Up 153 this week

Changeling (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Mystery  |  31 October 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 191,027 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.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Salt (2010)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Original Sin (2001)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman along with her lover, plan to con a rich man by marrying him and on earning his trust running away with all his money. Everything goes as planned until she actually begins to fall in love with him.

Director: Michael Cristofer
Stars: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane
Taking Lives (2004)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An FBI profiler is called in by French Canadian police to catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of each new victim.

Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke, Kiefer Sutherland
The Tourist (2010)
Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Wanted (2008)
Action | Crime | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A frustrated office worker learns that he is the son of a professional assassin, and that he shares his father's superhuman killing abilities.

Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Stars: Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti
Gia (TV Movie 1998)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of the life of Gia Carangi, a top fashion model from the late 1970s, from her meteoric rise to the forefront of the modeling industry, to her untimely death from AIDS at age 26.

Director: Michael Cristofer
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway, Elizabeth Mitchell
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Adventuress Lara Croft goes on a quest to save the mythical Pandora's Box before an evil scientist and recruits a former Marine turned mercenary to assist her.

Director: Jan de Bont
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Chris Barrie
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Video game adventuress Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artifacts.

Director: Simon West
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen


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?


Ron Howard planned to direct the film himself, until scheduling conflicts dictated otherwise. He then decided to serve as a producer. See more »


A telephone caller tells Christine to go to Lincoln Heights Precinct. Police stations in California have never been known as precincts. The term precinct is limited mainly to police stations in New York, Boston and Chicago. 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 Smash His Camera (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An interesting story told well.
28 October 2008 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Christine Collins: "The boy they brought back is not my son."

ClintEastwood s knows a good story, and he knows how to tell it on film. Not everything he does is as powerful as his depiction of a dynamic female boxer in Million Dollar Baby, for which Hilary Swank won a best actress Oscar among four for the film. In Changeling he presents another strong woman, Christine Collins, played by the notable Angelina Jolie. Because she is directed to weep at almost every turn and regularly underplay her grit, Jolie won't win accolades, nor will Eastwood rack up the nominations as he frequently does in Oscar season. But his adaptation of the historic Wineville Chicken Murders chills with his perceptions about the capriciousness of crime and the determination of those who choose to fight it.

In a Prohibition-era 1928, Collins gets word that the Los Angeles Police Department is returning her kidnapped eight-year old son. When she sees him at the station, a finely directed sequence showing the forces of motherhood and politics clash, she knows it is not her child. LAPD, needing the good publicity, forces her to take the boy overnight with the logic that she is merely in shock. The rest of this overly long thriller carefully traces the discoveries leading to resolutions and disappointments. Along the way, police corruption is exposed, mental institution incarceration of women is laid bare, and grisly serial murdering is slowly detailed.

Yet in this discursive narrative, Eastwood indulges himself beyond Jolie's annoying crying by gratuitously laboring over the details of an execution. The stark San Quentin setting is ghastly and the villain worthy except for the film's obvious criticism of false mental institution lockup, ironic here because this murderer is clearly deranged enough to be determined unfit for trial.

As in every Eastwood production, the values are first-rate, in this case period costuming and vehicles (those Model T's and trolley cars are beautiful). As in Mystic River, Eastwood knows how to splice family and community together in the struggle against organized crime, from street violence to public service malpractice. The activist preacher Reverend Briegleb (John Malkovich) helps bring the worlds together in his radio broadcasts, Malkovich for once playing good well. Eastwood continues to be the director of choice for depicting crimes and heartaches that strike the common citizen at will.

We all should be as productive in our later years. May he extend well beyond his golf-playing days and into our future.

172 of 234 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
Discuss Changeling (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: