The Way Back ★★★★

The Way Back is a very solid mix of addiction drama and sports film that subverts the audience in surprising ways, particularly in the third act, and doesn't take the cliche route most films like this would take. Not that the film is without some cliches and familiar elements because it certainly isn't; but I liked that the film didn't go for the generic third act sports movie finale. Ben Affleck is at the top of his game here, delivering one of his best and most personal performances to date, and the supporting cast, especially the kids, are excellent as well. The film has a nice authenticity to it, and I think a lot of that is due to the solid cinematography, editing, and direction from O'Connor that give the film a nice realistic edge to it. I felt as if I were watching real people go through their lives and I don't get that too much with films like this. This was just overall a really strong drama and sports film and I had a great time with it. It flies by and it offers an investing story with characters I liked and cared for. Definitely recommended, and one of Affleck's better films in recent memory.
GRADE: B+

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