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Changeling Reviews

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garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

July 12, 2008
Changeling is the true story of a young mother in 1920s America whose son goes missing, but when the wrong boy is returned to her she is persecuted by a corrupt police force trying to avoid public embarrassment. Another beautifully crafted and intelligent drama from Clint Eastwood, Changeling is quite an unbelievable story. It highlights the dreadful, uncaring hypocrisy of corrupt officials, the appalling treatment of the mentally ill of the time, not to mention those "hysterical" women who were committed to avoid embarrassment or inconvenience. The period is meticulously recreated and the plot combines the story of a woman unshakably seeking justice against enormous odds and the investigation into a harrowing serial killer case. The cast are all of course quality, apart from the fact that although she turns in in quite a creditable performance, you can never quite forget you are in the presence of Her Jolieness rather than witnessing actual events. The result is leagues ahead of the hand wringing melodrama that missing child stories usually entail and serves both as an intriguing mystery and cautionary tale about human indifference to the suffering of others.
FiLmCrAzY
FiLmCrAzY

Super Reviewer

February 15, 2009
WOW Clint Eastwood is fantastic, as usual Eastwood directs another fantastic movie and its brilliant, If you liked Million Dollar Baby, Gran Tourino, Blood work and any others of his directional films then you'll love this movie as much as i have.
Angelina Jolie needs to be recognized as well in this movie her and eastwood have made a brilliant time in this movie and she plays the part fantasticly making the part so convincing and her own.
This is an emotional and heartwarming , enlightening true story that touches the heart, and its actually hard to believe that this movie is a true story because of the police thinking that the life of a child isnt worth that much compared to the integrity of the force!!
As a True Story this movie is about a child vanishing but 5 months later apparently Jolie child is save and bought back to her but she is convinced he isnt her child this starts to unravel corruption , lies and sanity! Jolie will go to any lengths to find her child and no one will get in her way except the polie force . John Malkovich makes a brilliant supporting actor this movie is just completely worth a watch!
Albert K

Super Reviewer

September 29, 2010
Great movie with astounding performances and direction, this movie starts to lose its drive near the 3rd act. Not only that, but this movie also falls into the typical Hollywood cliche's.
paul o.
paul o.

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2011
Its really good. Its heart churning and different. Jolie's acting helps blend Eastwood's directing to create a story that is memorable after the end.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

October 25, 2008
Eastwood is really on a winning streak in recent years. Here he tells the story of a mother who's victim of corrupt 1920s L.A. police in her search for her lost son. While the film starts out slowly, it gets more enthralling by the minute. The characters are strong and reliable: the bad guys are despicable and corrupt and the good guys are reliable and decent. That makes for a very powerful combination and engages the audience, torn between the feelings of anger, satisfaction and grief. The acting is accordingly brilliant, Jolie delivers one of the strongest performances of her career and Malkovich is close behind. That makes for a moving, beautifully shot movie that will probably stay with the viewer for a very long time.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2008
I liked Changeling more than I didn't, but I have the same complaint about it that I did Gran Torino: Eastwood can't direct children. The person he did manage to direct, though? Angelina Jolie. She plays the kind of role you'd expect Sandra Bullock or Nicole Kidman to play - the big-hearted, put-upon fighter/mother - and though she comes over the top a couple of times, on the whole she did a great job of driving this movie despite being cast against type. I enjoyed the supporting cast, and the look and feel of 1920s/1930s L.A., and I thought the latter half of the movie was downright spooky by times... even if it did get a bit formulaic. Not Eastwood's best - there can be only one Unforgiven - but much better than Invictus. Totally watchable, maybe even rewatchable - I've been thinking about it for a few days since I saw it, which strikes me as a good sign.
Jan Marc M

Super Reviewer

September 9, 2011
Changeling is a true account of son Walter Collins, presumed murdered; and mother Christine Collins, victim of excessive authority, circa 1928 California, USA. A brilliant fusion of mystery, drama, and thriller compounded by strong performances notably by Angelina Jolie, Changeling is bound to reduce the audience into a disturbed crowd, but proud of faith, of justice, and of the steadfast human spirit. Uncompromising.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

August 11, 2011
Based on some actual events, this film is a grim yet fascinating study of the disempowerment of women and an examination of corruption within heirarchical structures. The story itself is that of the disappearance of a boy during the late 1920s. After an iffy investigation, a boy matching the description of the missing is returned ot the mother. However, it's not her son, and, despite all her attempts to convince people otherwise, the mother goes through hell tring to figure out the truth and get some closure.

