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Lakeview Terrace

Lakeview Terrace

Director:Neil LaBute
Cast:Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Jay Hernandez
Release Date:2008

By Corey Hall | Posted 9/24/2008

Can't we all just get along? Apparently not in Neil LaBute's universe, a singularly nasty realm where gender and race are fighting words and real-world divisions become bottomless chasms. Here LaBute turns his venom toward race relations, though the poison goes down slightly easier thanks to the standard-thriller coating. Samuel L. Jackson dominates as Abel Turner, a widowed veteran Los Angeles cop vainly attempting to protect his kids by remaking the world around them in his image. He's got rules--the first and most important one being "There are rules"--and anyone who fails to obey feels his wrath. Nobody told the progressive yuppie couple who moves into the McMansion next door. They're blissfully unaware that there's a viper in this suburban Eden, or that the simple nature of their relationship--she's black, he's white--is enough to set Abel off. At first hubby Chris (Patrick Wilson) tries to make nice, though his attempts are met with minor threats, taunts about "stealing brown sugar," and other less-than-friendly jibes. Wife Lisa (Kerry Washington) is less forgiving, but lets hubby do it his way, at least until the petty squabbles get very ugly. Where Lakeview Terrace goes from here is straight into a confrontation as generic as its title, a reminder that this is a genre picture complete with requisite phony fireworks and bloated violence.

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