumatised billionaire with a cape, it’s the most awesome thing ever; when it’s a mob brandishing a noose, it’s much less so. Obviously these are two very different scenarios (and the fact that one is way more plausible than the other may be a big reason in the differing reception), but they both rely on a reaction to crime that everyone can understand, though few would have the gumption to pursue: why doesn’t someone just deal with it now? The Ox-Bow Incident is a film that looks at a story of the latter.