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Lakeview Terrace Reviews

Page 1 of 259
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 3, 2014
Lakeview Terrace tries to show a different side to racism than most are used to by having a black man persecute a white neighbour. It fails spectacularly. Not only does the film show our black man (Samuel L Jackson) as having white friends, but it somehow suggests that the only way to prove a white man ( Patrick Wilson in this case) isn't racist is by having him marry a black woman. What the film does suggest is that the LAPD is corrupt and full of very nasty individuals, and that people of all colours and creeds should unite against the Police force of the United States of America. There are some good cops however, they save the day right at the end. They're all white though. Doh! Made by the people that brought you the Wicker Man remake, need I say more?
Josh M

Super Reviewer

February 14, 2013
'Lakeview Terrace' is a worthwhile but flawed thriller about racial politics played out in an idyllic multi-cultural LA bedroom community. It's like a chamber version of Paul Haggis' Crash, with a more focused, smaller scale story. I rented it due to my admiration for director Neil LaBute's dark writing skills both on stage and screen. Though he did not write this one, it did reflect his questioning and often perverse take on human relationships.

Interracial couple Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson move into to a mixed and apparently tension free subdivision, their nearest neighbor is a widowed LA patrol cop and his two teens. That cop, Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson), anchors the film in a typically galvanic and menacing performance. He does not approve of the races mixing (for hidden reasons of his own, I won't go to spoiler alert) and surreptitiously does everything he can to terrorize them and undermine their relationship. Jackson will literally do anything, regardless of morality to mess up the lives of this couple.

Wilson and Washington play more complex and less 'goody two shoes' characters than you would expect in more cliched film. Their marriage is presented as having cracks before they arrived in the neighborhood, caused by a combination of character differences and the corrosive effects of society's lack of acceptance of their marriage. Neither actor plays sweet ingenue roles, which is to the film's credit.

Yet, because of the above point, I didn't care whether this couple stayed together or broke up and that is an almost fatal flaw. Hence, we have much less to root for in the course of the film and as a result, the first hour of set up is much more interesting than the last hour of denouement, where the film breaks down in gratuitous action and mayhem scenes, particularly in the gun blazing climax.

Jackson's a mesmerizing presence and plays a very dark and unusual character. Still, I was never convinced or understood his reverse racism, even though it's explained with a lame plot detail at the end concerning his late wife. Look for a nice turn by Regina Nehy as Jackson's intelligent and questioning teen daughter, she does very lovely work here.

In some ways LT works better than its sister movie 'Crash' since it has less ambition and more narrowly focused. However, after hour one it bogs down in unconvincing plot points and gratuitous complications involving crazy and unbelievable scheming on the part of Abel. The film is workmanlike in its technical aspects and is very well paced. It's worth a rental on a rainy or snowy night.

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2010
A very well made and well paced thriller that has Samuel L. Jackson giving his all as the racial next door neighbour. The tension that builds up throughout the film goes to the extreme and back, giving you a sense of fear. There are many foreshadows to enjoy and great moments of backstory that really makes you feel for the characters before you reach the intense conclusion. "Lakeview Terrace" has everything you could ask for from a thriller, and more. I feel that this is a very underrated film for many reasons. It's great entertainment!
Phil H

Super Reviewer

April 10, 2009
Really well acted flick, everyone is really good in their roles and makes the film very believeable and worth while. Jackson is very good as a racist cop and pretty eerie too, you never know quite what he's gonna do. The whole look and feel of the film is good too, the hot summer, sweaty atmosphere, tension between the neighbours etc....
I did expect alittle more action on the racist front hehe or some really heated verbal maybe but it didn't quite materialise, still good though, not over done and with a good ending.

You know this kind of thing happens all over the place and all the time which makes it very interesting and easy to relate too which in turn makes the film very powerful.

