Review: The Way Back

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Title: The Way Back
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Starring: Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Janina Gavankar
Runtime: 1 hr 48 mins

What It Is: Jack (Affleck) is a former all-star high school basketball player. Now he’s an out of work newly divorced alcoholic dude. When his old alma mater comes calling in search of a new head coach for their subpar and undersized basketball team. As demons from his past begin to grab hold of him he begins to grab hold of the only thing that comforts him…alcohol. In his stupor, he may ruin the only good things going for him.

What We Think: Ben Affleck hasn’t been this good in a long time. He’s worked with O’Connor before with The Accountant to mixed responses. What seems to be true is that O’Connor draws out some of Affleck’s best. This is…sort of a surprise. Given O’Connor’s filmography, this sort of material is right in his wheelhouse. A sports comedy with bits of dramatic moments. I mean Miracle and Warrior are both super similar and that’s kind of one of the biggest issues with all this. There’s no stepping out of the comfort zone. He’s doing the same thing again, and this time not as well as the previous two.

Our Grade: B-, Affleck is killing it here. He hasn’t done work like this since Argo. There are so many things I think will surprise audiences going into this one. It’s a solid flick and one easily available right now from your own home. So go right on ahead and check it out if you get a chance. Even if you aren’t a basketball fan or you can simply sort of guess where this journey will take you there’s enough here to like and enjoy. So the best I can say is seeing it for yourself is best.

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