Changing Lanes

Rated NR

The studio marketing machine has positioned Changing Lanes as a movie about road rage, which actually sounds more intriguing than this luke-warm tale about a fender bender on a New York City freeway. The ensuing urbane warfare in which participate the two drivers—Ben Affleck as a young, devil-may-care lawyer and Samuel L. Jackson as a recovering alcoholic in the midst of a custody battle—initially seems like a nifty Spy vs. Spy comic strip. But under the direction of Roger Michel (Notting Hill), the plot devolves into a simplistic attempt to "seriously" examine morality, ethics and fate. Yeah, right. Welcome supporting performances by Dylan Baker, William Hurt, Amanda Peet, Toni Collette and producer-director-actor Sydney Pollack, who spruces up just about everything he appears in, can’t save this high-concept/low-intelligence yawner.

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