Critics Consensus: Lakeview Terrace Isn't Sturdy; Igor Lacks Brains

Plus, Ghost Town scares up laughs, and guess My Best Friend's Girl's Tomatometer!

This week at the movies, we've got an angry cop (Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson); a disgruntled hunchback (the CGI Igor, with voice work by John Cusack and Molly Shannon); a haunted dentist (Ghost Town, starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear); and a date from hell (My Best Friend's Girl, starring Dane Cook and Kate Hudson). What do the critics have to say?

Say what you will about the films of Neil LaBute, but give him this: while he rarely delivers a fun time at the movies, he's no slave to convention. Unfortunately, critics say Lakeview Terrace offers an intriguing setup before devolving into a routine thriller finale. Samuel L. Jackson stars as a strict, emotionally damaged LAPD who objects to his new neighbors' interracial marriage; after extensive harassment, the young couple (played by Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) fights back. Pundits say the problem with Lakeview Terrace is that it presents a realistic, charged scenario before jumping the rails in the final act, substituting smart characterization with generic vigilante tropes. At 36 percent on the Tomatometer, you may not want to visit Lakeview Terrace.


"Ugh, Sam's at it again.... chewing the scenery at three in the morning..."

It's one thing to make a macabre children's film; it's another to make one that doesn't deliver much entertainment. Critics say the film is something of a Frankenstein's monster, stitching together recycled parts from Shrek and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The titular hunchback (voiced by John Cusack) is tired of being a lowly lab assistant; he wants to be an evil scientist in his own right. But when one of his creations, a monster named Eva (Molly Shannon) turns out to be really sweet at heart, Igor begins to rethink his priorities. While the pundits say Igor has moments of Tim Burton-esque visual invention, it's a pretty mediocre affair, filled with shopworn pop-culture references and manic action but few laughs; plus, it's probably a bit too dark for the wee ones. At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, Igor could use more brains.


"You too can have your very own Contour Chair."

Ricky Gervais is a very funny man, but thus far, his movie career has consisted of supporting roles. However, with Ghost Town, the man who brought so much cringe-worthy wit to The Office and Extras takes center stage -- and the pundits say the result is delightful. Gervais stars as Bertram Pincus, who has a near-death experience and discovers he can see ghosts -- and they're pretty annoying, especially the caddish Frank (Greg Kinnear). But those specters are of some help, as Bertram learns to be a better person -- and find love in the process. The pundits say Ghost Town is a perfect fit for Gervais's talents, and the film emits awkward laughs and warmth without devolving into schmaltz. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, Ghost Town has plenty of blithe spirit. (Check out this week's Total Recall for a ghoulish compendium of some of our favorite cinematic apparitions.)


"For the last time, I am not pug-nosed!"

Given that it wasn't screened prior to release, it's unlikely critics will be BFFs with My Best Friend's Girl. Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, and Jason Biggs star in this romantic comedy about a guy who's so obnoxious he convinces potentially straying women to stand by their men -- before falling for his main homey's boo. Kids, call up you best friend's girl and ask her for insight in guessing the Tomatometer! (And don't forget to check out Dane Cook's five favorite movies here.)


"The woman you're replacing is very special. She won the GE Followship. Now send Tracey in."

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, quasi-props to fullmetal_medji for coming the closest to guessing Tyler Perry's the Family That Preys' 52 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:

Comments

fullmetal_medji

John Reese

Ghost Town looks pretty entertaining, so I think I'll take a chance on that. Lakeview Terrace looks really uninterseting to me and seems like its been done before. As for My best Friend's Girl, I liked Dane Cook in Mr. Brooks, but he just not funny.

My Best Friend's Girl - 17%

Sep 18 - 08:11 PM

danterandal19

Vince Osorio

I think "Ghost Town" looks smart and funny, but I doubt that it'll do big B.O.

I'm also really, really surprised that Ebert gave "Terrance" a four-star review; I thought the movie looked like junk, but I might give it a chance this weekend.

Oh and My Best Friends Girl- 9%.

