on 11 November 2009
Samuel Jackson is Abel, a black -tough as nails- cop, who is trying to cope with the recent death of his wife and raising his two children alone. A young mixed couple (black wife) moves nex door and tension starts to mount between neighbours. The reason behind the tension is the intolerance that Abel feels for what he deeply perceives as a "wrong" relationship between the married couple who has come to live next to him. What I find striking, and very well portrayed, is the contrast between the serious efforts made by the couple to befriend Abel, and the reaction to those efforts, which go in the opposite direction. Abel exudes "wrongness", paranoia, intolerance; he truly is alone, as his own kids detest him - still one cannot fail to feel for the loneliness of the character and the pain that can be seen seething through him. All the actions and reactions between the characters escalate towards an unforseeable finale, on the backdrop of a great bush fire that manaces to burn the entire neighbourhood. Very good performances from the actors involved, constant tension and deep characterization make this movie a pleasure to watch; it will leave you with a lot to think- or to discuss about- after watching it. The blue ray edition is good, with very crisp video quality and sound. I strongly recommend this movie.
on 9 October 2016
Totally gripping film had me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Samuel L Jackson played a very convincing role as a nightmare neighbour. Excellent performance from him and all the other actors. Highly recommended. 5 stars.
on 5 June 2009
Lets face it, when it comes to plum roles, Samuel L Jackson has not exactly had the pick of them as of late. I mean apart from his turn in Black Snake Moan, he has been pretty much playing caricatures of himself in movies such as the terrible Snakes on a Plane, and even worse, the Spirit. So it comes as a welcome change for him to land a role that he can really get his teeth into.
And get his teeth into the role of Abel Turner he does. Turner is an LAPD officer, a single father raising two kids after the death of his wife, who seems a rather uptight and extremely strict disciplinarian. When an apparently successful young mixed race couple Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa (Kerry Washington) move in next door, Turner is offended. This apparently average man has some less than average views, and begins a quiet and very subtle intimidation campaign against them. Thinking himself immune to the law (in one great scene where both we and Chris and Lisa know who broke into their garage and damaged their car, the laughing villain sits on a police car and jokes with his cop buddies) Abel begins jabbing at Chris with his slightly passive but soon very aggressive racial views, something that soon becomes impossible for the couple to ignore.
You are probably thinking you have seen this kind of thing before, what with such home invasion thrillers as Unlawful Entry and Pacific Heights, but what lifts this movie above its more obvious relatives is both Jackson's performance and the subtle way the film subverts your expectations. Jackson gives Abel Turner a believability and a depth of character that makes him into something more than a mere hate filled racist. Abel is apparently charming and well liked by the rest of the neighbourhood, a respected cop and a father of two, who's racist asides seem at first shocking but not threatening. Even when the racism turns obvious and ugly, Turners clever way of throwing his victims of the scent by defusing the situation with apologies and contrition makes him all the more threatening. And whilst there is no doubt that he is the monster of the film, Jackson manages to make him both sad and tragic, as well as maybe even a little sympathetic. On top of this his racism is not simply generated by hate (although that does come into this poisonous mix), but as far as Turner is concerned he has a very good reason for his views, and when we learn this fact late on in the film, it does not excuse his actions, but does make them a lot more believable.
The film also plays with our expectations in several neat ways. Whilst Chris and Lisa are the victims of Turners racist abuse, Turner sees himself as the victim (Chris and Lisa have invaded his territory, they break his rules), and the film plays on this to good effect (in particular in one squirm inducing scene when Chris and Lisa have a party and invite Turner over, only to have him turn on their friends and berate them for their casual and thoughtless racism and liberal attitudes). Whilst several obvious mainstays of this kind of movie are used, such as the gradually escalating tension, the apparent immunity of the aggressor to the law, and so on, none of it feels forced, and the tension builds nicely. Director Neil LaBute handles the film well, painting a picture of middle class suburban tranquillity, and then slowly destroying the peaceful scene he has created with a deft touch. This is a small, personal film tackling a very big issue, and it tackles it extremely well.
