Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Roger Michell|
|Produced by||Scott Rudin
|Written by||Chap Taylor
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Edited by||Christopher Tellefsen|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Changing Lanes is a 2002 American drama-thriller film directed by Roger Michell, and stars Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The film follows a successful, young Wall Street lawyer (Affleck) who accidentally crashes his car into a vehicle driven by a middle-aged, recovering alcoholic insurance salesman (Jackson). After the lawyer leaves the scene of the accident, the two men try to get back at each other, engaging in a variety of immoral and illegal actions that end up having a major impact on each man's life. The film was released on April 12, 2002 in North America by Paramount Pictures. The film was favourably reviewed by critics and it was a box office success, earning almost $95 million against a $45 million budget.
In New York City, a middle-aged African-American insurance salesman named Doyle Gipson is a recovering alcoholic who is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to stay sober. On the same morning that Gipson drives to a hearing to try to regain custody of his children, a successful, white, young Wall Street attorney, Gavin Banek, is distracted while driving and collides with Gipson's car. Banek was in a rush to get to court to file a power of appointment document, which will prove a dead man signed his foundation over to Banek's law firm. Gipson was also in a rush to get to a hearing to prevent his estranged wife from taking his two boys to Oregon. Banek tries to brush Gipson off with a blank check, rather than exchanging insurance information, thereby disobeying the law. After Gipson refuses to accept the check and voices his desire to "do the right thing", that is, filing a police report and insurance claim, Banek strands Gipson on a median, telling him, "better luck next time". After arriving to the court late, Gipson learns that the judge ruled against him in his absence, never knowing that Gipson was about to buy a house for his wife and children.
When Banek gets to court, he realizes that he dropped the crucial power of appointment file at the scene of the accident, and the judge gives him until the end of the day to retrieve it. Gipson, who scooped up the file, is torn, and initially refuses to return the file. Banek, who is desperate to get his papers back, goes to a "fixer", a shady computer hacker, and gets him to switch off Gipson's credit, which destroy's Gipson's chance for a home loan to keep his family together. Gipson is distraught when he finds out his credit has been ruined and he comes close to drinking again. Determined to get back at Banek, Gipson loosens the bolts on one of Banek's tires, and Banek suffers some minor injuries after his car crashes on the highway. Enraged, Banek goes to the elementary school of Gipson's children and tells school officials that Gipson plans to kidnap the boys, so Gipson is arrested and jailed.
Both men, shaken by the consequences of their actions, start to reconsider their desire for vengeance and try to find a way out. Although it appears unlikely that either man will achieve what he had hoped, both resolve to let go and do what is right, and the two men apologize to each other. Gipson returns the file containing the power of attorney, which Banek has since learned was obtained illegally, and he uses it to blackmail his boss to conduct business honestly and get approval to represent Gipson pro bono to resolve his legal troubles. Banek also visits Gipson's wife to explain everything. The film ends with Gipson's wife and children smiling at him from across the street.
- 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
- Richard Jenkins as Walter Arnell
- William Hurt as Doyle's Sponsor
- Amanda Peet as Cynthia Delano Banek
- Matt Malloy as Ron Cabot
- Tina Sloan as Mrs. Delano
- Ileen Getz as Ellen
- Bruce Altman as Terry Kaufman
- Dylan Baker as Finch
The film received favorable reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 77% based on reviews from 151 critics, with an average score of 7/10. Metacritic gave it an average score of 69/100 from the 36 reviews it collected.
- "Changing Lanes (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- Changing Lanes Movie Reviews, Pictures. 'Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
- Changing Lanes Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic
- Ebert, Roger (April 12, 2002). "Changing Lanes – Reviews". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 12, 2013.