Super Reviewer

November 1, 2011
Samuel; L. Jackson gives one of the best performances of his career in Lakeview Terrace. This is a well crafted thriller that will you keep you on the edge of your seat. Neil Labute, who previously directed the dreadful Wicker Man remake, doesn't do a bad here, which is surprising. Sure, there are things that could have been improved upon, but for what it is; Lakeview Terrace is an entertaining thriller. I was very much surprised by the film, and I didn't think I would enjoy it. But I was pleasantly surprised. Lakeview Terrace may not be a great film, but it most certainly is entertaining enough for you to spend a good two hours. Samuel L. Jackson gives a tense performance as Abel Turner, the racist cop who torments an interracial couple. Lakeview Terrace has enough thrills from start to finish Sure Lakeview Terrace is not the best thriller out there, but for what it is, I think it's a pretty good film that is pretty underrated. I don't see why the film got the flack it did. I thought that the plot was well conceived, and despite its flaws, was very engaging and kept you on the edge of your seat. Lakeview Terrace overall is a good film and is a must see if you enjoy a good thriller. I enjoyed the fact that the film had a slightly different angle on the race issue, and Neil Labute was able to make a film that takes a new approach to the issue, and make it believable enough to create some genuinely tense scenes. A very good film that is underrated.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2008
This thriller takes quite a new approach to the theme of racism, this time it is a black guy disliking his newly moved in mixed neighbor couple. And that set up makes for some wonderfully uncomfortable scenes and a somewhat eerie atmosphere, what with the forest fires slowly approaching the street. Jackson has plenty of scenes that give ambiguity to his character, keeping it from becoming the stereotype psychopath neighbor. We even get glimpses into the reason behind his behavior, but sadly, those aspects are not entirely fleshed out. Unfortunately, the showdown fulfills the stereotypes you expect from such films instead of taking a different route. That's wasting a lot of opportunities to end this unexpectedly or to keep the racist cop ambiguous. Not a bad film by any means, but after all too much restrained in the bounds of the genre.

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2009
A young married couple move into their new home and make an enemy of the overbearing and overprotective cop who lives next door. Lakeview Terrace is very much a mainstream Hollywood thriller that pretty much exists solely for Sam Jackson fans to get their jollies watching him act like an asshole. Its very familiar formula of neighbour-from-hell also skirts around race issues as the couple in question are mixed race (I can only assume things are a bit different socially in America as this wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Britain in this day and age) but the fact that it all revolves around feeling sorry for the trials of a middle class white man feels a little too "Michael Douglas" to extract any real sympathy from me. Technically, it's a solidly made film with decent performances but it's all a little too over familiar and contrived (particularly the lazy ending) to rate as anything more than watchable. One for the middle class parents of all the wiggas who loved Training Day I suspect.

Super Reviewer

August 30, 2010
Lakeview Terrace is a pretty bland movie. The film is basically about a married couple (with different ethnic backgrounds) who are being stalked/terrorized by their next door neighbor who is a police officer. There is no real action until the very last half hour or so.

The plot of the film is very weak. It seems that the neighbor problem really isn't a problem. Instead of dealing with the psychotic neighbor themselves, they should have called the police and filed a *Restraining Order*. All their problems could've been solved! The characters in this movie are so stubborn and stupid, they are very hard to like. The husband has a temper problem and only makes matters worse when it comes to the neighbor issue. I really hate stupid characters in movies- and Lakeview Terrace has nothing but dumb characters.

The script and acting also were not the best I have ever seen. "Could you keep it down? We're trying to sleep." "Well, we're trying to get hammered!" *obnoxious laugh*. Really? There were also many unnecessary characters like Jay Hernandez' role. I absolutely love Hernandez, but his role did not fit in this movie at all. Hernandez played the racist cop's partner. Hernandez witnesses the cop's questionable behavior many times throughout the film, yet he doesn't tell anyone. Why is he even involved in the storyline, if he doesn't contribute anything to it? The least he could do is get suspicious of the cop's actions or file a complaint against him or something. That would've made the movie a lot more interesting.

This movie is very bland. It includes a lot of racial references throughout the film. It becomes really obnoxious after the first few references. We all understand the cop is racist.....can we move on now? It's a boring film. Nothing major happens until the last half hour.

If you are planning on watching this movie, please don't. It's an incredible waste of time.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2008
Odd and not very interesting... predictable and slow.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

December 4, 2008
Okay. I expected something a little more dramatic, but did pick up towards the end.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2010
It is incredibly dumb, but I had a lot of fun watching it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. The acting isn't bad and that is why I think it's sort of hard to understand, because the plot is almost too outlandish to register. The reverse racism is done so bad and the tension between neighbors is just hilarious. The chainsaw/rake battle over bushes and forced bachelor party are some person favorite scenes of mine.
Megan S

Super Reviewer

January 23, 2010
It was okay. I was mad the whole time and yelled at the TV a lot.

Super Reviewer

October 8, 2009
The racial underpinnings of this film are not shocking in the slightest (though some might find the role reversal a "revelation"). To me, what was truly at the core of this film was the abuse of power; how Jackson's charactor so often hid behind his badge (and even that was muddied by his getting called on the carpet over his handling of a thug who twice shot at he and his partner with a shotgun).

