Lakeview Terrace

2008

Lakeview Terrace

Critics Consensus

This thriller about a menacing cop wreaking havoc on his neighbors is tense enough but threatens absurdity when it enters into excessive potboiler territory.

44%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 163

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 139,038
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Lakeview Terrace Photos

Movie Info

An interracial couple moves into their California dream home, only to find themselves the target of their volatile next-door neighbor -- a racist LAPD officer -- in this tightly wound thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington. Newlyweds Chris and Lisa seem like they have the perfect marriage and now, with their new home in the exclusive community Lakeview Terrace, the perfect life as well, but things soon turn ugly in the posh neighborhood when they begin to receive threats from their neighbor Abel, a middle-aged LAPD officer who has obvious objections to the couple's interracial marriage. What starts as an attitude problem soon morphs into full-on harassment, and before long the couple finds that their worries go far beyond their property values -- or the encroaching California wildfire burning in view of their community -- as they begin to fear for their lives.

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Cast

Samuel L. Jackson
as Abel Turner
Patrick Wilson
as Chris Mattson
Kerry Washington
as Lisa Mattson
Ron Glass
as Harold Perreau
Justin Chambers
as Donnie Eaton
Jay Hernandez
as Javier Villareal
Regine Nehy
as Celia Turner
Jaishon Fisher
as Marcus Turner
Robert Pine
as Capt. Wentworth
Keith Loneker
as Clarence Darlington
Caleeb Pinkett
as Damon Richards
Robert Dahey
as Jung Lee Pak
Ho-Jung
as Sang Hee Pak
Dallas Raines
as TV weatherman
Valeri Ross
as old woman
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News & Interviews for Lakeview Terrace

Critic Reviews for Lakeview Terrace

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (43)

  • The yawning chasm between the film's aspirations to social significance and its cheese-o-licious straight-to-video construction make it a chucklesome guilty pleasure.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 2/6
  • It's a terrifically unstable performance that is admirably matched by the exasperated victims. The ending is too allegorical for its own health, but this is intelligent cinema.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • From certain angles, Lakeview Terrace may look neurotic or even reactionary, but I found it bracingly tactless, particularly because interracial couples are still something of a taboo in modern Hollywood.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Happily, it's not only a return to form for the one-time Mormon and agent provocateur, it also offers Samuel L Jackson his first decent part in years.

    Dec 5, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie is directed by Neil LaBute, whose history suggests he's comfortable making his audience just uncomfortable enough to make a lasting impression.

    Nov 7, 2008
  • I found it scary at times and I was tense and I was on the edge of my seat, , but ultimately it did spiral out of control and get a little ridiculous.

