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The Way Back

The Way Back
The Way Back
The Way Back
  • R
  • 1h 48m
  • 2020
Certified Fresh84%
Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
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Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) once had a life filled with promise. In high school, he was a basketball phenom with a full ride to college, when suddenly, for reasons unknown, he walked away from the game, forfeiting his future. Now years later, Jack is stuck in a meaningless job and drowning in the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life. When he is asked to coach the basketball team at his alma mater, which has fallen far since his glory days, he reluctantly accepts, surprising no one more than himself. As the boy starts to come together as a team and win, Jack may have finally found a reason to confront the demons that have derailed him. But will it be enough to fill the void, heal the deep wounds of his past, and set him on the road to redemption?
© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and BRON Creative USA, Corp.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Certified Fresh84%
Critics Consensus: The Way Back's occasionally frustrating treatment of a formulaic story is often outweighed by Ben Affleck's outstanding work in the central role.
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 16+
Common Sense Says
Tons of swearing in mature Affleck alcoholism drama.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Way Back is a sports drama starring Ben Affleck as Jack Cunningham, a one-time high school basketball phenom who struggles with alcoholism as an adult. He returns to his high school to coach the team, but this isn't a story aimed at teens. It has mature themes of substance abuse, marital separation, family strife, loss, terminal illness, and redemption. Cunningham curses like a sailor: He says "f--k" constantly, which rubs off on the teens he's coaching. While the story revolves around a Catholic school, the only faith-oriented conversation involves the team chaplain explaining to Cunningham about why it's important for people of faith not to curse. Other language includes "ass," "bulls--t," "d--k," and more, and characters make crass sexual jokes (there's also one kiss). Mostly, the film addresses alcoholism, and Cunningham is shown drinking beer and hard liquor constantly in ways that are typical of those in the throes of the disease: hiding bottles, sneaking alcohol into cups that look like coffee or water, drinking and driving, drinking alone, and getting smashed every night. As in real life, these actions have consequences.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:March 6, 2020
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English, Spanish
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
If purchased in:4K
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