The Way Back Poster

The Way Back (2020)

Rayting:   6.7/10
Country: USA | Canada
Language: English

Jack Cunningham was an HS basketball phenom who walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Years later, when he reluctantly accepts a coaching job at his alma mater, he may get one last shot at redemption.

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User Reviews

TopDawgCritic 26 March 2020

Ben Affleck was outstanding, no question there, as was the entire cast for that matter, but many little flaws held this film back from being great.

The annoying zoom-ins and shaky cam has been overdone and outdated - since The Office. There's no excuse this coming from experienced writer and director Gavin O'Connor, of which he and screenwriter Brad Ingelsby also needed to tell the story better.

The 108 min runtime wasn't used efficiently, as too much too fast happened in the last 15 mins, whereas up to that point, everything before that was more fluff than substance, with very slow pacing. I understand this film wasn't about basketball, and more about alcohol addiction, but had there been less fluff, with the message still coming across, and a better resolution that included the other 90% of the cast, this film would've been much better, instead of having lots of guts, and not enough glory. The score was also overbearing. It's a 7/10 from me, most of it for Affleck's performance.

parkertc 5 March 2020

I have to say I really enjoyed this film. Affleck turns in possibly his greatest acting performance yet. The sports aspect was very well done but the emotional moments make the film. Definitely some hard scenes to watch at times. I think just as a basketball film it's quite solid, but the dramatic elements turn this into a great film. Highly recommend it!

arabnikita 6 March 2020

Whenever a new basketball movie comes out, I am always curious to see how the game is portrayed and what elements are used to differentiate the film from its predecessors. Upon watching, I discovered that The Way Back is not a purely basketball film but a story of a man stumbling through life and using the sport as a branch to prevent him from hitting the ground.

Ben Affleck puts a on compelling performance of a man battling his demons and despite basketball managing to bring some happiness into his life, he can never trully heal his scars. Considering how difficult it is to get creative with sports movies, through its narrative, this film manages to put its own touch which will make basketball fans enjoy the grit, realism and attitude towards the game. Music deserves a separate mention as it adds impact to the dramatic nature of the film.


keithsealy 5 March 2020

The dialog, acting, the characters, production value, etc. of this movie were excellent. It is a very honest representation of a man suffering with grief and alcoholism.

However, it suffers from being a retread of many other similar movies. You can trace the story arc easily and predict what will happen throughout. You also shouldn't go into this movie thinking it is a 'sports' movie, while basketball coaching serves as a vehicle of redemption, you could have written the same movie about someone taking a job teaching a class or working with special needs kids.

Finally, be warned that this is a very 'heavy' movie. There are a few lighter scenes, but >80% of the movie is dramatic and played for an emotional punch.

Worth a watch for Affeck's performance.

bratpap 5 March 2020

Love or hate Ben, he's nothing short of amazing in this film. Congratulations Ben! 👍🏻

magadalwarmayur 6 March 2020

Who doesn't like an underdog story but this one felt very personal everything about this movie shouts good I'm glad I watched this film

kaneeddy 5 March 2020

The Way Back is a movie that is quite enjoyable especially if you are a fan of sports movies and love basketball. Ben Affleck gives a strong performance which feels very personal to him. This element heightens the film even more, it has a lot of things that you would find in the sports genre such as: Motivational scenes which make you feel good and make you want to support the characters. It doesn't oversimplify the game of basketball as well, the way they use strategies and plays feel like something you would actually see in a huddle of a high school basketball game and as a former assistant coach for a school basketball team I found that to be a really cool element. The way it handles the drama aspects outside of basketball and the real reason as to why the character is an alcoholic I found to be quite compelling and it felt quite emotional at times.

The film has a couple of drawbacks with the main one being that this is a little too cliched at times, a lot of tropes that you would see in sports films happen in this one, and I noticed that a lot of elements on the coaches interactions with the players were a little too similar to coach carter, which was a film that handled those elements better. Also the acting apart from Affleck for the most part was sub par, especially in the first act. The run time felt a little too long as well due to the fact that there were a lot of sub plots, I think it could have been better if they would cut some of them out to create a more tighter storyline.

Overall, I had a good time with the way back, i think if you're not a fan of the genre you wont find anything new here. However if you love sports, basketball and typical films in this genre you will have a good time like I did, and the awesome Ben Affleck performance is a bonus.

blazesuncaster 8 March 2020

Ben Affleck gives his best performance of his career in this film. Honestly if I were to watch a sport movie. It would be this one. The feelings this movie give off are outstanding. At one point it's sad and then at another point it's funny and happy, and then back to sad. This movie really plays with your emotions, but this movie isn't about the basketball team at all, it's about the thrive and healing of a depressed alcoholic. It's about regaining hope in life and finding something better than himself. Which is basketball. One of the funny things about this movie is that it's a Christian school and the players and coach use the worst language possible and sexual innuendos, I found that really funny. I don't really have any problems with the movie. The one problem I might have with it and it's a big might. But it would probably be the pacing, it just seems to really skip over important scenes too quick. But that may just be me trying to find something wrong with this movie. It says 9/10 but I give it a 9.5. Go see this movie, you will feel better about yourself after you see it. I know I did. Loved it. Will watch it again.

marshallonfilm_ 18 March 2020

"You're nervous. I get it. The truth is, they're more talented than you. Probably got a better coach. But I promise you, they are not a better team. Because they haven't been through what we've been through. They don't know adversity. They don't know what it's like to get knocked down and have to get back up again. They don't know what it is to fight." 🏀

Ben Affleck brings his A-game and a 6-pack of emotional baggage to the court for this powerhouse performance, but sadly he's deserving of a stronger film. This very familiar redemption story is far from new ground for director Gavin O'Connor, however sticking to genre formula is where the movie truly shines. Exploring themes of fatherhood and self-acceptance in touching sequences with the high school students, Ben's surrounded by a solid and serviceable lesser-known cast, yet much of the team's good work is undone by ill-advised plot developments, momentum-halting scenes and a flat, sour ending that leaves audiences wanting more to cheer for.

Movie Scene

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