In Lakeview Terrace, a chain-?yanking home-invasion thriller, Samuel L. Jackson operates in two familiar modes: eyeballs-popping and eyelids-narrowing. As Abel, a testy L.A. cop living in an upscale cul-de-sac with two new next-door neighbors he hates (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington), Jackson spends most of the film peeping over their fence or reacting to ? perceived slights. Although his eyes once again act the bejesus out of the script, the shtick has gotten old: It’s like watching dusty, less perfect retakes of his Ezekiel 25:17 speech from Pulp Fiction. Unfortunately, Jackson is the best thing here.? The rest of Lakeview is cravenly engineered to make Wilson’s squishy liberal hero a man, and the only surprise is that Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) directed it for hire. This time, there’s no art to his manipulations of the plot. C-
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