Angelina Jolie, reminding us that she really can act, stars as Christine Collins, a floor manager for the Los Angeles phone company in 1928. She arrives home late and discovers that her 9-year-old son is missing. The police won't take her call for 24 hours, and even then they try to convince her that kids run away all the time. A couple of months later, they present her with a boy who almost fits the description. She knows he isn't her son and says so.
To avoid looking like morons in the press, the cops allow Capt. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan) to intimidate Christine, finally forcing her into the country psycho ward without a warrant. Christine refuses to give up on the hope that Walter may still be alive. She fights to the end of the film, tough and determined to learn the truth, and it would be easy to emphasize her quest and see the movie as praise of what an individual can do to shake up the status quo.
Clint Eastwood's films have frequently been about the advantages and need to form effective teams "? even artificial families "? and in "Changeling," Christine's will only runs her head against the bricks of conspiracy when she works alone. Start thinking Oscar nominations. This is a good one.