An ordinary man frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.
A film doesn't have to be great -- or even very good -- to be found important as a kind of cultural landmark. All it has to do is strike a nerve, and "Falling Down," director Joel Schumacher's hysterical movie editorial about a man stretched to the breaking point by the traumas of everyday life, certainly digs its instruments into our most sensitive social fibers.
— Hal Hinson (Washington Post)
Curiously enough, Hal Hinson (writing in early 1993), suggests that the movie was already "behind the cultural curve":
His character's lawlessness is founded on a combination of desperation and powerlessness. And while the forces of despair are still at work, that dead-end feeling of utter hopelessness appears, at least for the present, to have eased. While Douglas's Everyman is falling down, the country is getting up.
Falling Down [is] a version of Do the Right Thing in reverse about a white-collar white guy who’s Mad As Hell and taking it out on pre-millennial, multicultural Los Angeles.
— Adam Nayman (The Ringer)