'Lakeview Terrace' stars Samuel L Jackson as a racist LAPD cop who lives on a quiet suburban street and when his new neighbours move in - a white guy and a black woman - he is not happy about this at all and begins to terrorise them and use his power as a police officer to his advantage.
I watched this film with low expectations as it hadn't really been advertised much over here when it came out at the cinemas (if it did at all!?) but I was surprised that this was actually a very well made and exciting thriller that had me gripped from start to finish.
Jackson is a truly hateable character in this one and gives probably his best performance I've seen him in since Pulp Fiction! The rest of the characters are also very well cast and deliver the roles excellently. The storyline is fairly basic and has been seen before but still managed to keep me guessing until the end in how it was going to all turn out.
Overall I highly recommend this film for thriller fans as you will not be disappointed at all. Also, for hip hop fans - the soundtrack is pretty amazing too!
It contains quite a punch does Lakeview Terrace, propelled by Samuel L. Jackson in a meaty lead role as a racist black cop with white issues, it is for the most part a riveting thriller.
Jackson is Abel Turner, a single parent police officer raising two kids, he's stressed out, easily annoyed and his method of parenting and policing is leading him down the road to hell. So when inter-racial couple Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa Mattson (Kerry Washington) move in next door, Abel tips over the edge and becomes the bad cop neighbour from hell.
Director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) and his lead actors ensure the story doesn't become insulting to racial matters, both of relationships and of colour hatred, but after a great first two thirds of build up it, it then lacks the courage of its convictions, where taking the easy way out leaves a frustrating taste in the mouth.
It's still a viable and very watchable thriller, it just isn't bold enough come the finale. 6/10
Chris (Patrick Wilson) and Lisa Mattson (Kerry Washington) buy their first home in 'Lakeview Terrace' they soon find the neighbour 'Abel' (Samuel L Jackson) to be intrusive.
It doesn't take long for their life to become a misery, 'Abel' has a problem that doesn't surface immediately.
As 'Abel' is a local 'Police Officer' he seems to think his actions are beyond reproach from his fellow officers and friends, a fact that is not missed by 'Chris and Lisa'
'Samuel L Jackson' plays a more than convincing roll as the ultimate 'neighbour from hell'...............it's a good film...worth a watch at the very least....
on 30 December 2008
Superb psychological thriller from indie director Neil LaBute starring the great Samuel L Jackson.Variations of this thriller have been done before in films like "Pacific Heights" and "Unlawful Entry" but certainly not as well.Jackson makes all the difference here with one of his best performances since Pulp Fiction and is given some great dialogue to get his teeth into.As i have said already,the plot is nothing particularly original but there are some nice twists and turns as the plot develops and Labute manages to ratchet up the suspense to a breathtaking finale. I won't reveal any more of the plot but will say that it's one of the best thrillers of 2008.Not ridiculous or insulting,not far fetched beyond belief - just an intelligent and satisfying adult thriller.Quality stuff.
on 22 September 2014
LAKEVIEW TERRACE Samuel L Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Jay Hernandez, Ron Glass, Justin Chambers, Regine Nehy, Jaishon Fisher, Robert Pine, Keith Loneker, Caleeb Pinkett. Directed by Neil Labute, Screen Gems 2008 Cert 18 5035822505087. I'm selling this on Amazon tomorrow. Region 2 & 5. Bonus are deleted scenes and featurettes. Languages in English, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Turkish. Subtitled in various languages. A drama thriller looking at racial tensions, prejudice, neighbourhood, communities. Set in California. A black LA police officer lives in this area with his young son and teenage daughter. He is a strict father. A religious man. A newlywed couple have only just moved in. Chris (white) and Lisa (black). Abel the cop likes to keep a watchful eye on his neighbours. He clearly doesn't approve of their interracial relationship. A talented cast of actors. Lakeview is a suburb. Scenes also shot in downtown LA. Good scene at the arrest of the local drug dealer. The soundtrack is pretty good.