    Nov 7, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lakeview Terrace

  • Apr 03, 2019
    Jackson is solid in the lead and provides an interesting, but flawed character. The issue I have with the film is the weak thriller aspect. Sony has a genre style of films that are very similar and focus on ethnic divide. This is a passable thriller and lacks depth, not something you will hold onto after the end credits. Jackson is the key and Wilson attempts to inject himself into the action. Very predictable and clichà (C) riddled. I honestly think a dark comedy version of this might work, this film takes everything way to serious. 03/04/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Apr 28, 2018
    You know, Samuel L. Jackson is a special actor. In fact, he reminds me somewhat of Kevin Spacey (minus the scandals that have destroyed his career, rightfully so). What I mean by that is that when Samuel L. Jackson is on, there's very few other actors that can touch him. I firmly believe that about Mr. Jackson. The intensity and presence that he brings to each role, when he's inspired, is not necessarily unparalleled, but there's things he does better than even the most elite of actors. Jackson gives off the presence of someone you simply don't fuck with better than, really, almost anyone else. But, the other side of the coin, is that when Jackson is uninspired, or he simply takes a role for the paycheck, you will not find a more bored actor alive. This is why I think he can be compared to Kevin Spacey, who fit that same mold. Mr. Jackson has done a lot of low-budget action flicks, which I've never seen because, somehow, I just don't go for low-budget DTV action movies. I did see Meeting Evil, which featured him and Luke Wilson, and I remember him giving an incredibly uninspired performance. This is a shame because, honestly, I don't think Samuel Jackson gets as much credit as he deserves for being a tremendous actor that brings a lot to the table when he's really into a role. Do I think he's one of the best of all time? No, but I do think that he was robbed of a Oscar nomination (and win) for, what might be, his best performance in Django Unchained. That's just my opinion, but if you disagree then you are just wrong. You couldn't be more wronger about anything in your life. As far as this movie is concerned, however, where does it fall in comparison to Jackson's best? Obviously, this is not his best performance, but I definitely think it's underappreciated because, quite frankly, I thought Mr. Jackson gave a phenomenal performance here. Yes, the character is definitely one-dimensional. But that shouldn't take away from the fact that Samuel did about as great a job as I've seen anyone, in recent memory, of making me hate himYou know, Samuel L. Jackson is a special actor. In fact, he reminds me somewhat of Kevin Spacey (minus the scandals that have destroyed his career, rightfully so). What I mean by that is that when Samuel L. Jackson is on, there's very few other actors that can touch him. I firmly believe that about Mr. Jackson. The intensity and presence that he brings to each role, when he's inspired, is not necessarily unparalleled, but there's things he does better than even the most elite of actors. Jackson gives off the presence of someone you simply don't fuck with better than, really, almost anyone else. But, the other side of the coin, is that when Jackson is uninspired, or he simply takes a role for the paycheck, you will not find a more bored actor alive. This is why I think he can be compared to Kevin Spacey, who fit that same mold. Mr. Jackson has done a lot of low-budget action flicks, which I've never seen because, somehow, I just don't go for low-budget DTV action movies. I did see Meeting Evil, which featured him and Luke Wilson, and I remember him giving an incredibly uninspired performance. This is a shame because, honestly, I don't think Samuel Jackson gets as much credit as he deserves for being a tremendous actor that brings a lot to the table when he's really into a role. Do I think he's one of the best of all time? No, but I do think that he was robbed of a Oscar nomination (and win) for, what might be, his best performance in Django Unchained. That's just my opinion, but if you disagree then you are just wrong. You couldn't be more wronger about anything in your life. As far as this movie is concerned, however, where does it fall in comparison to Jackson's best? Obviously, this is not his best performance, but I definitely think it's underappreciated because, quite frankly, I thought Mr. Jackson gave a phenomenal performance here. Yes, the character is definitely one-dimensional. But that shouldn't take away from the fact that Samuel did about as great a job as I've seen anyone, in recent memory, of making me hate him. I really do mean that. He was fantastic here and I think his performance doesn't get noticed as much simply because, quite frankly, the movie isn't that great to begin with. Having aside that, the neighbor from hell trope has been used many times in the past. If there's one good thing that the hurricane Maria, which destroyed Puerto Rico last year, is that it forced us closer to our neighbors. Let's just say that, for the most part, there was no talking between us...for a variety of reasons. The hurricane changed all that and, honestly, it was the only good thing the hurricane brought. With that said, now that we've left this part of our lives behind and we're moving on, after five months without electricity, one of my neighbors has been inconsiderate towards us. There's also some behavioral issues that have forced me to stop socializing as much with this person. Obviously, my neighbor's level of inconsideration doesn't amount to 10% of Abel's actions in this movie, but it's something that I can somewhat relate to. I feel that most of you can relate to aspects of this since, again, Abel is pretty detestable. I know I said the movie wasn't exactly great and that's why Jackson's performance here has been forgotten, relatively speaking, but as a B-tier movie offering B-movie thrills, this is a perfectly decent movie. Story is simple enough, Abel feuds with his new neighbor, who just so happen to be an interracial couple. Chris is white and Lisa, his wife, is black. He instantly dislikes these two for this very reason. The feuding between the two starts out very 'innocently' with Abel's security lights shining into Chris and Lisa's bedroom. As the story moves along, so does the feuding with Abel interjecting himself more and more in his neighbor's lives. Perhaps the biggest problem I had with the movie is the fact that Abel's reasons for doing what he's doing are so absurd. He's obviously meant to be portrayed as an unstable individual who feels the need to control every situation his way and his alone. He doesn't let his kids express themselves how they want, etc, etc. I get that. But I still found his reasoning flawed. So, basically, his wife died in a car accident while she was driving somewhere with her boss, a honky, who also died. Her reasoned that they must have been having affair because, otherwise, why would she be in a car with her boss at that particular time. Her death probably sent him in a downward spiral, but I felt that the character needed more than just that. Hell, I feel that the alternative of it being teased throughout the movie that Abel doesn't like them because they're an interracial couple, but he's just a maniac who just doesn't like them, nothing to do with the fact they're an interracial couple, to be more satisfying. Who knows, maybe I would have complained if that had been the case. Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess. But again, I'm not gonna call this a good movie, but it offers adequate B-level thrills and solid performances from every surrounding Jackson. Abel escalates things by forcing one of his snitches to break into Chris and Lisa's house, to rob the place so they'll, maybe, pack their bags and leave for good. Things go wrong, naturally, and Lisa (who's pregnant) is put in danger and is sent to the hospital. Abel kills the snitch in order to cover up his involvement. Chris is thankful for what Abel did until, later, he finds out that he was involved in it. This is when the film climaxes and it's set against the backdrop of a forest fire that's been raging towards them the entire film. You knew it had to be something like that, given the way they focus so much on the fire spreading throughout the flick. I think perhaps, given everything that's gone on in the decade after this movie's release, it might be a little tone-deaf, but it worked at the time. Not a bad movie, but I think its story's limitations are apparent. That said, however, this is still a surprisingly decent little movie with an incredible performance from Samuel Jackson. Not one of his best, but definitely one of his most underrated. If there's a reason to watch this movie, it's because of him and him alone. That's how good he is.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Feb 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.
    Josh M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 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.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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