The continuum mechanics framework for analyzing plastic flow localization is reviewed. The prediction of the localization of deformation into shear bands is sensitive to the constitutive description. The classical isotropic hardening elastic-plastic solid with a smooth yield surface and normality is very resistant to localization, but deviations from these idealizations have a strong effect. Thus, a material that forms a sharp vertex on the yield surface, as predicted by crystal plasticity, shows flow localization at quite realistic levels of strain, and even the formation of a rounded vertex on the yield surface has an important influence. Also softening induced by material damage or by the heating due to plastic dissipation have significant influence in promoting the onset of flow localization. In a practical situation one effect, such as thermal softening under high deformation rates, may be the dominant cause of localization, but often the interaction of different effects appears to be the more realistic explanation of observed flow localization. Some relevant constitutive models are reviewed and the effect of the different material models on localization predictions is illustrated. Important information on localization behavior in uniformly strained solids is obtained by a relatively simple material stability analysis, but often failure by flow localization occurs in nonuniformly strained regions, where numerical solution procedures are necessary to obtain theoretical predictions. The numerical results reviewed cover localization under dynamic as well as quasi-static loading conditions.