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Changeling (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Mystery  |  31 October 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 191,034 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 382 user | 258 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.


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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonia Bennett ...
Ben Harris
Girl on Tricycle
Madison Hodges ...
Neighborhood Girl
Devon Conti ...
Man at Diner


Los Angeles, 1928. A single mother returns from work to find her nine-year-old son gone. She calls the LAPD to initiate a search. Five months later, a boy is found in Illinois who fits the description; he says he's her son. To fanfare and photos, the LAPD reunite mother and son, but she insists he's not her boy. The cops dismiss her as either a liar or hysterical. When she joins a minister in his public criticism of the police, they in turn use government power to silence and intimidate her. Meanwhile, a cop goes to a dilapidated ranch to find a Canadian lad who's without legal status; the youth tells a grisly tale. There's redress for murder; is there redress for abuse of power? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | police | lapd | telephone | train | See All (287) »


To find her son, she did what no one else dared.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent and disturbing content, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sustituto  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$489,015 (USA) (24 October 2008)


£4,693,773 (UK) (2 January 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


| (opening and end sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This marks the first time since The Eiger Sanction (1975) that Clint Eastwood has directed a film for Universal Pictures. It is also the first time Eastwood has worked outside in any capacity outside of Warner Brothers Pictures (with the exception of television) since In the Line of Fire (1993). See more »


A scene set in 1928 features electro-convulsive therapy (also known as electroshock therapy). Electro-convulsive therapy was first used on humans in 1937, by Italian doctor Ugo Cerletti. See more »


[first lines]
Christine Collins: Walter, honey. Time to wake up.
Walter Collins: Just ten more minutes...
Christine Collins: Sorry, sport. You can sleep in tomorrow, that's what Saturdays are for.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The black-and-white Universal logo used in the 1940s opens the film. See more »


Referenced in The Making of Plus One (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Very, Very, Good Movie.
1 November 2008 | by (Ohio, United States) – See all my reviews

You must go see this movie. YOU MUST GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! I'll admit I didn't know what to expect when my wife asked me to go to this movie. And of course having Jolie in it she didn't have to twist my arm to much. We had to go out of town to see it because our local theater wasn't showing it. The acting by Jolie was great. Eastwood's direction was great. And the 20's and 30's look to the movie was so realistic. I learned some things about this time frame by watching this movie. So not only did I enjoy the movie I learned a little bit along the way. This is a Rated R movie so I wouldn't take kids to it because there are a couple disturbing moments in the movie. If this movie doesn't get some Oscar nominations I will be very surprised. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!

122 of 213 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Axe scene....a step to far? sarahparsons334
Why is it called changeling? charlimcbean
There is nothing reasonable or credible in this film. danieligarza
The Music is Crap hermanowen-1
One missing thing that would have cleared things up david-seerup
The boy saying the police told him to say he was Walter zackayotte
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