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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Car crashes (one intentional), realistic fistfights, scenes of family conflict
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Reference to infidelity
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Strong language, plus plenty of racist comments.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character is a recovering alcoholic
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film involves a lot of realistic emotional violence which can be upsetting. A family is separated by the alcoholism of a parent, and there is an extremely harrowing scene of a father being forcibly removed from his son's school. There is also a later confrontation between the father and mother where the father is told he'll never see the children again. The physical violence in the film is brief and mild by modern standards, but realistic. There are religious references (the movie takes place on Good Friday) that some families will find awkward or heavy-handed. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an excellent but harsh thriller about two men whose moral bearings are dislodged by a cataclysmic accident. Most thrillers have audiences asking themselves what the characters will do next; CHANGING LANES will have them asking themselves what they might do in this situation, because it is a movie about how close all of us are to abandoning the thin veneer of civilization and breaking all the rules to lash out at each other. Both Gavin and Doyle are appealing, seemingly decent characters. But Gavin lacks the maturity to take full responsibility for his actions, while Doyle's rage -- an even more profound addition than his alcoholism -- overwhelms his good sense.
They both hover at the point of forgiveness, but neither is willing to let go of their self-righteous indignation and make mature choices. The characters along the way each present them with choices, each representing a world view that Gavin and Doyle must adopt or reject. Sidney Pollack (best known as a director) is outstanding as Gavin's corrupt boss and there are other strong supporting performances by Toni Collette, William Hurt, and Amanda Peet.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate