Lakeview Terrace

Rated 3.0

Samuel L. Jackson rules the roost as a tough LAPD cop and widower who doesn’t approve of the young, mixed-race couple (Kerry Washington and Patrick Wilson) moving in to his hard-earned upper-middle-class suburbia. Hostilities escalate in surprising but eventually predictable ways as director Neil LaBute brings his trademark moral pugnacity to David Loughery and Howard Korder’s script. The movie has ideas not just about race but also family, marriage and manhood, and allows for some depends-how-you-look-at it complexity, but then can’t seem to keep from straitjacketing everything within a tired thriller format. To put it in pitch-meeting-ese, Lakeview Terrace is basically Guess Who? meets Unlawful Entry. Of course, with a concept like that, it will at least be of value to sociologists.