Changing Lanes (2002)

Who would actually win in an actual fight to the death???

Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson star in this drama about an egocentric attorney and a recovering alcoholic salesman whose lives dangerously collide when their cars crash on a New York expressway. After the accident, corrupt lawyer Gavin Banek (Affleck) discovers he’s left behind an important file with the other driver, Doyle Gibson (Jackson). But soon anger erupts, and a vengeful game of one-upmanship threatens to ruin them both.

This is a movie that has a point, and it’s point is about ethics. Both men are on two different sides of the food chain, but they still have so much in common despite this. Their both legitimately good people, with obvious flaws, but when their put together to fight, because of one silly incident, there is no limitations to what they can, and will do to each other.

The writing is top-notched because it shows the constant morality with real life. There are several moments where these men do stuff, when they could have acted better, but instead, they go for the most vicious thing, and the effect is always negative. That’s how life is, one bad thing you do to another, will always turn out to be bad for you as well. There is no happy-happy with this film, it’s just two guys trying to find some light in all the darkness, even though their may not be any at all.

I thought the film was directed well, but in a way it had way too much of a big budget. The camera is always flying around all over the place, and for me, I thought it deserved, in order to be even more tense, defiantly a lot calmer. Also, when it comes to their being a better ending, this film could have had it, with all of the other powerful stuff going on, I could have been given something a little bit more challenging, then what I did get in the end.

At the inner core of this film is really its performances. Ben Affleck gives one of his best dramatic performances, playing the kind of deauchy character were so used to seeing him as, but this time it works to his advantage, because we actually can sympathize with him when we need to. Samuel L. Jackson, is even better, playing this tragic character, that in every scene we can feel the anger, and rage within him, and when he snaps, oh we do know he means business. There are other notable supporters in this film such as Richard Jenkins, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt, and Toni Collette. But surprisingly the best of the supporters that has a very emotional and touching scene is Amanda Peet, who comes from out of nowhere and provides us with a true, and utterly brutal scene about love. Always still think her best is Saving Silverman.

Consensus: Changing Lanes has way too big a budget for its material, but its used well, with perfect performances from the cast, and a brutal, yet true screenplay, about the morality we face in life every day.



  1. It’s harsh to say in the least. An underrated film, but Affleck’s career has made a resurgence so I’m okay with how it was initially received.

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