Sep 18 - 08:44 PM

RE4P3R

Alejandro Marquez

No movies for me this week. I am still waiting on Spike Lee's Miracle at St Anna. However, I might slip in some money for Ghost Town, depending on my mood this weekend.

My Best Friend's Girl - 26%

Sep 18 - 09:34 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

Same here. 'Miracle at St. Anna' is at the top of my movie priority list. I'll probably see it three times just to throw money at it. So embarrassingly long overdue is this film.

Sep 21 - 12:38 PM

thereign

lance berry

"Samuel L. Jackson stars as a strict, emotionally damaged LAPD who objects to his new neighbors' interracial marriage..."

So Sammy L.'s playing the entire Los Angeles Police Department? Talk about a one man show! Did he get multiple paychecks for this role?

Great faux quote under the Lakeview Terrace pic, though!

My Best Friend's Girl - 5% Tomatometer, I say.

Sep 19 - 03:06 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol. Good one.

Sep 19 - 05:17 PM

schwal

andrew schwalenberg

best friends girl 1%

Sep 19 - 03:15 AM

medikboi_84

Kevan Brenay

My Best Friends Girl-10%

Sep 19 - 04:36 AM

AnthonyDidge

Anthony D

Best Friend's - 17%

Sep 19 - 05:45 AM

Havokdx

Jonathan Sabo

Best friend's-12%

Sep 19 - 09:11 AM

thobie1

Todd Hobart

MBFG: 13%. Not worth seeing, but not zero percent.

Sep 19 - 09:57 AM

Trainspotter17

Karl Leschinsky

I think it's maybe also worth pointing out that Roger Ebert gave Lakeview Terrace 4/4 stars.
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080918/REVIEWS/809180303

And that LaBute's In the Company of Men is a masterpiece. I have a feeling that 64% of critics are flat out wrong about Lakeview Terrace.

I mean... think how many Hitchcock movies begin with realistic characters in an interesting dramatic dilemma but ultimately end as brilliant action-thrillers that also work psychologically? Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, Rear Window. Just to name a few.

I trust LaBute (and Roger Ebert) enough to have faith Lakeview Terrace is in that Hitchcockian tradition.

Sep 19 - 11:53 AM

thereign

lance berry

Just saw Lakeview Terrace. It's NOT in the Hitchcockian tradition.

Sep 19 - 02:31 PM

SplendidIsolation

Rick King

Best Friend's Girl-6%

Sep 19 - 12:47 PM

JeremySolliePictures

Jeremy Sulle

Best Friends Girl- 12%

Sep 19 - 01:46 PM

thereign

lance berry

Just saw Lakeview Terrace. It's NOT in the Hitchcockian tradition.

Sep 19 - 02:31 PM

hatingvindiesel

Daniel Satué

My best friend's girl: 0 %

Sep 19 - 02:50 PM

Ragalar

Joey Z

The trailer for lakeview terrance is probably going to turn many people off from it, but I can tell you it definitely hasn't been done before as its a thriller about race relations makeing the african american the crazy racist. The critics seem to be acknowledging that the film does a good job with race relave Laations but is too much of a "conventional thriller." Because heaven forbid a film can be smart and entertaining. Ebert, who seems to be writing better reviews ever since he left the show, Lakeview Terrance a four star review and his review made more sense than any other critics. I'll see the film this week-end and judge for myself

Sep 19 - 03:42 PM

Speaker for the Films

Matthew Legarreta

Best friend's girl-8%

Sep 19 - 04:38 PM

halose7en

Peter Kaplan

Best Friend's Girl - 11%

Sep 19 - 04:59 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol. Good one.

Sep 19 - 05:17 PM

sliknik27

Nick Langan

"Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in a tale of a noblewoman who plays by her own rules, is at 61 percent."

That sounds like something I would write in an effort keep movie-goers away from a Keira Knightley flick.

Sep 19 - 05:54 PM

rockclmbr6

Sean Doherty

Definitely seeing Ghost Town tomorrow. The premise isn't exactly the most original thing in the world, but the movie looks pretty smart and funny. Not to mention the great reviews.

My Best Friend's Girl-12%

Sep 19 - 08:32 PM

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