Date with destiny

Rated R

Changing Lanes is one of many films that prove, without a doubt, that Ben Affleck is a very good actor. While projects like Dogma, Chasing Amy and The Sum of All Fears have earned Affleck some respect—overcoming the dogs like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor— this is his best film. He plays a young, power-hungry lawyer who sideswipes a car on his way to an important trial.

The man in the other vehicle, Samuel L. Jackson, also has an important engagement, but Affleck ditches him and his disabled vehicle on the highway, which starts a chain of events that could devastate both of their lives.

This is a strong thriller and a parable of biblical proportions. Both characters are put through Job-like tests of endurance and faith, with both needing some big lessons on the perils of hasty decisions and bad tempers. Affleck and Jackson portray their characters with major intensity, both delivering some of the best work of their careers.

This film resolves its issues in a surprising and risky way. Changing Lanes sticks to its guns and doesn’t chicken out on its intentions.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The disc contains some deleted scenes and one extended scene. Director Roger Mitchell provides a commentary track, and there are two featurettes, one on the making of the film and one about the writer’s perspective. There’s nothing groundbreaking in the bonus material, but it’s certainly worth your time.

Movie: B+

Features: B-