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(2008), PG-13 [Very Hard R-13*] (1hr 45min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
January 31, 2009
February 8, 2009
15 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG-13 [Very Hard R-13*] ... a final score of 15 out of 100, a very hardcore R-13

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Overbrook Entertainment, Screen Gems
Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox, Audio Visual Enterprises, Buena Vista Sony Pictures Releasing, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Director(s): Neil LaBute
Producer(s): John Cameron, Jeffrey Graup, James Lassiter, David Loughery, Joe Pichirallo, Will Smith, Orin Woinsky
Screenplay: David Loughery, Howard Korder
Story: David Loughery
Cinematography/Camera: Rogier Stoffers
Music: Jeff Danna, Mychael Danna
Film Editing: Joel Plotch
Casting: Heidi Levitt
Production Design: Bruton Jones
Art Direction: Paul Sonski, Thomas T. Taylor
Viewed on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

This analysis is sponsored by the Protestant Congregation of The Chapel of the Good Shepherd.

I do not know how popular this film was when it played in theaters, but it is a perfect example of: So slowly we have become so morally numbed by the narcotics of extremes in and as entertainment that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible. -TC-

Long time resident LA police officer Abel Turner (Samuel L. Jackson) and new neighbor Patrick Wilson (Chris Mattson) almost immediately form an understanding as upscale neighbors on Lakeview Terrace. But it is not a good understanding. The understanding was not good to the tune of a final score of 15 out of 100, a very hardcore R-13.

PG-13-rated films in the comparative baseline database earned final scores of 55 to 67 out of 100. R-rated films earned final scores of 54 and below out of 100. Its final score of 15 places Lakeview Terrace deeply into the dregs of the R scoring range. And the film earned an influence density figure of 2.30 to confirm the "R-ness" of the film. PG-13 films earned influence density scores from 0.55 to 0.77, the higher the figure the more dense the assaults on morality and decency. R-rated films earned influence density figures from 0.78 to 2.04. I believe the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to be morally dead, puppets of the decaying societal moral standards and completely useless as a service to determine the fitness of a film. I would love for the CAP Analysis Model to replace the MPAA but we are Christian! Apparently the greatest dirty word of politically correct of America.

There is more. This film earned investigation area scores of zero in five of the six investigation areas: in Wanton Violence/Crime (W); Impudence/Hate (I); Sexual Immorality (S); Drugs/Alcohol (D); Offense to God (O). The only one of the six investigation areas that found content to yield a score above zero was Murder/Suicide (M) and only because there was only one murder portrayed, graphic though it may be.

Mom/dad, I strongly urge you to solemnly inspect this report before considering whether to let your teens (OR yourselves) watch it. Soberly inspect this Summary/Commentary section but more deeply the scoring distribution earned by the film shown by the CAP thermometers and the itemized listing in the Findings/Scoring section (the heart of the CAP Analysis Model)!

On to a little more about the story.

Newcomers Patrick Wilson and his wife, Lisa (Kerry Washington) took a skinny dip in their pool which, from the second story of Officer Turner's house, was in his plain view ... and that of his children. Further, Abel did not like Patrick's brand of "tobacco."

At another time, Abel drew his sidearm and pointed it at Patrick's neck ... just as a jest, of course.

The Turner's did not have a swimming pool. Lisa was so smitten with Abel's daughter, Celia (Regine Nehy) and brother Marcus (Jaishon Fisher) that Lisa offered to let the kids swim in her pool ... anytime. Lisa meant with Abel's permission, of course. Celia and Marcus took Lisa up on her offer though without their dad's permission and while Lisa and Patrick were gone to boot. When Lisa arrived Marcus left but Celia stayed by being drawn into a conversation with Lisa. Soon Abel arrived verbally swinging using Lisa's taste in music as a mask for his attack. Abel did not want Celia to hear such music. Abel also took a swing at his daughter for talking back to him about the music. How often Hollywood demonizes parents (and anyone else) who take a stand for the moral standards of children who are too often vulnerable to the often ignoble pleasures of the world (such as much of modern music ... and Hollywood). Heinous as the slap was, it was still a portrayal. A portrayal that undoubtedly will propel many youth into parent-child dissonance since many youths project what they see and hear in film on to real life. [1 Cor. 15:33]

As another skirmish of the neighbor warfare, Abel pointed his high power security lamps right at the Wilson's bedroom window. Fed up with it, Patrick stormed to Abel's house where Abel hosted a bachelor party for one of his fellow officers. Aiming to speak to Abel about his lights, Patrick was essentially dragged into the party where Abel proceeded to have the dancing girls sexually assault Patrick ... with a camera running ... for Lisa's benefit.

Through an iron fence, Patrick with some lawn implement and Abel with a chain saw, the two participated in attempts to do bodily harm to each other.

All this and a great deal more in a dark and sinister setting.

There was nothing Abel liked about Patrick or Lisa. Throughout the film are veiled threats and subtle innuendo of physical danger and/or harm. Once the veiled hatred became open, Abel and Patrick escalated the warfare to the point where one of the two had to die. What an example of modern coping skills!

And it doesn't get any better than that.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
There are a number of episodes of violence including gunfire to kill, unlawful entry, the use of a firearm to coerce/control, intimidation with a firearm, gunfire injury, trashing of a house by contract with Turner (the police), a threat to commit suicide and police corruption throughout. The enticing properties of such violence, whether real or fantasy, is put in its place rather nicely in Proverbs 16:29. Regarding "whether real or fantasy", a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. God further explains the enticing nature of evil and violence in 1 Cor 15:33 by warning us that such evil display ("evil communications") corrupts good descision-making and coping skills ("good manners").

