The Way Back (2020) - Drama, Sport

Hohum Score



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.

IMDB: 6.7
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Stars: Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal
Length: 108 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 46 out of 224 found boring (20.53%)

One-line Reviews (124)

Make the film unwatchable!

I found the movie slow and the "hero" unsympathetic.

Highly recommend it!


The story in The Way Back is a bit cliché, you have the team that never wins anything ending up winning again and that due to their new coach, it's a bit of a déjà vu.

The rest is too predictable.

There are a couple of times when they say some profound things but mostly its the same cliche themes that you expect.

Energetic camerawork, tight editing, steady pace & brilliant score make the ride all the more engaging while Ben Affleck single-handedly steers the film to victory with his knockout performance, perfectly articulating his character's personal demons & channeling them into something productive, thus adding another impressive output to his acting résumé.

I mean, im sorry but the movie is about lost and alcoholism i get it but every human being is responsible for own actions and i got feeling that we should feel sorry for Jacks problems.. It was cliché..3) What i missed most was sporting side of the story.. Deeper connection between Jack and players.. Only we got was cliché after another (arrogant player going late - apology - coming back to team, young captain who has sad life and makes the most important scoring in entire season , fatso and clown...

Good actors, poor script, boring movie.

Complete waste of time.

The movie was unoriginal and easily predictable.

It's an entertaining movie, even for non basketball fans.

I just watched The Way Back with Ben Affleck and found the movie to be incredibly BORING and predictable.

But those minor problems are outweighed by the engaging story, rich characters, and fantastic central performance from Ben Affleck.

Frankly, I found it a bit boring.

" It's true that sometimes the movie follows formula and is a bit predictable here and here.

Yawn .

An emotionally gripping drama bolstered by Ben Affleck's fantastic performance .

The movie dragged and was very predictable.

I wouldn't call it entertaining.

Ben with a great and stunning performance.

The movie itself is predictable yet very engaging.

Such a riveting performance from Ben Affleck!

The storyline is boring, I can put 3 sentences here to let you the whole story.

I don't understand any of the high ratings for this boring, predictable film.

It's just very bad and boring.

Depressing flick but it kept me on the edge of my couch for most of the movie.

I would have liked to see the cliche Hollywood ending where he reconciled with his wife and comes back in time to lead the team to victory.

I think they should have focused more on character building rather than showing the repetitive scene of Jack being walked out of the bar.

Extremely slow .

Total waste of time and money..

Stunning performance by Affleck .

Complete waste of time

Al the characters are so intriguing that I wish they focus more on them.

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.

Cliche .

Don't waste your time.

Cliche / Vapid / Affleck Phone's it in .

Outside of these two things, he lives a day to day existence of going to work, going to the bar, and being led home to fall asleep in his clothes.

IN A NUTSHELL: Warner Brothers presents a compelling story of overcoming one's worst self on the road to redemption.

Speaking of magnetism, The Way Back's strongest points are found when the games are at their most intense and Affleck is directing his players and teaching them ways to improve their games.

Overall, The Way Back may have a cliched first half with some below average cinematography but the second halves dive away from sport movie cliches along with Ben Affleck's fantastic performance makes this movie worth watching.

The way back is slow and it never really gets going.

The Way Back is a movie that is quite enjoyable especially if you are a fan of sports movies and love basketball.

There is nothing interesting, new or exciting about this movie.

Definitely worth the watch.

Same flavor as the rest like Coach Carter, made lots of the dialogues and scenes too familiar and predictable.

Entire film full of boring overuse scene!

However, aside from these two incredible strengths, the first two acts of the film still feel like the typical formulaic sports drama with supporting characters not given too much thought.

An emotionally gripping drama bolstered by Ben Affleck's fantastic performance.

As his done in past times, O'Connor manages to handle clichés of the genres his dealing with in proficient and meaningful ways and this is evident across The Way Back's narrative as some of it falls completely in line with what you expect of a redemption story such as this but many elements are subverted also, as Cunningham's journey is anything but a clear cut and predictable one as his mental state of mind and addiction fuel the story forward into unexpected territories.

Like most sports films there is a similar formula to them, but The Way Back takes that formula and adds an intense focus on it's characters.

However I did think the movie dragged after the climactic Basketball game and I found it really jarring when each game ended with a freeze frame and the sound cutting out to show to final score, it was lazy and didn't work for me at all.

A compelling performance from Affleck makes this a must watch story of redemption and healing.

It's a depressing but up lifting movie with a easy to follow plot - however it was very predictable.

Too many boring conversation, and overuse scene!

Ben Affleck gives a great performance in a movie that has nice moments, but overall is a little obvious, even a bit cliche.

There were several moments where they could have made it into a great movie, instead they sidestepped the moment and turned it into a mediocre, confusing movie that seems as if they wanted to go for the "It's confusing because it's 'artistic'" ploy.

His emotional portrayal is honest, intense and appears to come from deep inside.

Taught lessons, and was suspenseful.

So many disjointed side plots get the realistic treatment of being haphazardly integrated and not fully fleshed out.

Drinking, getting sober is cliche and is wrong if we as society make excuses for people who drink, crashing cars, being dangerous for other people.. So the "lost , drinking and depression side" of the story i would appreciate better touch, new dimension, better storytelling.

If you are waiting for anything resembling originality or perhaps even the slightest detour from the most predictable scenario imaginable, you should bring a book along because the wait will be long than this film's one hour and forty-eight-minute runtime.

