Changing Lanes


Changing Lanes

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 151


Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,202
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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. A recovering alcoholic, Doyle's tardiness doesn't sit well with the judge, who - sick of waiting for Gipson - grants custody to Doyle's ex-wife in Doyle's absence. The situation worsens when it becomes evident that Doyle has an equally important file belonging to Gavin, which proves that an elderly man gave Banek's firm power-of-attorney over his foundation. So begins an escalating war of words and deeds between the two men. Soon, egged on by an associate (Toni Collette), Gavin hires a "fixer" (Dylan Baker) to destroy Doyle's credit, forcing Doyle to fire back with some cunning moves of his own. Changing Lanes co-stars William Hurt, Sydney Pollack, and Toni Collette.


Ben Affleck
as Gavin Banek
Samuel L. Jackson
as Doyle Gipson
Kim Staunton
as Valerie Gipson
Toni Collette
as Michelle
Sydney Pollack
as Stephen Delano
Amanda Peet
as Cynthia Banek
Tina Sloan
as Mrs. Delano
Richard Jenkins
as Walter Arnell
Akil Walker
as Stephen Gipson
Cole Hawkins
as Danny Gipson
Jennifer Dundas
as Mina Dunne
Matt Malloy
as Ron Cabot
Bradley Cooper
as Gordon Pinella
Myra Lucretia-Taylor
as Judge Abarbanel
Cole Hwakins
as Danny Gipson
Bruce Altman
as Joe Kaufman
Joe Grifasi
as Judge Cosell
Lisa Leguillou
as Gina Gugliotta
Angela Goethals
as Sarah Windsor
Kevin Sussman
as Tyler Cohen
Susan Varon
as Sheryl Buckburg
Noel Wilson
as bartender at Arlo's
Angel L. Cabán
as Security Guard at School
Tyler Sussman
as Tyler Cohen
James Lovelett
as security guard at school
Julia Gibson
as Receptionist at AD&S
William Hurt
as Sponsor
Ray Bokhour
as Willard
Ray Boknour
as Willard
Suzanne Hevner
as Delano's Secretary
Caleb Archer
as Kid on a Bike
Olga Merediz
as Mrs. Miller
Jayne Houdyshell
as Miss Tetley
Shabazz Richardson
as Cop at Precinct
Ray Anthony Thomas
as Cop at Precinct
Raymond Anthony Thomas
as Cop at Precint
Michael Pitt
as music teacher/conductor
Juan Lara
as Orchestra Child
Juanma Lara
as orchestra children
Anastasia Rojas
as Orchestra Child
Nicole Wright
as Orchestra Child
Clive Oliver Greenberg
as Orchestra Child
Sophia Guaspari
as orchestra member
Ruben J. Seraballs
as orchestra member
Carolyn Feldschuh
as office worker
Maria Alaina Mason
as office worker
Harvey Waldman
as Author in Newsroom Interview
Pamela Hart
as newscaster
Neal Jones
as newsroom writer
Susan Blackwell
as newsroom producer
Alyson Renaldo
as newsroom executive producer
James Soviero
as Newsroom Associate Producer
Mary Pat Kelly
as newsroom script supervisor
Anthony DiGiacomo
as newsroom associate director
Richard Velasco
as newsroom director
Leonard Thomas
as newsroom reporter
Richard Kelly
as AA group leader
Selena Blake
as insurance broker
Harriet Rosenthal
as Family Court Member
John Kohl
as Family Court Member
Lisa Vogel
as Family Court Member
Bob Heffernan
as Simon Dunne
View All

News & Interviews for Changing Lanes

Critic Reviews for Changing Lanes

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (116) | Rotten (35)

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

    Sep 22, 2008

    Robert Koehler

    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.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's a bit contrived, but this is a strongly acted two-hander...

    Nov 19, 2002 | Rating: 3/5
  • Changing Lanes is a surprise.

    Oct 15, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Nev Pierce
    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.

    Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
  • The two stars? They're exactly right.

    Jun 1, 2002

Audience Reviews for Changing Lanes

  • Dec 10, 2014
    Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson square-off in the intense and dramatic thriller Changing Lanes. After leaving the scene of a traffic accident, a lawyer ends up embroiled in a feud with the person that he hit in order to recover an important file that he left at the scene. The story is remarkably engaging and has layers of subtext, as the grudge match leads both of the main characters to learn things about themselves as they push each other to the limit and find out how far they're willing to go. Affleck and Jackson give excellent performances, and are backed by a strong supporting cast that includes Amanda Peet, Toni Collette, and William Hurt. An incredibly powerful film, Changing Lanes takes a provocative look at the darker side of human nature.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2014
    Not bad. This film is an exercise in human stupidity, but everything ends up working out pretty well in the end. Hobbes would totally love this movie lol.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2012
    Changing Lanes keeps you on your toes with a tense screenplay that does not let up until the final scenes when everyone is tidied up a little too well after all the chaos that ensued. Samuel L. Jackson is terrific as usual and rides the line between doing what he needs for his family and crossing that line. Ben Affleck is better in these roles than he is in the action role, playing a hotshot lawyer that realizes all the unethical crap he pulls will eventually catch up to him. I was actually expecting this to have more action than it did based on the title and previews, but I'm not complaining when it was this well done. Ultimately, the only knock I have is that the conclusion is a little too easy based on the rest, but Changing Lanes will keep you guessing and is entertaining.
    Josh L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2012
    Samuel L. Jackson delivers one of his most memorable performances as Doyle Gibson, an insurance agent and separated father of two, who is caught up in a horrible day. Jackson steps away from his in-your-face characters that we are used to and embarks as a downtrodden everyday citizen. Along with his performance, "Changing Lanes" produces a perfect dramatic script, with each moment building on top of the next. Each time Doyle or Gavin (Ben Affleck) could end this catastrophic day, they forget how to be civilized and instead of moving forward in their personal and business lives, they continuously take two steps back until their entire lives are shaken by the end of the day. The writing of the film always feels true and each actor embody their roles to a sincere perfection, creating a solid and time-tested thriller.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer

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