Changing Lanes (2002)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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.
Rating:
R (for language)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

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
Ileen Getz
as Ellen
Jennifer Dundas
as Mina Dunne
Bradley Cooper
as Gordon Pinella
Matt Malloy
as Ron Cabot
Cole Hwakins
as Danny Gipson
Dylan Baker
as Finch
Myra Lucretia-Taylor
as Judge Abarbanel
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
Tyler Sussman
as Tyler Cohen
Susan Varon
as Sheryl Buckburg
Noel Wilson
as bartender at Arlo's
Angel L. Cabán
as Security Guard at School
James Lovelett
as security guard at school
Julia Gibson
as Receptionist at AD&S
William Hurt
as Sponsor
Ray Boknour
as Willard
Ray Bokhour
as Willard
Suzanne Hevner
as Delano's Secretary
Caleb Archer
as Kid on a Bike
Jordan Gelber
as priest
Olga Merediz
as Mrs. Miller
Raymond Anthony Thomas
as Cop at Precint
Jayne Houdyshell
as Miss Tetley
Shabazz Richardson
as Cop at Precinct
Ray Anthony Thomas
as Cop at Precinct
Michael Pitt
as music teacher/conductor
Juanma Lara
as orchestra children
Genevieve Elam
as waitress
Juan Lara
as Orchestra Child
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
Father Bonneau
as Himself
Jewel Brimage
as teacher
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
Juanma Lara
as orchestra children
Mary Kelly
as Newsroom Script Supervisor
Angel Caban
as security guard ar school
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Critic Reviews for Changing Lanes

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (33)

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 21, 2008
Variety
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 8, 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.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

The two stars? They're exactly right.

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.

April 16, 2002
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Changing Lanes

½

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 Lewis
Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

½

"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."

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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
Jason Robinson

Super Reviewer

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