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-
More from EW:
Unsolved TV cliffhangers: Which still bug you?