Changing Lanes

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Changing Lanes ★★★ 2002 (R)

A fender-bender on the FDR pits two harried New Yorkers in an escalating battle of revenge. Banek (Affleck), a privileged Wall Street lawyer, and Gipson (Jackson), a recovering-alcoholic insurance man, both need to get to court on time. Banek to file documents crucial to his firm's success, and Gipson, to prove he's fit to retain joint custody of his two kids. Because of the accident, neither gets quite what he wants. When Gipson finds that he has the the vital document, after having been stranded by Banek (and subsequently late to the custody hearing), he begins the battle. Throughout the back and forth, the plot (and many of its excesses), gives way to a fully realized character study and thoughtful pondering of motivations, corruption, and desperation, powered by dialogue not usually seen in a “revenge” flick. Michell deftly brings out the best in every member of a talented cast. 98m/C VHS, DVD . US Ben Affleck, Samuel L. Jackson, Toni Collette, Sydney Pollack, William Hurt, Amanda Peet, Richard Jenkins, Kim Staunton, John Benjamin Hickey, Jennifer (Jennie) Dundas Lowe, Dylan Baker, Matt Malloy, Pamela Hart; D: Roger Michell; W: Michael Tolkin, Chap Taylor; C: Salvatore Totino; M: David Arnold.