Priscilia and Marcus are the kid's names. See the ads, trailers and reviews. The Purge, The Last House On The Left, The Burbs, 187, The Ledge, Pulp Fiction, Scandal, Friday, Boyz In The Hood, Dangerous Minds, Crash, Do The Right Thing, Bamboozled, Training Day, A Time To Kill, Die Hard With A Vengence, House Party, Hard Candy, Insidious, The Last King Of Scotland. For some reason I assume Kerry was in a Saw film. Good dialogue, especially from Abel. Some nice strippers in a scene. Interesting scenery. Special features are infact a making of segment, commentary, deleted scenes and trailers.
on 28 April 2011
A mix between "Unlawful Entry" and "Changing Lane's", director Neil Labute's thriller "Lakeview Terrace" is an attempt to take the racial tensions still prevalent in the U.S. And turn them on their head with the antagonist in this case not the white individual but an African-American, a not so often used conceit which makes for an interesting hook but does nothing to elevate this above mediocrity.
Interracial couple Chris and Lisa Mattson (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) are new home-owners who move next door to Abel Turner, an African-American police officer with the LAPD and father of two who has a short temper. Disapproving of their mixed race relationship, Turner proceeds to make the young couples life a living hell and stops at nothing to try and get them to move away from the neighbourhood.
All simple and without the movie's "novelty" of being "a reverse racism" the film really does little to break new ground in the race or the antagonistic nightmare neighbour from hell hell sub-genre.
It's safe to say that with a contentious subject the film has It's likely to provoke mixed respones from the postive to the negative but with the melting pot of racism you can't always expect diplomacy or understanding in the minds of others. This is something that of-course comes to the fore on a occasion although not to any great degree with Chris and father in law Harold played by
veteran actor Ron Glass. Little titbits at the double standards and racism held some blacks are
thrown in, presumably to further point out that disharmony between the races Isn't always just a one way street and in the sense the film can be commended but in the end all it is is simple window dressing.
Getting off to a slow start the movie begins to slightly pick up the pace and there are strong sold turns from both Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington as the unsuspecting nice couple who want to make a life for themselves. The growing antagonism between them and Abel is is smoothly laid out between the three as not only does he manage to somehow harass them to the extent that they resent him but personal issues in their relationship and nefarious manipulative swipes by Turner means that the friction begins to build in their relationship. It's all expertly handled by Labute a director who recovering from the critical mauling from his failed remake of "The Wicker Man" needed something to get him back in the game. Although a couple of notches presumably above from judging from reports of the film have told me, It's a film that can never get passed It's basic roots and although not a bad film in It's own right. Nods to Abels past and the loss of his dead wife offer nice little insights to his personality and his bitter resentment as his shakey relationship with his children, particularly his daughter offer us hints to the kind of man he is who comes across as an embittered individual looking to place blame where potentially it Isn't to be placed. While scenes of how he deals with situations mirror his double standards when handling of his working environmental and home-life.
Ultimately though the set up proves to be greater than the outcome and all "Lakeview Terrace" proves to be is merely another standard run of the mill psycho-thriller which eventually descends in to the usual stand-off in the last act and although culminating in a effectively tense stand-off proves. For me what ultimately would have been better would have been if Labute not only focused on Abel's prejudice's but any of Chris's latent racial hostility which would have upped the ante and created a stir within the all three of the main characters and those among them. That would have created even more racial tension not only with Abel but between Chris and Lisa which would have been a an explosive story arc which lamentably is never explored to any great deal apart from some mildly heated inter-play.
Jackson who is given top billing is effective enough and proves to be a dominating presence but his performance Isn't a far cry from the the strong, alpha male types that we have seen him play before and doesn't mark this out from being one of his better acting roles utlimately meaning that the film in this respect belongs to both Wilson and Washington who inhabit superior roles. Ultimately "Lakeview Terrace" is just another case of been there and see it thrillers that tries to cover up It's thin premise by exploiting social and racial tensions with passably workmanlike reasults.
on 26 January 2015
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.
Well directed throughout by Neil Labute. Good solid acting and concept and a all round decent supporting cast, Samuel L. Jackson was really scary here, he played that bullying, obsessive character really well. Some nice scenery, it's well paced, good suspense,some action, the story is simple but it keeps you watching and keeping you guessing til the end.
Overall i enjoyed Lakeview Terrace, would recommend this to anyone. Enjoy