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By Herb Kane | May 2, 2002

CRITIC DOCTOR EXAMINES: Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times), Leonard Maltin (, Mr. Cranky (, Michæl Dequina (, Joel Segal (, Berge Garabedian ( ^ * * * * (out of 5 stars)
Gavin Banek (Ben Affleck) and Doyle Gipson (Samuel Jackson) battle daylong with each other in Changing Lanes after a fender-bender, but film critics reveal there is more to this story than “road-rage.”
Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) declared this “one of the best movies of the year” and said, “It’s not just about the quarrel between these two men, but about the ways they have been living their lives.”
“Hot Ticket’s” Leonard Maltin (Paramount Domestic TV) adds, “I think this film is not perfect, but I like so much about it. I like so much what it is attempting to do and what it succeeds in doing.”
The movie succeeds by traveling down a more scenic route where morality and understanding are the final destination. Though the two men are clearly at war, it’s nothing compared to their internal struggles. Affleck and Jackson skillfully establish their characters for a very interesting story.
Mr. Cranky ( complains about Banek’s meaningless life and his devious wife (Amanda Peet): “She follows daddy’s orders and gives Banek a speech on how silly things like morals and ethics should not keep him from having a good time, even if it means cheating on her. ‘Changing Lanes’ made me want to change theaters.”
Uh, I think Mr. Cranky needs to change his diapers. His whiny review stinks! This scene was a pivotal moment in Banek’s life. What is refreshing, though, is that Amanda Peet finally landed a worthy role. She hasn’t had one since “The Whole Nine Yards” (2000).
Michæl Dequina ( commented on Roger Michell, the film’s director: “Michell would have been wiser to instead go with the more bitter, better ending note that comes about five minutes prior to the existing conclusion.”
The previous scene was good, but I think Changing Lanes found a nice parking spot. I enjoyed the creative camera-work in the final shot, which fueled emotions. The real fun was getting there and “Good Morning America’s” Joel Segal ( nailed it: “‘Changing Lanes’ is one heck of a ride.”
Berge Garabedian ( summed the movie up best: “This isn’t a ‘road rage’ flick for the pre-teens, it’s a picture filled with many tense moments, two great stories, a rapid pace, intelligence, a moral message and the charismatic stylings of Sam Jackson and Ben Affleck.”
Changing Lanes isn’t about mindless road-rage; it’s about changing lives. Go see it. ^ -CRITIC DOCTOR
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