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Someone speaks some form of profanity or another 61 times during the 105 minutes of this film, plus two use of the most foul of the foul words. [Prov. 22:11, Prov. 8:13] Other matters of impudence and/or hatred include adolescent disrespect of father -- repeatedly, veiled intimidation to extort performance -- repeatedly, non-violent and violent racial animosity -- repeatedly, lies and open urination. [Phil. 4:8]

Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
This film is riddled with little and not-so-little stabs and jabs at mature and responsible respect for sexuality: man and woman in bed; flash full male nudity;innuendo regarding intercourse; reference to pedophilia with young girls; adult nudity before children; innuendo regarding male erection by young girl; man and woman nude in pool; adult in underwear; lap and rub dancing; a little girl dancing in a scant swimsuit; more, much more. [Gal. 5:19, 1Ths. 4:1-5, 1 John 2:26]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Booze. Drinking. Drunkenness. Smoking. They are all there. Repeatedly. In addition to God's admonition making drunkenness and other abuses of the body (the Holy Ghost's temple) sinful, the American College of Physicians echoes God's Word, quite probably without even knowing it.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

• 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
• 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
• four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions.

The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" proven by this ministry in 2000 (see R-13) with which Harvard University scientists agreed four years later (see Harvard Agrees With Us). The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]

Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
God's name is uttered 19 times, 11 without the four letter expletive and 8 times with it. God is rather stern about using His name in vain. [Deut.5:11] So much so that no one will escape judgment for abusing His name. Is it really worth it to appear conversationally equal with those who do?

Murder/Suicide (M) - 90 out of 100 Only once is murder portrayed in this exceptionally dark and evil film for teens. A street goon is hired by turner to trash the Williams' house to extort and frame. When the goon is discovered in the act, rather than being found out Turner shoots and kills the goon to silence him, claiming to have shot in the line of duty. And the murder is graphic. [Prov. 3:31, 62:10] Even 1 Cor. 6:9 - 10 speaks to the extortionist and a lot of others of unrighteous behavior not making it to Heaven. *******


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This is a rather long list of Scriptural applications, but considering the content of this film ...
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him down a path that is not good. [The issue is the violence, no matter how "small" it might seem, and its effect on an observer. "A violent man" can be a man, woman OR the men/women/characters demonstrating the violent behavior/action on the screen. Knowing of Prov. 16:29 you now know why violence, especially in and as entertainment, can embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV. And see 1 Cor. 15:33 below.]
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. ["Froward" is perverse. "Perverse" is aside from the right path, to pervert, to corrupt. "Froward mouth" then includes profane speech. And arrogance is what emboldens and propels one to use profane speech.]
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • 1Ths. 4:1-5 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; [Be master of your body and urges, not a slave to them or a seeker of any manner of sexually-oriented imagery or behavior outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage. For any sexual contact (including visual), conduct or activity outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sinful.]
  • 1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ["These things I have written" includes lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes from 1 John 2:16. An example of "them that seduce you" includes they who demonstrate sexual sin, however innocuous it may seem, in and as entertainment which can morally "seduce" the viewer, can lead one astray by desensitizing one and emboldening him/her to believe sexually immoral deeds, thoughts and display are acceptable OR by eroding one's natural inhibition against sexually immoral deeds and thoughts. And anything in and as entertainment that draws the viewer's attention to sexuality, sexual deeds, nudity and the private parts clothed or not, seen or not, is sexual.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways.
  • Ps. 62:10 Do not trust in extortion or take pride in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
  • 1 Cor. 6:9-10 Know ye not that the [unforgiven] unrighteous [adikos: unjust, sinful] shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived:
       - neither fornicators [pornos: a man who prostitutes his body to another's lust for hire, a male prostitute, a man who indulges in immoral sexual intercourse],
       - nor idolaters [eidololatres: a worshiper of false gods, even mammom (wealth, riches)],
       - nor adulterers,
       - nor effeminate [malakos: he who keeps a boy kept for homosexual relations (such as the North American Man-boy Love Association - NAMBLA); a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness; a male prostitute],
       - nor abusers of themselves with mankind [arsenokoites: one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual practitioner],
       - Nor thieves, nor covetous [pleonektes: one eager to have more, esp. what belongs to others],
       - nor drunkards,
       - nor revilers,
       - nor extortioners,
    shall inherit the kingdom of God.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Lakeview Terrace (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • firearm to neck threat
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly and with injury
  • threat to commit suicide
  • father striking daughter
  • extortion throughout
  • threats of physical harm with weapons
  • breaking and entering
  • police corruption throughout
  • trashing house under police contract
  • unlawful entry to tamper with evidence
  • intimidation with firearm
  • fighting for life, twice
  • firearm to control

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 61 uses of profanity plus two uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • tattoo
  • veiled intimidation throughout
  • non-violent racial animosity, repeatedly
  • adolescent disrespect of father, repeatedly
  • intimidation
  • urination
  • battery
  • lies

    Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
  • man and woman in bed, repeatedly
  • flash rear male nudity
  • innuendo re: intercourse and sadomasochism
  • reference to pedophilia with young girls
  • adult nudity before children
  • reference to male erection by young girl after having seen it of an adult male
  • man and woman nude in pool
  • man and woman snuggling in bed
  • adult in underwear, repeatedly
  • scant swimsuit on young teen girl and dancing in it
  • crude humor re: intercourse
  • anatomical reference: male anatomy
  • lap dancing, repeatedly
  • rub dancing, repeatedly
  • forced participation is sexual touching, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the human form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • woman removing shirt to skin, rear
  • excess cleavage with camera angle to force viewer on private parts

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • drinking party
  • guzzling
  • illegal drug use and references

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • Eleven uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive and 8 times with it
  • reference to evolution
  • "God ain't here"

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 90 out of 100
  • one murder by gunfire, graphic

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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