The Way Back (2020)

Movie review by Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Way Back (2020) Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Tons of swearing in mature Affleck alcoholism drama.

R 2020 108 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+

Based on 5 reviews

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A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

The way back

Not for kids

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 15+

The Way Back - Gets a Little Lost

Looking like it might have offered a different take on an old theme this one just misses the mark. As a study of alcoholism, it comes near to saying something but a somewhat unnecessarily grotty script lets it down. Sordid jokes and a swear-fest approach did not help in this situation. Ben Affleck was suitably morose and must have felt like he might have been mirroring parts of his own life. One of the most outstanding attributes that helped lift this work to a higher level is a sensitive and different kind of music score. For this feature, Award-nominated composer Rob Simonsen has created a thoughtful score that almost works against the normal flow (in the best possible way) His music highlights the sadness and angst being experienced by those involved. The imaginative arrangements also set this score apart to maximum effect. Maybe it’s a score looking for a better film. The basketball theme is rather tired and clichéd and having the young players mouthing such platitudes like “let’s win this f...’in game for the coach” took this script from the hoop, to the waste-basket. While it might offer something to the sporty types or those looking for a so-called up-lifter, others may have to work harder at getting much out of it. There’s some nice photography here and there, and the director tries hard but could have benefited from a smarter script.

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