This is a long movie, and deliberately paced, and it is a little uneven, yet I was never really bored, always finding something great to look at or think about. The film is a litle overstuffed, trying to do perhaps too much, but given the running time, it's better to have too much going on instead of not enough. In any case, this is all extremely gripping stuff.

Angelina Jolie does a wonderful job as the mother, John Malkovich, actually portraying a benevolent character, is also quite good. For me though, it's Jeffrey Donovan and a bunch of the character actors in supporting roles who all show up throught who really bring the house down acting wise.

There's a lot of attention to period detail here, and the film does a really good job of getting the sets, styles, and attitudes of the period down correctly. It was cool seeing the retro Universal Pictures logo at the beginning as well. Even though the films does have a few issues, I bet no one will argue that it is a goregous looking film with some truly stunning camera work. Tom Stern, who has been working with Eastwood since 2002 is really an unsung hero of the cinematography world.

One little thing I liked is the filter that was used to give the film an older look, similar to what was done on O Brother Where Art Thou, only not as extreme.

You should give this film a look. It's ambitious, filled with tension and dread, and filled with food for thought. It's a nicely played drama, despite trying to do so much and having a story that shifts from a mystery thriller to a serial killer yarn.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

August 18, 2011
Changeling is a phenomenal film that is one of the most deepest dramas I have ever seen in my life. In 1928 Los Angelos a mother (Angelina Jolie) left her son at home for work, when she returned he was gone. A fruitless search ensues, and months later, a boy claiming to be the nine-year-old is returned. Dazed by the swirl of cops, reporters and her conflicted emotions, Christine allows him to stay overnight. But, in her heart, she knows he is not Walter. As she pushes authorities to keep looking, she learns that in Prohibition-era L.A., women don't challenge the system and live to tell their story. Slandered as delusional and unfit, Christine finds an ally in activist Reverend Briegleb, who helps her fight the city to look for her missing boy.
The plot of the film is so good and so beautiful i had a hard time not watching it. The cast is amazing and I can honestly say this is Angelina Jolie's best movie, and her best performance ever. This movie was touching, beautiful, and you will not want to leave until you see the incredible and mysterious ending.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2011
There is an element of 'film making by numbers' with Changeling but as far as historical accuracies and projecting the emotion and frustration that Christine Collins must have felt, Mr. Eastwood has done a fine job. It's an interesting story though, so I think it would have been hard to go wrong, I do however, think that a number of other directors could have made a much better film. I does seem to go on a little longer than it should but I'm glad that Mr. Eastwood didn't take the lazy option and reduce years of interesting story into seconds of written information, he keeps going and in doing so only highlights the hope that Christine Collins had even though her plight, especially now with hindsight, was ultimately hopeless. I'm not a huge Angelina Jolie fan but she doesn't do anything wrong here, as much as she doesn't really do much either. John Malkovich was good but didn't have a lot of screen time and Jeffrey Donovan and Jason Butler Harner both played their very different roles as villains convincingly. A frustrating, horrific but fascinating story, adequately told.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

April 2, 2011
A sad and convincing story of a mother who lost her son. Performances are brilliant and the story runs well and you believe Christine and want her to get her son back. Thankfully they didn't do a "happy ending" and have her son come back. That would be a bit cheesy.
thmtsang
thmtsang

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2008
Based on a true story, in 1920s Christine Collins is a single mum who left her son Walter at home while she went to work. He vanishes. After 5 months the police reunite her with a nine year old boy but she is adamant that he is not her son. When she challenges the police they send her to a mental hospital. In the meantime another boy is arrested and he reveals that he helped kill and bury 20 young boys including Walter Collins.
bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

March 18, 2011
Another 5 star movie Directed by Clint Eastwood, where does he get these stories, this one is great and you will be glued to the screen as a mother tries to find her missing son. John Malovich plays his part to the Tee. If you havenb't seen this one you must. 5 Stars
Saskia D

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2011
I like Clint Eastwood's movies, but I don't get why he chose Jolie for the lead role. She did good, don't get me wrong, but she just fails to stir any emotion in me whatsoever. Somehow her acting just doesn't seem sincere.

