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Lakeview Terrace

Theatrical poster
Directed by Neil LaBute
Produced by Jeffrey Graup
James Lassiter
David Loughery
Will Smith
Written by David Loughery
Howard Korder
Starring Samuel L. Jackson
Patrick Wilson
Kerry Washington
Studio Overbrook Entertainment
Distributed by Screen Gems
Release date(s) September 19, 2008 (2008-09-19)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Gross revenue $44,653,637 [1]

Lakeview Terrace is a 2008 thriller film directed by Neil LaBute, produced by Will Smith, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington. Jackson plays a twenty-eight year veteran of the LAPD who terrorizes his new next-door neighbors because they are an interracially married couple. The film was released on September 19, 2008.



Single father and police officer Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) of the LAPD, lives in Lakeview Terrace with his two children, Marcus, and Celia. When an interracial couple, Chris and Lisa Mattson (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) move into the house next door, Abel is noticeably disturbed.

The first night in their new house is disturbed by Turner's floodlights, which are aimed to shine right in the upstairs windows. When Chris readies to leave for work the morning after moving in, there is a blank parking ticket on the windshield of their rented moving van because the fender exceeds the line of the curb. The blank side of the ticket welcomes them to the neighborhood but reminds them to observe all parking rules. The note is signed "AT," for Abel Turner. When Chris arrives home that night, Abel approaches the car and pretends to be a car-jacker, then chides Chris for listening to rap music.

Chris goes into the house and finds Lisa in the backyard swimming pool; this leads to Chris and Lisa having sex in their swimming pool, unaware that Abel's children are watching.

Abel's children are playing in their yard, and their ball goes into Chris and Lisa's yard. Lisa works from home, and when they come over to retrieve their ball, Lisa strikes up a friendship with the kids, and asks them to bring their father over for a house-warming party they are having. The flood light problems continue and Lisa says she will talk to Abel.

Abel arrives to the house-warming party by himself. He criticizes Chris and his friends for their liberal views on issues from global warming to police brutality. As he leaves, Chris tells Abel that he is offended by him, but does not plan to move. That evening, they hear noises downstairs, and find the tires of Chris's car slashed. They suspect Abel, but are unable to do anything about it.

Abel's children go to visit their aunt for some time and Abel pays an informant to break into the Mattsons' house while they are out at a neighbor's party. While the neighbors are enjoying the festivities in a home down the hill, Lisa goes home while Abel's informant is there trashing their house. Lisa surprises him and is attacked by the informant, but manages to sound the burglar alarm before he throws her onto the bed, potentially harming her unborn child. Chris races home when hears the alarm go off. A frustrated Abel goes with him, realizing that the criminal he sent did not leave undetected. Chris rushes to Lisa while Abel comes upon the criminal, who stands helplessly as Abel shoots him three times in the chest, killing him. In the hospital Lisa is found to be uninjured and the pregnancy uncompromised.

Abel later enters their home hoping to retrieve the criminal's cell phone to avoid implication. Chris returns home, unexpectedly, and thanks Abel for helping him. Chris then discovers the attacker's cell phone and calls the last number dialed from it. When Abel answers, Chris realizes he was behind the home invasion. Chris and Abel fight out to the street. Both Chris and Abel have guns and a standoff between the two begins in the presence of the police. Chris provokes Abel by talking about his deceased wife. Abel shoots Chris in the shoulder, and is consequently shot and killed by responding officers. Chris and Lisa are reunited.


Filming locations

The majority of the movie was filmed in Walnut, California on N Deer Creek Dr. Film production can be viewed on Google's Street View.[2] The scene when Able Turner (AT) comes out of the police station to talk to his partner and other police officers, was filmed in Hawthorne, California on the corner of Grevillea Ave. & 126th St. [3]


Critical reaction to Lakeview Terrace has been mixed. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 48% of critics gave positive reviews based on 147 reviews.[4] On Metacritic, critics gave a 46% approval rating based on 28 reviews.[5] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a very positive review, awarding it his highest rating of four stars (out of four) and saying: "Some will find it exciting. Some will find it an opportunity for an examination of conscience. Some will leave feeling vaguely uneasy. Some won't like it and will be absolutely sure why they don't, but their reasons will not agree. Some will hate elements that others can't even see. Some will only see a thriller. I find movies like this alive and provoking, and I'm exhilarated to have my thinking challenged at every step of the way."[6]

Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle also enjoyed the film, saying: "In its overall shape and message, Lakeview Terrace is a conventional suspense thriller, but the details kick it up a notch. ... The fun of Lakeview Terrace is not in what happens but in how it happens."[7] J.R. Jones of the Chicago Reader called the film "one of the toughest racial dramas to come out of Hollywood since the fires died down—much tougher, for instance, than Paul Haggis's hand-wringing Oscar winner Crash."[8]

Dennis Harvey of Variety said that Lakeview Terrace "delivers fairly tense and engrossing drama" but "succumb[s] to thriller convention."[9] Anthony Lane of The New Yorker said that "the first hour of the film ... feels dangerous, necessary, and rife with comic disturbance," but added that "the later stages ... overheat and spill into silliness."[10] James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two stars out of four, saying that "the first two-thirds of Lakeview Terrace offer a little more subtlety and complexity than the seemingly straightforward premise would afford, but the climax is loud, dumb, generic, and over-the-top."[11]

Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe said that "the movie might have something to say about black racism, but the conversations go nowhere, and the clichés of the genre take over."[12] Sura Wood of The Hollywood Reporter said: "[The idea of] a black actor cast as the virulent bigot, with the object of his campaign of harassment the young interracial couple who move in next door, could be viewed as a novel twist. But the film, absent a sense of place and populated by repellent or weak characters, soon devolves into an increasingly foul litany of events."[13] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave it one half of a star out of five, and called the film a "joyless and airless suspense thriller."[14]

On its opening weekend, the film grossed $15 million placing it at number one in the United States.[15] The film grossed $39.2 million in the United States and Canada and $3.2 million in other territories, making $42.4 million worldwide.[16]

DVD Sales

Lakeview Terrace was released on January 27, 2009 and sold 1,194,420 units. It raised $20,119,729, slightly more than the film's budget.[17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "N Deer Creek Dr. Walnut, CA - Google Maps". Google.,+CA&ie=UTF8&split=0&gl=us&ei=sGGYSdnTCtG3tweglKS0Cw&z=16&iwloc=addr&layer=c&cbll=34.036279,-117.861971&panoid=JH4AVg5Zz4FWXOiKemuDcA&cbp=12,117.78400537319727,,0,5. Retrieved 2009-02-15.  
  3. ^ "Grevillea Ave. and 126th St, CA - Google Maps". Google.,-95.677068&sspn=44.47475,79.013672&ie=UTF8&ll=33.917602,-118.354069&spn=0.001429,0.002411&t=h&z=19. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  4. ^ "Lakeview Terrace Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  5. ^ "Lakeview Terrace (2008):Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-09-21.  
  6. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, September 18, 2008
  7. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle,
  8. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
  9. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Dennis Harvey, Variety
  10. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
  11. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, James Berardinelli, ReelViews
  12. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
  13. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Sura Wood, The Hollywood Reporter
  14. ^ Lakeview Terrace review, Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
  15. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 9/19 to 9/21". Box Office Mojo. 2008-09-21. Retrieved 2008-11-26.  
  16. ^ "Lakeview Terrace (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-11-26.  
  17. ^

External links



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