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Lakeview Terrace 

Samuel L. Jackson is Able Turner, a police officer and single dad. Turner’s got a few issues about race, and when an interracial couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) moves in next door he becomes the neighbor from hell. That premise could have made for an entertaining guilty pleasure in the vein of early ’90s thrillers like Unlawful Entry, or it could have been the set-up for a serious drama about race relations and suburban rage. Unfortunately, Lakeview Terrace can’t seem to make up its mind about which it wants to be. This is a movie that cloaks itself in an aura of false relevance but lacks the courage to address the issues it raises in any meaningful way. It’s too bad because Abel Turner is an interesting character. He isn’t a one-dimensional bad guy, and Jackson does a great job of humanizing him. Sadly, that effort is undermined every time the movie goes into standard thriller mode, culminating in a cheap and pointless ending. Lakeview Terrace is neither fun nor thought-provoking. It’s just bad. H

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