6.4/10
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Changing Lanes (2002)

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2:24 | Trailer
The story of what happens one day in New York City, when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive, and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Director:

Roger Michell

Writers:

Chap Taylor (story), Chap Taylor (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Affleck ... Gavin Banek
Samuel L. Jackson ... Doyle Gipson
Kim Staunton ... Valerie Gipson
Toni Collette ... Michelle
Sydney Pollack ... Stephen Delano
Tina Sloan ... Mrs. Delano
Richard Jenkins ... Walter Arnell
Akil Walker Akil Walker ... Stephen Gipson
Cole Hawkins Cole Hawkins ... Danny Gipson
Ileen Getz ... Ellen
Jennifer Dundas ... Mina Dunne (as Jennifer Dundas Lowe)
Matt Malloy ... Ron Cabot
Amanda Peet ... Cynthia Delano Banek
Myra Lucretia Taylor Myra Lucretia Taylor ... Judge Frances Abarbanel
Bruce Altman ... Terry Kaufman
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Storyline

The story of what happens one day in New York City, when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive, and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An ambitious lawyer, a desperate father, they had no reason to meet, until today, See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fuera de control See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,128,062, 14 April 2002

Gross USA:

$66,818,548

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$94,935,764
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was Samuel L. Jackson's choice for his character to wear a purple hat. Jackson's characters often feature the color purple: Mr. Glass wears purple clothing in Unbreakable (2000) and Glass (2019); and Mace Windu has a purple light-saber in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). See more »

Goofs

During the late afternoon or early evening in the office, we hear a radio news summary that describes the "stock market" performance that day and mentions "Wall Street", "NASDAQ" and "the Dow". However, the movie is set on Good Friday when stock exchanges in the US (and many other countries) are closed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Doyle Gipson: Think I'll make this the boys' room.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the staff and Militia Force members and veterans at the Marcy Avenue Armory, Brooklyn, New York. See more »

Alternate Versions

There was an early review of the movie that contained a spoiler of the ending. The ending that was originally used involved Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson getting into a fist fight that leads onto the balcony. They talk about right and wrong and Affleck takes the file and tears it up and the movie fades to credits. This ending was most likely cut because test audiences did not like it. It will most likely appear on the DVD. Also a small clip shown in the TV ads shows Affleck and Jackson fighting on the balcony. This was part of the original ending which explains why it was cut. See more »

Connections

Remade as Taxi No. 9 2 11: Nau Do Gyarah (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Waiting in Vain
(1977)
by Bob Marley
Performed by Annie Lennox
Courtesy of BMG Records (UK) Ltd. / Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Changing Lanes: A turn for Hollywood? (8 stars)
9 April 2002 | by sumitagarwalSee all my reviews

When `Changing Lanes' first opens, the viewer is presented with a montage of jagged credits, trendy jerking photography cruising NYC streets, and electronic beats that are so cool they could be used for cryogenic freezing. It quickly seems apparent that this film is simply a star-vehicle for Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson; it seems apparent that this is a cold and impersonal genre-exercise for a successful comedy director, Roger Michell (`Notting Hill'), to branch out; it seems to be all these things until the end of this sequence when the camera glances out the window of a school bus out onto the New York City skyline, and there we see it: the World Trade Center. Unlike Sam Raimi's upcoming `Spider-Man', delayed after September 11th so that the WTC could be digitally removed, this is a film unafraid to date itself, and unafraid to look at human truth.

Affleck plays the role of the oddly named Gavin Banek (did they take the name ‘Ben Affleck', throw it in a blender, and add some new letters for good measure?), a high-power lawyer on the verge of becoming one of the partners at his law firm, alongside his father-in-law. Jackson is Doyle Gibson, a reforming alcoholic father of two clawing his way out of his hole and trying to save his marriage. On a critical day in both their lives, Doyle going to court to try winning joint-custody, and Gavin on his way to seal his career-making case, the two get into a minor accident on the FDR turnpike, causing Doyle to miss his hearing and Gavin to accidentally give Doyle a signed document that is critical to his case… and it all unravels from there.

The two tumble in a daylong haze of malice and self-destruction, sabotaging each other's lives. Whenever either decides to throw in the towel and do the ‘right' thing, it is too late and the other has already escalated it to the next level. His life quickly falling down around him, Gavin begins to examine it for the first time, taking a deep look into his wife, his law firm, his boss/father-in-law, and himself… ultimately questioning his motivation for trying to retrieve the document in the first place.

This is where the film really shines: many movies ask the question ‘what makes a man?' but `Changing Lanes' does it with honestly and authenticity. The screenplay, by Chap Taylor, asks if it is success, or if its providing for one's wife and kids, or if its true goodness, avoiding superficiality and delving into the motivations for each. In one telling monologue, Gavin's father-in-law, played with perfect tone by Sydney Pollack, says, `At the end of the day, I do more good than harm. What other standard have I got?' Unfortunately, the movie does not really ask the question of what makes a woman, even though both wives show real strength. The movie does not even seem to suggest that Gavin and Doyle's struggles could even be applied to women (obviously they could, had the movie explored that).

Jackson, always an excellent actor, is great as Gibson even if he has performed better before. Surprisingly, in this film Affleck's acting actually seems to surpass Jackson's in this amazing performance that is probably the best we have seen from Affleck so far.

All of the characters in the film, including minor-roles and extras, all exhibit a very human feel, and seeing real-feeling people on the screen has always been something rare and not to be taken for granted. The viewer comes to care about everyone in the picture: Gavin, Doyle, their wives, the guy at the bank, even the stranger at the bar.

New York City itself is alive in this movie: it breathes, coughs, and gasps with Salvatore Totino's shaky, unsaturated, claustrophobic photography. Totino really looks at people and the city in the face, and does not try to make them prettier or uglier than they are. David Arnold's original electronic score is a refreshing change from the very poor attempts at orchestral music that most movies are now filled with. Arnold's score very effectively sets the mood and reinforces the tempo of the movie.

`Changing Lanes' is a success for Roger Michell that shows us that a movie can have major stars, be entertaining, glossy, substantial, and pensive all-at-once.

`Changing Lanes' is rated R for a fender-bender, destruction of office equipment, unseen infidelity, a shot of the World Trade Center, and honest depiction of the human condition.


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