While there were certain paranoid aspects and a feeling of being trapped by this lovely "neighbor", ultimately any film credit that had been developed disolves into a farcical last half hour with absurd action and set scenes that defy all logic. Jackson's shooting of his informant was unnecessary and begins a downward spiral where he continues to do things that make no sense (he's devious, not a power crazed maniac).

All too often bad behavior gets swept away by "I'm just having a bad day" - uh huh, use it like a get out of jail free card - absolved of all sin. And all too often, especially in the last half hour, scenes are contrived and set up; with chance meetings that attempt to rachet up the tension, but end up coming across as weak or absurd (the entire scene at the local bar for example: it does nothing other than give Jackson the opportunity to reveal why he really hates the mixed marriage).

The final scenes, set against the smoky backdrop of fire, may be good camera work, but becomes totally Hollywood laughable. What a waste of potential.
Dean !

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2009
A good thriller about a black racist cop who happens to be the neighbour from hell for a young inter-racial couple. It's an enjoyable film and the tension between the two lead characters is good as the incidents between them escalate throughout the film. It reaches a predictable conclusion in a bit of a rush towards the end, but it's still a worthy watch.
James A

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2009
Its nice to see a Lifetiime Originals script making it into the theaters.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2009
A slow, plodding "thriller" which features an outstanding lead performance from Samuel L. Jackson, but not much else. The hatred put forth by Jackson's character is like an ex-boyfriend trying to break up his ex with her current boyfriend. Wilson and Washington are good as the couple, and are colored reasonably well, sadly they're caught in a script with weird plot holes, and a really overblown ending that you'd think you'd only see in some Arnold movie. LaBute has some good ideas, such as bringing the fires in California that strike every year into the picture, sadly they just remain ideas, and don't really develop into anything that influences the plot heavily.

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2009
This isnt a bad thriller but sometimes i get annoyed with movies like this maybe because of my own ignrance or something but its good but as i dont realy see the problem in an interracial relationship so to see the problem in the cop (samual l jackson) its just annoying!
But other than that its an alright thriller much to be desired though as it doesnt keep you on the edge of you seat like i thought it miight do but it does keep you interested!
samual l jackson plays a cop who is old fashioned strict and a single dad and when an interracial couple move in next door they become his whole world by annoying them harrassing them and being a pain in the arse you do find out why he may not like 'white guys' but its no accuse!
Worth a Watch i guess!
Jani H

Super Reviewer

July 23, 2009
"You guys are lucky. You have a cop living next door."

Samuel L. Jackson truly is something above the average. He's not the most talented actor in the business but there's something about him.. Without Jackson in the cast, I would never have seen this film. I've always enjoyed his work, not that I've seen each and every title from his filmography, and you could call him a so called scene stealer.

Jackson plays Abel Turner, a rugged LAPD officer. When he's not on duty, he'll be doing some neighborhood watch instead. With his wife dead, he has two kids that he has to take care of. A married interracial couple moves to the house next door. From the start, Turner takes them as his targets, disapproving their lifestyle, thus trying to make their lives as miserable as possible. The confrontations will turn tragic in the end. Who will suffer more?

This film lives and breathes Sam Jackson. Without him, this film would be just another average thriller that would be forgotten instantly. Jackson is a force of nature, giving one of the best performances I've seen him do in recent years. He gives a raw, full of emotion, performance that will surely please those who are fans of him. Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington, who play the harassed couple, give also good performances but the script doesn't give them that much to work on. It's all about Turner's character and the rage he lives with.

'Lakeview Terrace' doesn't reinvent the genre or anything, in the end it is another predictable decent thriller. But the reason why this film should be seen is the powerful performance given by the baddest muthafucker out there. There's enough tension and, in overall, good realistic performances by the lead cast that make this film worth a look.

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2009
This pitch is Changing Lanes meets Unlawful Entry, but star-vehicle social drama and stalker thriller meld seamlessly for a thought-provoking, nail-biting evening. Samuel L. Jackson is a blast as the unstoppable screw-loose copper who'll do anything to rid the neighbourhood of the couple next door, and his scenes with good guy Patrick Wilson are a highlight, as is the novel backdrop of the Hollywood bushfires.
Thomas J

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2009
Sometimes you ask yourself, "Why would I want to see that movie?" ... sometimes it is "Why did I watch that movie?" This movie fits both questions. If you enjoy seeing anger and hatred played out for almost 2 hours then you may like this movie, but otherwise it is only a tension filled, hate and anger movie that has no possible outcome!
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