The only thing I liked about it is the context. How women are treated, the corruption and arrogance of the law and some men. If something doesn't agree with them, they make it go away. No matter how unethical.
BEACHBUNNI
BEACHBUNNI

Super Reviewer

February 23, 2009
wow~! directed by Clint Eastwood (gotta love him).....
a true story of Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie,love her as an actess), a single mom whose son Walter, vanishes while she is at work. A fruitless search continues for months until one day Christine receives the news she has been praying for her son has been found alive and is coming home.
But.... when Christine arrives at the train station,she is besieged by cops and reporters and hopes to be reunited with her son,but, she finds that this boy is not Walter.the usually meek Christine starts to fight back against the cops, a virtually unheard of reaction especially by a woman of that time. The LAPD, though, have a way of dealing with those who make them look bad or threaten them in any way. For women, this is to brand them as mentally unsound and toss them into the hospital psychopath ward. This is what happens to Christine, adding one nightmare to another....... but,thanks to the intervention of Reverend Briegleb, though, she is able to fight back against the system that failed to find her son.
but.....there is another twist in her sons disappearance......
Michael S

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2008
An incredible true story is turned into a rather disappointing film thanks to a muddy script and some poor pacing. Jolie is great in one of her best performances, and saves the film (along with beautiful cinematography and some truly powerful scenes) from being completely mediocre. One of Eastwood's weakest directorial efforts.
jamers2011
jamers2011

Super Reviewer

August 1, 2010
Great cinematography, the entire film felt like it was really in the 1920's. Wonderful performance by Angelina Jolie. I loved every scene she was in.
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2008
Clint Eastwood sure knows good drama. Again and again he delivers some very powerful stuff. Jolie, who has grown to become one of my favourite actresses, gives it her all and leaves no heart unaffected. Her performance has been accused of being Oscar-grubbing, but I found her acting very convincing and authentic. Usually I have no interest in dramas set in this sort of time period, but in the hands of Eastwood, it became something else entirely. A gripping and tragic tale of loss, murder, corruption and great injustice, that kept me at the edge of my seat right through to the end.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Definitely one of my favorite movies from 2008. Shocking and unreal that this really happened. It's amazing what people were able to get away with back then. A must see movie!!
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2010
Clint Eastwood delivers yet another solid drama film. Changeling is the incredible and sad true story of the Gordon Northcott Chicken coop murders of 1928 and the disappearance of Christine Collins son. Clint Eastwood is a terrific director, and he tells a powerful story with Changeling. I've seen many of his films, and this is one of the best films he has ever directed. Eastwood has a wonderful ability to tell a poignant, dramatic story, and in Changeling he does just that. Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, who's son, Walter has been kidnapped. No one knows who did, but Walter mysteriously reappears. The corrupt police officials tell her it's her son, but do to the fact that Walter is circumcised (the real one isn't) She goes out of her way to try to find her son, and expose the corruption and incompetence of the LAPD. She is aided by Rev. Gustav Briegleb who has spent his time exposing the corruption of the LAPD. Christine Collins is later committed to a mental hospital. It's only later till the truth about Walter's Kidnapping comes out. Walter Collins has been kidnapped by Gordon Stewart Northcott. Clint Eastwood's basis for Changeling is the Winnville Chicken Coop Murders of 1928. Changeling is a very interesting story. Eastwood has crafted a unique drama film with a sense of mystery to it. Angelina Jolie gives the best performance of her career (if you look at her track record, you'll know what I'm talking about) John Malkovich gives a stunning performance as well. Changeling is an amazing drama film, but it's hard to watch due to the subject matter. However if you're looking for a well told story with great acting, and directing; then Changeling is a must see. This is one of Clint Eastwood's best efforts as a director, and it shows that he still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to tell a good story on film.
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