The Way Back is disappointing, the basketball's poorly handled and cliched, but also put to the side for the sake of drama, that in itself dull and unrewarding.

Throughout all of this Affleck remains front and centre throughout the entirety of the film, at times some scenes are almost hard to watch when you consider the actors personal circumstances but through his first hand dealings with a potentially life threatening illness, Affleck has been able to bring a stunning realism and emotional connection to his role here, enhanced further by Brad Ingelsby's script and one of the year's best scores courtesy of Rob Simonsen.

main character is so shallow/predictable, and those who could make this movie interesting - like the kids for instance - are completely ignored apart from some minor cliches.

"The Way Back" sees the return of Ben Affleck in fine acting form but it's formulaic sports tale is what gets in the way of a great redemption story.

The storyline was great - a lost soul given purpose again, sparking the desire to be a better version of himself, building unexpected relationships and yearning to be a positive force through leadership...

This movie is a slow burner.

Well acted, but predictable .

Overall its a solid all round entertaining sports movie with a lot more depth and heart than you are expecting.

Ho-Hum Affleck Movie .

However, it's a straightforward variation of the same cliche, predictable story...

Virtually nothing happens within the first 30 minutes and by the time it does start to pickup you're already worn out from the start.

With that being said, however, the performances and general clear-headed nature of the experience allow it to works well enough to be entertaining.

First the movie is very slow in the beginning.

The friend of mine who watched the movie with me said he would have walked out during the first Act because he just can't stand watching people drink themselves to death on screen.

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.

But overall, I really enjoyed it.

The lack of character-building regarding the secondary ones is probably my biggest issue aside from the formulaic screenplay.

Now, I didn't think The Way Back was perfect, because by the time it reaches its second and third acts, you kind of know what to expect, but there are elements of how everything plays out that kept it from being too predictable.

It started out real slow.

I found the characters so relatable and compelling that the the movie's ending, which I won't give away, left me wanting more - and in a good way.

The coach turning around the pathetic team is fairly cliche.

Slow and dark beginning all the way through the movie with no clue how they can end a movie with actual ending.

The movie is slow, boring and uncharsimatic.

That's where the heft of the movie takes an unexpected turn and provides meaty insights.

Lots of bad behavior, such as dishonesty and self-indulgence.

It's inspirational, exciting, can be funny, and of course emotional.

Besides, everything so predictable...

Alcoholics are self-indulgent spoiled brats, IMHO.

Boring .

The story is awfully weak and banal like only some real lives can be.

He seems immersed in the role and brings an understanding to the struggles, the rehab, and the importance of a support system.

As washed up basketball player Jack Cunningham, Affleck gives the most riveting performance I've seen all year.

I came into this movie expecting a cliche family movie.

So whereas Jack can initially be seen through a lens of disgust, the slow reveal of these facts skews more towards a certain kind of pity.

After this boring set up the film nose dives into one cliche after the next.

Even still, it's worth watching at least once.

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.

Its a slow, quiet moving drama.

The movie was very predictable.

It's all done with subtly which makes it ever more engaging.

just as boring as the previews .

Like I said, this entire experience is one sports cliche after another.

simply put it is just a bunch of guys playing basketball, we know they they are the protagonists so thats why we go for them but other than that we dont feel for them or care for them thus making them a group of very bland one sided characters.

The film was an all round easy watch but it was just really predictable.

A beautiful, brutally honest, and self reflective Ben Affleck performance is dogged down by a bland script that follows a by the numbers Sports-Movie plot.

anyway, boring, generic, cliche film and i'm very disappointed in how it handled its 'heavy subjects'.

Some sports flicks are predictable (Glory Road, The Fighter), some sports flicks are bland (Remember the Titans, Cinderella Man), and some sports flicks are just plain awful (The Replacements, The Waterboy).

" ha ha Act 1 is slow and painful to watch as we go to the bar with Ben Affleck's character night after night.

Extremely Boring, Unoriginal and Time Wasted .

Then, it's just like the synopsis: a win here and there gets everyone back on track, and it's very entertaining to watch these young kids "grow up" in every possible way.

Enjoyable film.

Hopefully this film gets some traction and attention, because it's totally worth the watch.

Turned it off after 30 minutes of boring long scenes of Ben Affleck drinking beer and being an all around jerk.

I expected more with the high ratings but I was completely bored and couldn't wait for the movie to end.

While it's somewhat cliched and predictable for a feel-good sports movie, it's missing the obligatory training sequence in a musical montage.

Directed by Gavin O'Connor, the story packs a character-driven plot that addresses themes of loss, addiction & redemption through the protagonist's actions, and every bit of his agony, frustration & regret add to the adrenaline high felt during the games.

Scrolling through all these movies, I kept on going back and forth past "The Way Back" and one boring day I scrolled back to "The Way Back" and tried to watch it.

In the best performance of his career, Ben Affleck tells a story of a son and father dealing with great personal trauma and loss, suffering through his inability to deal with it - choosing alcohol to dull and suppress the pain.

But it still ended up hitting some of the cliche story beats of an underdog sports story.

LIKES:Inspirational Tale Realism Piano Work Seeing Influence At Times Affleck's ActingDISLIKES:Disjointed Plot Elements The Realism at Times The Pacing Of the Movie The Other Characters The Lack of Movie Heart At Times The Masking Of A Sports Movie The VERDICT:The Way Back proves you can make a movie portraying pertinent issues with sports practice and not have the Hollywood effects drown it out.