“The Way Back” Movie Review, Fountaindale Public LibraryI’ve always been an avid film lover. One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go to the movie theater.  There’s just something magical about sitting in that darkened theater and settling in with a tasty beverage and a big box of popcorn. Depending on the time of year, my movie theater visits can range anywhere from going once a month to once a week. It can be very addicting!

Since the COVID-19/ Coronavirus pandemic struck, my love of going to movie theater has been curbed.  But before “the great pause” happened, I was able to go to the movie theater and see the film The Way Back starring Ben Affleck.

The Way Back tells the story of Jack Cunningham, a man who is a bit down on his luck and starting to go to a dark place. He is currently separated from his wife, and his family is concerned with his drinking as well as his isolation from them and the world at large. It is in this darkest hour that Jack receives a surprising phone call from Father Devine of Bishop Hayes High School, the school where Jack was a superstar basketball player in his glory days. Father Devine offers Jack a job to be the head coach of their basketball team. While initially hesitant, Jack ends up taking the offer, and while this is a positive step in the right direction and a welcomed distraction for Jack, he finds the team is not disciplined and highly lacking. Together, the team as a whole and Jack as a person slowly begin to emerge and find their footing.

“The Way Back” Movie Review, Fountaindale Public Library

I really enjoyed this movie. I felt that Ben Affleck’s performance was an absolute powerhouse and tour-de-force—and possibly even Oscar-worthy.  You could tell that Affleck was totally immersed in and bleeding the role. What I liked about the movie was that it was truthful and honest. Jack’s journey as well as that of the team are a series of various highs and lows, but overall, the one thing that was always steady and binding in this film is hope. It’s a film I would see again and highly recommend.

You can rent or buy The Way Back at home if you have an Amazon Prime Video subscription.