Changing Lanes

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

Gavin Bannek (Ben Affleck), a junior partner in a high-priced New York law firm rushes to the court to file probate papers. Doyle Gibson (Samuel L. Jackson) rushes from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to court for a hearing to hopefully share custody of his sons. A sudden lane change throws the two cars together and Doyles car is damaged. Doyle wants to do the right thing about exchanging insurance information. But in a rush, Gavin offers a blank check and drives away, forgetting a dropped file. Doyle picks up the file and hurries to the custody hearing. But the accident makes Doyle late and he looses custody of his sons. But Gavin is also in a fix, because the forgotten file is vital to his case. Anger drives Doyle to react badly to Gavin, who in turn reacts to Doyles anger. Events escalate as each action brings a new level of rage. Star power should bring in the crowds, but the battle of wills generates some interesting dynamics.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In an interesting, allegorical twist, this confrontation takes place on Good Friday. Both men, although from different social strata, have similar ideals about moral behavior. But circumstances create an atmosphere of anger and hostility that drives them to act against their moral judgment. As the day progresses, Gavin realizes how corrupt his bosses are. An interview with a legal intern reminds Gavin of the ideals he once held, but in the course of the day, he breaks many of the laws he should uphold, including lying to the court. And like the Biblical Jezebel, his wife encourages Gavins less than idealist actions, to retain the lifestyle his career provides. Doyle wants to do the right thing and be a good example to his sons. He comments several times about sons needing their father. But after his AA sponsor bails him out of jail, he tells Doyle that rather than alcohol, disaster is Doyles drug. But after the events of Good Friday bring both men to the bottom of their moral well, the next day brings renewed hope that the future will be better. Unfortunately, the atmosphere of anger, frustration and fear generates more than a few obscenities and several profanities. Without the vulgarities, CHANGING LANES would be a modern morality tale suitable for teens and adults.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Paramount Pictures, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times Mild 5, moderate 1

Obscene Language: Many (17) times F-word 9, s-word 7, other 1

Profanity: Several (5) times Regular (GD 2, JC, C sake); exclamatory 1 (OG)

Violence: Several times Moderate (car accident, man hit w/phone, bloody cut on head, computer thrown at wall, car hits wall air bags)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (reference to past affair, man caresses womans hair)

Drugs: Men drinking in bar, slightly drunken behavior, drink ordered not taken

Other: Good Friday time frame, images of Catholic mass/ confession, man comments about being grateful to God, man says anger put you where shouldnt be, computer hacker ruins credit, wife encourages moral compromise

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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