Lane started her film career while she was just 13 in the film titled, A Little Romance in 1979. The very same year she featured on the cover of Time, which described her as Hollywood's newest rising star. She was then seen in films like The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. After which she starred in few forgettable movies, including Chaplin, Judge Dredd and Jack. In 1999, the film A Walk on the Moon, reestablished her career. The film was a huge hit and performance too was well received. Soon after, she starred in the heart-warming film title My Dog Skip.
In 2002, Lane starred in the film titled Unfaithful, this film not just made her a star but also won her first ever Oscar’s nomination. After this film Lane accumulated more lead roles, with the films such as; Under the Tuscan Sun and Nights in Rodanthe.
Lane married actor Christopher Lambert in 1988, with whom she has a daughter. The marriage was short lived and the couple divorced in 1994. 10 years later she married fellow actor Josh Brolin. The couple divorced in 2013.