Critics Consensus

Beautifully shot and well-acted, Changeling is a compelling story that unfortunately gives in to convention too often.



Total Count: 205


Audience Score

User Ratings: 227,021
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Movie Info

Inspired by actual events that occurred in 1920s-era Los Angeles, Clint Eastwood's The Changeling tells the story of a woman driven to confront a corrupted LAPD after her abducted son is retrieved and she begins to suspect that the boy returned to her is not the same boy she gave birth to. The year was 1928, and the setting a working-class suburb of Los Angeles. As Christine (Angelina Jolie) said goodbye to her son, Walter, and departed for work, she never anticipated that this was the day her life would be forever changed. Upon returning home, Christine was distressed to discover that Walter was nowhere to be found. Over the course of the following months, the desperate mother would launch a search that would ultimately prove fruitless. Yet just when it seemed that all hope was lost, a nine-year-old boy claiming to be Christine's son seemed to appear out of thin air. Overcome with emotions and uncertain how to face the authorities or the press, Christine invites the child to stay in her home despite knowing without a doubt that he is not her son. As much as Christine would like to accept the fact that her son has been returned to her, she cannot accept the injustice being pushed upon her and continues to challenge the Prohibition-era Los Angeles police force at every turn. As a result, Christine is slandered by the powers that be, and painted as an unfit mother. In this town, a woman who challenges the system is putting her life on the line, and as the situation grows desperate, the only person willing to aid her in her search is benevolent local activist Reverend Briegleb (John Malkovich).


Angelina Jolie
as Christine Collins
John Malkovich
as Rev. Gustav Briegleb
Jeffrey Donovan
as Capt. J.J. Jones
Michael Kelly
as Det. Lester Ybarra
Colm Feore
as Chief James E. Davis
Frank Wood
as Ben Harris
Reed Birney
as Mayor Cryer
Jason Butler Harner
as Gordon Northcott
Amy Ryan
as Carol Dexter
Denis O'Hare
as Dr. Jonathan Steele
Peter Gerety
as Dr. Earl W. Tarr
Gattlin Griffith
as Walter Collins
Devon Conti
as Arthur Hutchins
Eddie Alderson
as Sanford Clark
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Critic Reviews for Changeling

All Critics (205) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (79)

Audience Reviews for Changeling

  • Apr 13, 2015
    Jolie is good, but slightly over-the-top in her performance as Christine - a woman who's kidnapped son is replaced by a "changeling", someone the police force reassures her is her son, however bares little likeness whatsoever to her real child. Based on true events and with Eastwood at the helm, Changeling compells its audience from the beginning and has it's fair share of great moments, but the film's tone eventually begins to grate and the meandering story is often confusing.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2013
    Angelina Jolie tries her best to tell the story of Christine Collins and what happens to her is truly ghastly but somehow I think something is missing. I know that Eastwood can be brilliant behind the camera and miss the mark at others. Perhaps he and not Jolie is the one responsible for a less than convincing effort.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2012
    It's a tale of the discrimination and corruption of society and how a single mother tries her best to overcome it. Angelina Jolie along with Clint Eastwood should have won academy awards for their work in the film. I couldn't stop crying when I watched the film, it's very bittersweet and misogynistic. But all's not well, still ends well.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2012
    Enjoyable, historical drama. Not my favorite, but not bad either.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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