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Changing Lanes (2002)

  Directed by: Roger Michell
Starring: Ben Affleck, Toni Collette, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Staunton
Links: Changing Lanes on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 6.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 129th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

"Unsurprisingly mediocre" - a review by pearly

Ben Affleck plays Gavin Banek, a young hot-shot lawyer with more money than sense in this movie which, despite the big names, still comes off as decidedly B-grade. On the morning of one of the biggest cases of his life, Gavin is involved in a minor car accident with Doyle Gipson (Samuel L. Jackson). In his hurry, he makes two big mistakes. Firstly, he refuses to do things by the book insurance-wise, and secondly, he drops one of the files that he needs for the big case. Doyle and Gavin then play a cat-and-mouse game trying to sort out their respective lives.

Changing Lanes tries to show the value of being nice to people at all times. It's a valiant message, but I just don't care. I am left feeling absolutely no sympathy for Gavin, and only a small amount for bumbling Doyle. They're both inherently unlikeable characters, surrounded by other (mostly) even more unlikeable characters. Gavin's secretary Michelle (played with boredom by Toni Collette) is the only one to like in the whole bunch - each of the others is more awful than the last (especially by the time you meet Gavin's wife Valerie (Kim Staunton).

The plot also becomes more and more outrageous as it goes along. The two lead characters, whilst angry with each other, resort to ridiculous (illegal) means of revenge with each other before they even try to sort their issues out like adults. Maybe Americans behave this way (though I doubt that they actually do) but I don't know anyone who does. It goes beyond being a movie about "if you're nice rather than complacent, you'll get results" (which, I think, is what it was aiming at) and into "if you're nice rather than being a complete and utter bastard, you'll get results".

I would say that this movie is a waste of good actors, but I don't necessarily know that you could put Affleck or Jackson into the good actors category anymore. They seem to be involving themselves with some bombs. Maybe you could say that's it's a waste of big actors. Oh, and by the way, this movie definitely suffers from movies-must-end-neatly-and-happily syndrome.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 2 Dec 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 1
Number of ratings: 2
Average rating: 6.00
Lowest rating: 5 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 7 (by em_fiction)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. didgeridoo

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Jenny on Wed 24 Mar 2004 21:26 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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