Lakeview Terrace

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington. Thriller. Written by David Loughery, Howard Korder. Directed by Neil LaBute.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In Lakeview Terrace, a young couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) has just moved into their California dream home when they become the target of their next-door neighbor, who disapproves of their interracial relationship. A stern, single father, this tightly wound LAPD officer (Samuel L. Jackson) has appointed himself the watchdog of the neighborhood. His nightly foot patrols and overly watchful eyes bring comfort to some, but he becomes increasingly harassing to the newlyweds. These persistent intrusions into their lives ultimately turn tragic when the couple decides to fight back.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Intense to be sure, we see Sam Jackson at his best as the psycho cop with an innate ability to make life unpleasant for neighbors. The fact that his cheating wife died on the 101 with her white boss has made him, well, a little funny in the head about interracial couplings. Jacksons size is intimidating by itself, but couple this physique with his persona and his acting chops and you get a performance I hope wont be overlooked come awards season.

Director Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man, A Decade Under the Influence) keeps the pacing just right as he mounts the tension. Theres even a bit of symbolism as the storyline is coupled by an approaching Santa Ana-fueled fire that by films end looks like a holocaust.

Its gritty and unnerving, as anyone who ever had a nutty neighbor knows. But beware, it is violent, laced with objectionable language, and we are forced to view a reversal of prejudice. Bigotry is just as ugly when it comes from those who were once persecuted by its cancerous influence.

If you do not wish to support Lakeview Terrace due to the profanity, allow me to suggest a DVD Alternative: Rear Window. This Hitchcock classic may not have a racial element to it, but it does feature the worst neighbor of all time the guy who kills his wife and then any witnesses! Stuck in a wheel chair, a voyeuristic photographer (James Stewart) suspects the neighbor across the courtyard of murdering his own wife. Unable to move about, our hero must depend on his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to do the investigating.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There are several crude terms used for a Black woman, all by a Black man.

Obscene Language: The script and performances are peppered with the s-word, with the f-bomb also being well represented.

Profanity: Each lead character gets to profane Gods name or Christs.

Violence: There are a couple of killings by gunfire and a brutal climatic fight scene; there is an aura of hostility that exudes from Mr. Jacksons character; a man threatens to kill his family with a shotgun; the corrupted policeman then threatens to end his life. Blood: Some blood is seen when three people are shot; a woman is attacked in her home by a burglar.

Sex: The lead couple is seen frolicking in their swimming pool; the scene is overseen by the neighbor kids.

Nudity: None; we do see prostitutes dressed as police while doing erotic dancing at a bachelor party.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several crude sexual terms meant to unnerve a victim.

Drugs: Some social drinking and a wild bachelor party with several drunk policemen.

Other: Several cops are portrayed as corrupted by covering for their fellow officer; others in the department are seen as wanting to right these wrongs.

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Above

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