6.1/10
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Lakeview Terrace (2008)

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Based on a true story, a troubled and racist African-American L.A.P.D. Officer will stop at nothing to force out a friendly interracial couple who just moved in next door to him.

Director:

Neil LaBute

Writers:

David Loughery (screenplay), Howard Korder (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel L. Jackson ... Abel Turner
Patrick Wilson ... Chris Mattson
Kerry Washington ... Lisa Mattson
Ron Glass ... Harold Perreau
Justin Chambers ... Donnie Eaton
Jay Hernandez ... Javier Villareal
Regine Nehy ... Celia Turner
Jaishon Fisher ... Marcus Turner
Robert Pine ... Captain Wentworth
Keith Loneker ... Clarence Darlington
Caleeb Pinkett ... Damon Richards
Robert Dahey ... Jung Lee Pak
Ho-Jung ... Sang Hee Pak
Dallas Raines Dallas Raines ... TV Weatherman
Michael Tighe ... Manager (as Michael Sean Tighe)
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Storyline

In California, the Caucasian Chris Mattson and his African-American wife Lisa Mattson move to a house in a gated community. The racist and dysfunctional next-door neighbor is the abusive LAPD Officer Abel Turner who feels uncomfortable with the relationship of the newcomers and transforms their lives into Hell on Earth. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What could be safer than living next to a cop?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lakeview Terrace See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,004,672, 21 September 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$39,263,506, 2 November 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A Google Earth Street View camera car photographed the cul-de-sac during production. Users could view North Deer Creek Drive in Walnut, California, using Street View, to see film crew and set hardware in place. The street view image has now been updated to a newer version at a later date. See more »

Goofs

When Chris introduces himself, he says he came out to Berkeley from Chicago to accept a lacrosse scholarship. UC Berkeley has only a club lacrosse team for men, and does not offer scholarships. See more »

Quotes

Harold Perreau: The way it seems to me, the man never made an actual threat against your life or property. So it's his word against yours. And he has, let's say, the color issue on his side. And that color happens to be blue.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: James Franco/Kings of Leon (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Dot
Written by Beyoncé (as Beyonce Knowles), Errol "Poppi" McCalla
Performed by Destiny's Child
Courtesy of Columiba Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
starts out strong and captivating... and then its motivations run dry and the drama turns to ill metaphors
22 September 2008 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

I'm sure Neil LaBute is a talented director- I've enjoyed both Your Friends and Neighbors and the criminally underrated Nurse Betty (not seen In the Company of Men or Shape of Things, but heard great things about both, not so much the Wicker Man redux)- and Lakeview Terrace occasionally flashes some moments that reveal his understanding of the subject matter at hand. Other times, he just lets the screenwriters do it for him, and it turns out far less fascinating or really disturbing as it could have been. Early on the story speaks its promise: a conservative LA cop- yes, conservative first and foremost as one notes the character's disdain for democrats or just liberalism in general- played by Sam Jackson sees a white guy (Patrick Wilson) and black woman (Kerry Washington) move in. From the get-go there's hostility, if at first more subtle and just annoying. And there's some possible questions that could be raised in the course of the running time of the picture, if just as possibilities.

But the problem, very soon to see, is that everything that motivates Jackson's character to act the way he does becomes twisted around a plot contrivance. I won't spoil it (not to really shield you from it, just because it's not worth it if you intend on seeing it), but something from Abel's history that shouldn't be so blatant and be more ambiguous or allow Jackson as an actor some room for subtlety or room for interpretation is shoved down our collective gullets. One might wish that there would be more room for three-dimensionality in general, but at best we get just 2D and at worst it's basically one continuous drumming beat until we almost kind of dread Jackson's character coming in on Wilson and Washingtons' scenes, not so much because he's supposed to be menacing but because it throws off the flow of the story. It's not even that Jackson is bad in the performance, on the contrary he does the best he can and sometimes does bring that flash or just flinch of the face that reminds us how good an actor he can be.

LaBute can't figure out entirely how to proceed with a highly charged drama, however, without a heavy-handed metaphorical device. It is a fact that the Southern California has been a hot-bed of wildfires spreading all about, destroying lots of pricey property and leveling to waste millions (maybe billions) of dollars of revenue. The tactic here in Lakeview Terrace is to take that symbol of fire burning down a city and transplant it into the burning down of racial bonding and peace and yada yada, and it's not really a metaphor/symbol/whatever that hits right away - but when it does, yikes is it an over-bearing claptrap made especially for the climax (I was almost pining for that also hackneyed Haggis formula of crashes in Crash).

And, again, motivation and really well-defined characters end up sinking this after the promising first act; as soon as Abel's agitation turns to practically psychotic behavior, it's hard to actually connect with this past something out of a horror movie. And I don't mean that as something for a cathartic reaction or other. Wilson and Washingtons' characters don't help much either as we're privy to a contrived sub-plot involving an "unintentional" pregnancy (not to mention Jackson's own semi-interesting sub-plot with him screwing up on the force). By the end it turns to being laughable as a quasi-revenge quasi-what-the-hell treatise on uneasy racial relations where just some more hints of unintentional racism, as opposed to just the sinister presence of big-bad-black-*cop*, might be an advantage. 5.5/10


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