Lakeview Terrace

Movies
2 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Though the connection is never mentioned explicitly, Lakeview Terrace is named for the Los Angeles district where Rodney King was beaten in 1991—the natural backdrop for this ungainly hybrid of Cape Fear and Crash. A yuppie couple (Wilson and Washington) moves to a diverse block next door to a widowed, vaguely militant police officer (Jackson), who claims to be out to protect the neighborhood but also seems a little hostile toward his neighbors’ interracial marriage. He’ll harass them, but always staying on one side of the law.

Furrowing his brow as if concentrating on a bench press, Jackson walks off with the film. Still, Lakeview Terrace might have been more coherent if his character were simply a man trying to do what he thought was right rather than a loose cannon even by LAPD standards. Neil LaBute didn’t write this film, and it shows; the attempts to tweak racial stereotypes are undermined by the schematics of David Loughery and Howard Korder’s screenplay—or perhaps the Hollywood committee-think imposed upon it. “What we need,” you picture an exec saying, “is a really dumb motivational backstory.” And so it goes that the movie’s careful ambiguities are shot to hell by dollar-book Freud. Lakeview Terrace is gripping, ambitious and, by the time it ends, quite stupid.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
PG-13
Release date:
Friday September 19 2008
Duration:
106 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Neil LaBute
Screenwriter:
David Loughery, Howard Korder
Cast:
Patrick Wilson
Kerry Washington
Samuel L Jackson
Ron Glass
Justin Chambers
Jay Hernandez
Regine Nehy
Jaishon Fisher

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