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4.0 out of 5 stars
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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.
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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.
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on 20 June 2015
This film stars that well known afro American actor Samuel L Jaçkson he plays a cop who is a rasist, a young newly wed couple move intohis nneighbourhood, the problem is one is white the other black that is when they start to encounter the cop's prejudices.
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on 28 February 2013
I like Samuel L. Jackson and this film did not disappoint. Steering away from the usual white on black racist storyline, it was refreshing to see a black policeman, supposedly law abiding allowing racist views to take over his personal life when his new neighbours, a white man married to a black woman moved in. The shocking comment made by Jackson who was in his front garden to his new neighbour arriving home in his car with rap music playing on the car radio of "you can listen to that stuff all night but it won't make you black!", was sinister to say the least and gave you an insight into his very warped mind. Although little on action, the underlying hatred on the part of Jackson towards his neighbour and his wife and the tactics Jackson uses to try to drive them out, had you wondering what would be the ultimate climax of this story. It kept the viewer interested until the climax at the end. Not the usual kind of film to find Jackson in but it did not take away his performance as an actor able to hold its audience. Very much worth watching.
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It took a while to warm up,but builds up into a thrilling climax,in a movie about an L.a cop who is a law to himself.samual Jackson what can you say,well I havent seen him in a bad movie yet.he was at his very best here,with a strong cast, as a menacing thorn in the side to a couple just moving in next door.As the film builds you see he is hell bent on giving these people a torid time,you can imagine this really happening.even his 2 kids whom he is over strict with dont seem to like him much.All in all a really good watch.at a really good price,so go buy it , will not disapoint.
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on 23 May 2011
Samuel L. Jackson gives one of his best performances ever, in this dark psychological thriller.
A couple move into a new home, and are soon terrorized by their new neighbour, who has a thing about mixed race couples, who just happens to be a cop, who believes he is above the law. SLJ normally plays likeable characters, not always the good guy, but likeable. But in this movie, it shows he is not typecast and you begin to dislike the character, which is a total role reversal for him.
You get drawn into the film, as the plot develops, and begin to wonder how its gonna end. It has some characterisation, which is rare in films today.
The picture quality on this blu ray is outstanding, with good black levels, and although the sound won't test your system too much, its there when needed, with good separation to the rears.

Just hope your new next door neighbour isn't a cop....
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 January 2014
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
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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....
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2009
'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!
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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.
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