The Way Back - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Way Back Reviews

July 15, 2020
The beats are played with conviction. Eventually, Gavin O'Connor's film even rewards Affleck's commitment with a flicker of the unexpected.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 10, 2020
Ben Affleck gives his first truly transformative, vanity-free performance as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in this otherwise familiar underdog sports yarn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 8, 2020
Plays it too safe, but Affleck goes the extra mile.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
July 8, 2020
I was yearning to find the way out.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
March 11, 2020
It's a solid effort. There are guts here, just not quite enough glory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 9, 2020
The force of Ben Affleck's perpetually anguished glower suggests depths that this redemption-through-sports drama doesn't reach.
March 7, 2020
Affleck is a superstar who carries darkness and sadness in his shoulders and in his eyes - his Batman was particularly joyless - which makes "The Way Back" an ideal role for him.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 6, 2020
Surprisingly solid and not at all mawkish or maudlin as it might look from the outset. This is probably the best work of Ben Affleck's career.
March 6, 2020
Despite those momentum-stalling and unnecessary detours, the irresistibly cheer-worthy basketball sequences and Affleck's resonant and authentic performance are more than enough to carry the day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 6, 2020
Despite narrative issues, the film is overall affecting and effective with Ben Affleck's powerful performance being a driving force.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
March 6, 2020
The plot may be formulaic, but there's nothing predictable about Ben Affleck's commitment to the role of Jack, or the subtlety and sincerity with which he plays it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 6, 2020
I couldn't help but notice the goosebumps covering my arms when the music swelled.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 5, 2020
Mr. Affleck owns the role. He plays it with the subtlety of a character actor and the coiled ferocity of the star he has always been, through good roles and bad.
March 5, 2020
"The Way Back" course corrects in a big way towards the end, as the movie careens past its expected destination and into a gracefully subdued fourth act that reaffirms the underlying truthfulness of this story.
Full Review | Original Score: B
March 5, 2020
"The Way Back" turns out to be the perfect way back on-screen for Ben Affleck.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 5, 2020
In "The Way Back," you believe the idea of what Jack Gallagher is because you believe the man who plays him, Ben Affleck.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
March 5, 2020
Clichéd as it is, "The Way Back" is not a mawkish picture. Rather, it's notable for the quiet dignity that O'Connor and Affleck bring to the proceedings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 5, 2020
Aside from Affleck's quietly convincing performance, "The Way Back" offers nothing to make it stand out in a crowded field of underdog sports movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 5, 2020
Ben Affleck shoots, often scores and most importantly slam dunks a seriously gripping role in his new basketball drama "The Way Back."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
March 5, 2020
Brad Ingelsby's screenplay is the film's guiltiest instrument, shortchanging even the most conventional pleasures of a redemption-themed sports film.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
March 4, 2020
Though the focus is on Jack's journey back to himself through the device of basketball, the best moments in "The Way Back" are the basketball itself... The game is what makes "The Way Back" hum, not Jack's tragic backstory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 4, 2020
Can a film be a compendium of clichés and still feel emotionally honest? "The Way Back" is a test case and, aside from the commitment shown by its cast, the answer is, sorry, no.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 4, 2020
It's a performance that suggests the most interesting stretch of Affleck's career as an actor is still to come.
March 4, 2020
Ben Affleck is still portraying a version of the Tortured Good Guy with a Past, but he exposes his vulnerabilities in ways that audiences have rarely seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 4, 2020
Ben Affleck brings his acting A game to this sports/redemption drama that plays way below his level, but still lets us root for the struggling star and the basketball coach he plays to find and honest way back from alcohol addiction.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
March 4, 2020
O'Connor finds ways to keep viewers subtly off guard; just when you think "The Way Back" will turn into a Big Game movie, it reverts to being an addiction drama (and then goes back again).
March 4, 2020
A rich character drama about loss, addiction and self-destruction that only incidentally focuses on the business of life lessons and whipping a ragtag team of misfits into a winning ball club.
March 4, 2020
Affleck carries the film well on his larger-than-usual shoulders, capably showing all sides of a down-on-his-luck alcoholic - the funny, the sweet, the explosive and the self-destructive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 4, 2020
It's a reminder that the most trite material-in this case, getting a second chance at making good-can be powerful when handled honestly.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
March 4, 2020
The Way Back is a film stuck on the runway, quietly circling around, always threatening to fly but never managing to get off the ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
March 4, 2020
It's meant as a firm compliment to say that The Way Back looks and feels like a film that could have been made at any time between the early 1970s and right now.
March 4, 2020
[A] modestly well-made Sunday-school lesson.