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Changing Lanes (2002)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 151
Fresh: 116
Rotten: 35

Critics Consensus: Though some may find its conclusion unsatisfying, Changing Lanes is a tense, well-crafted exploration of meaty ethical dilemmas.

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 26
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: Though some may find its conclusion unsatisfying, Changing Lanes is a tense, well-crafted exploration of meaty ethical dilemmas.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 54,518


Movie Info

Director Roger Michell follows up the hit romantic comedy Notting Hill (1999) with this thought-provoking thriller. Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson star, respectively, as Gavin Banek and Doyle Gibson, two New York men whose lives become accidentally intertwined in a Good Friday fender bender on the FDR Drive. Late for a crucial appointment, hotshot lawyer Gavin tosses Doyle a blank check and leaves the scene, while Doyle, whose car is inoperable, is late for a court-appointed custody hearing. … More

R (for language)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Anthony Picharillo , Chap Taylor , Michael Tolkin
In Theaters:
Sep 10, 2002
Box Office:
Paramount Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Changing Lanes

All Critics (160) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (35) | DVD (31)

Combines a knack for storytelling with a rare instinct for exploring ideas within the framework of a major, star-driven Hollywood movie.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
Top Critic

A slickly shot, intelligent thriller, it's buoyed up by an exceptional performance from Jackson, who brings crumpled dignity and pathos to his habitual loser.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A thrilling ride but also a thoughtful one, it's a movie that does manage to do more good than bad by the end of the day.

Full Review… | July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The two stars? They're exactly right.

Full Review… | June 1, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

In addition to gluing you to the edge of your seat, Changing Lanes is also a film of freshness, imagination and insight.

Full Review… | April 25, 2002
New York Observer
Top Critic

The ending is guaranteed to aggravate any self-respecting New York driver.

Full Review… | April 16, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

Emotionally violent thriller for mature teens.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
Common Sense Media

"Changing Lanes" asks how far we'd go not to lose what's ours, but it's a morality play with hope for détente rather than any destructive force. Gavin and Doyle are two severely flawed men whose best intentions are knocked about by their worst impulses.

Full Review… | September 25, 2010

Evitando o maniqueísmo, o roteiro cria dois personagens complexos e ambíguos ao mesmo tempo que recheia a narrativa com diálogos bem construídos e instigantes.

February 1, 2010
Cinema em Cena

turns into a much more thought-provoking movie than you might otherwise expect

Full Review… | January 9, 2010
7M Pictures

Themes about corporate ethics, greed, corruption and our vulnerability in the face of determined evil have a Falling Down finality that is weakened by unconvincing character arcs.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

One of the most impressive movies of the year; taut and compelling.

Full Review… | December 30, 2006
Empire Magazine

Michell is willing to explore a drama that has no heroes, just broken men trying to find some hope in the darkness, some meaning in the madness.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

... An extraordinary film with a level of moral complexity and attention to detail that are rare today ...

Full Review… | January 7, 2004
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

How often do you go to a Hollywood movie and still find yourself thinking about it on the way to work the next day?

Full Review… | February 12, 2003

Changing Lanes is a good movie built on a dumb premise. But it's a good movie all the same.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

Despite its strong start with a plausible situation gone disastrously wrong, Changing Lanes lectures audiences and devolves into the corniest of melodramas--there's nothing subtle about it.

Full Review… | January 13, 2003
Radio Free Entertainment

While Roger Michell's film does indeed take a bad detour in its home stretch, it is on the whole a brisk and absorbing morality play.

Full Review… | December 8, 2002
Film Threat

It's a bit contrived, but this is a strongly acted two-hander...

Full Review… | November 19, 2002

Inside the film's conflict-powered plot there is a decent moral trying to get out, but it's not that, it's the tension that keeps you in your seat. Affleck and Jackson are good sparring partners.

Full Review… | November 16, 2002
Urban Cinefile


November 15, 2002

Dog-eat-dog urban drama has great script, direction -- and unexpectedly smart performances from Affleck and Jackson.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002

The pleasure of watching Affleck forcibly relieved of his security and complacency will be relished by anyone who enjoyed seeing Cary Grant sullying his suit in North by Northwest...

Full Review… | November 5, 2002
Sight and Sound

One of the best films I have ever seen, constantly pulling the rug from underneath us, seeing things from new sides, plunging deeper, getting more intense.

November 5, 2002

Audience Reviews for Changing Lanes


"Changing Lanes is a good thriller. It's original and gives two great performances from Jackson and Affleck.
Gavin Banek and Doyle Gipson happen to literally run into each other on a very important day of their lives. This run in ruins their important day which engulfs them into a day filled with vengeance and chaos. Their back and forth tit for tats end up leaving them both feeling horrible for the things they just did to each other. But yet the hits keep coming and with every hit one gets the other hits back harder. There is no winner. No evil winning over good. They are both deep down good people. This is a perfect example of how good people can be pushed to do awful things when certain lines are crossed. The ending was satisfying and I really enjoyed the movie. I'm not sure if I would see this again. Although I enjoyed it, there wasn't enough action for me considering this was a thriller. Still a solid thriller though."


Super Reviewer

Another great suggestion from Mr. Tim Ryan. If you thought that Sam Jackson made his money by cursing really loudly on camera, check out this movie him actually acting, really really well. A suspenseful dogfight that subtle asks questions about the nature of humanity, I found myself actually stressed out -- and therefore interested -- about how it would all end. Although well-made, there are some pacing problems in the movie that prevents it from being a truly great drama, but definitely one worth putting on your Want-To-See list.

Jason Robinson

Super Reviewer

decent flick but not that rememberable

danny d

Super Reviewer


Very good movie, wasn't the first time that I have seeing part of this movie but is the first time I've seeing it completely and on Cable. I thought it was a good movie not super good but decent enough to keep you entertained, but what can you expect of Ben Affleck...Samuel L. Jackson carry him thru this film completely jaja.

An attorney in a rush to make a court appointment to file legal papers involving a multi-million dollar trust accidentally collides with an alcoholic insurance salesman, who also is a rush for a court appointment involving the custody of his children. The attorney leaves the scene of the accident and strands the salesman, causing him to miss his custody hearing. During the process of the post-crash discussion, the attorney accidentally drops the papers he needs to present in court. The judge gives him until the end of the day to present the papers and thus begins a cat and mouse game between the proponents. A few questionable actions later on both parties' part, they finally start questioning their actions and their lives. In the end, both come to new understanding of what is important and appear to be set in new ethical and moral directions. Contains mild violence and profanity.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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