Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Summary: An American father travels to France to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the Route Napoleon. (Arc Entertainment)
  • Director: Emilio Estevez
  • Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama, Comedy, Crime
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Runtime: 115 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 19, 2011
    They're an entertaining foursome, and Estevez guides them through lovely scenery, clever sight gags and personal confessions with leisurely skill.
  2. Reviewed by: Neil Genzlinger
    Oct 6, 2011
    The beauty of the movie, in fact, is that Mr. Estevez does not make explicit what any of them find, beyond friendship. He lets these four fine actors convey that true personal transformations are not announced with fanfare, but happen internally.
  3. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Oct 7, 2011
    Pleasant, well-acted but somewhat overlong, The Way was written and directed by Estevez, who's perhaps best known for his acting career ("The Breakfast Club").
  4. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Oct 6, 2011
    The gentle drama offers an intriguing look at the contemporary version of an ancient ritual, and is anchored by the on-screen work of the writer-director's father, Martin Sheen. But Estevez doesn't push far enough, opting to focus on generic lessons in camaraderie and the primacy of the moment.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Oct 6, 2011
    The performances are solid, the cinematography is stunning, and the setting is intriguing. But the whole thing feels bloodless, hitting us over the head with its understatedness. Anytime a film's soundtrack features The Shins, James Taylor, and Nick Drake, you know you're in for an overly laid back time.
  6. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Oct 6, 2011
    Estevez strains to prove his earnestness at every turn, undermining the film's good intentions with a surfeit of explanatory dialogue and a sappy adult-contemporary soundtrack. But for all his awkwardness Estevez is undeniably sincere, regarding both people and nature with disarming good will and maintaining a steady, soothing pace that allows the life lessons to resonate.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Oct 2, 2011
    The making of The Way must have been a nice moment for father and son, but why must the rest of us suffer?

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Jun 17, 2013
    The messages and meaning of The Way are not immediately apparent, because like the characters in the film, its a journey of discovery and fulfilment for each individual who views the film, religious, curiosity, tourism or just general hiking interest. This film truly has something for everyone and writer and director Emilio Estevez has did a wonderful job of persuasion and feelings of contentment.
    His real life dad Martin Sheen is the leading man, Tom Avery, an eye doctor who receives the devastating news that his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) has died while attempting the Camino de Santiago, an ancient and spiritual pilgrimage that his son going on, someone he had not been very close to for a while as he didn't agree with the life choices he made.
    He initially goes to France to retrieve his sons body, but when he starts to think about how his relationship with his son was, he decides to complete the walk his didn't. Cremating him, he sets off with Daniel's ashes and sprinkles them at various parts of the 'The Way'. Tom is determined to travel along on his own but reluctantly ends up with a few others, Joost (Yorick van Wageningen), Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) and Jack (James Nesbitt). Each of these people have their reasons for doing the walk, but there is much more to them than meets the eye, much like this film.
    Estevez has promoted an idea that we don't necessarily need to have our life right in front of us, but to take it as we go along, to live it. By the end of the film it isn't clear just what exactly the real and more meaningful reasons are for are four people doing the walk, thats what the aim is, discovering for yourself and being yourself. The scenery of the film is beautiful, with real life people doing the walk on screen, and showing the various situations and places that be encountered on the way.
    Sheen delivers an emotion-packed portrayal of a father wishing to the right the wrongs of his relationship with his son, Nesbitt is a hyper writer looking to flare is desire for writing again, and the other two make their own discoveries of themselves that really promote what the film is all about.
    Beautiful scenery and wonderful messages, combined wit ha heartfelt and personal triumph have gelled well to make this treasure of a film, not trying to be flash, but trying to show a way that you can be yourself, your choice, your life, that's what I think anyway.
  2. Feb 25, 2012
    Quite simply, one of the 10 best films of the year. Sheen and son provide a needed portrait of a man who seeks to honor his late son and discovers himself in the process.
    The religious aspects of this saga glide through the film without preaching. In the end it is about the human need for community. Whatever your beliefs may be, there is deep emotion and education throughout this adventure.
    The real life father and son invested in a union that few family members get to share and the reward is a gift to us all. This film never discovered a major audience, but it's elegant desire to reach beyond the self obsessed movie making of this era makes it a vital discovery.
  3. May 10, 2012
    I found this on Netflix Instant so I decided to end my night with this movie. It was a really good pick and I am glad I watched it. The scenery is nice and the characters really grew on me. Good ending as well. I would recommend to a friend or watch again which is the ultimate review. Expand
  4. Dec 15, 2011
    I must admit, when I started watching The Way, I questioned the necessity for a scripted narrative at all. I found the beginning a little soppy and melodramatic, and thought it might have been a more interesting film to watch if it were simply a documentary following the real-life Martin Sheen on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. But around halfway through the film, I found my self hooked, and completely immersed in this story of a father honouring his recently deceased son by completing the journey that killed him. Sheen's performance as the grieving Thomas Avery is utterly compelling, and the supporting cast of international actors all add something to the story and give the rag-tag group of pilgrims an interesting dynamic. The story is propelled along nicely by Emilio Estevez's fluid direction, and by a great eclectic soundtrack, and you're given plenty of time to ponder the characters' true motivations and the magnitude of the journey they are undertaking. Some of the plot points are a little jarring, doing little to advance the story, and you could argue that film goes on a little too long, but by the end of the film you really do feel like you've been on this amazing journey yourself. So just sit back and enjoy an incredibly well performed, emotional and personal piece of filmmaking, and take time to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the Spanish countryside. Expand
  5. Mar 21, 2013
    Saw this on Netflix last week. Great movie, and Emilio Estevez does a superb job directing it. Martin Sheen is still pretty busy after all these years, and he's still a great actor. He's also doing a documentary show called Breakthroughs Martin Sheen that I've seen.

    The fact that "The Way" is a true story makes it even more emotional since you're actually invested in the characters since you know they're real people. I stayed engaged in it all the way through, and it's a really well done film. Great collaboration between the father (Martin Sheen) and the son (Emilio Estevez).
  6. Feb 11, 2012
    "The Way" is a staunch film; it knows what its identity is, and it doesn't try to elude from it. How many films can one recall that set out to do the same? In doing so, Estevez has created an experience for the viewer that is blithesome in spirit, modest in bearings, and introspective in tone. Moreover, it doesn't appeal through flash; the actors act within their limits, its displays of pathos avoid brazen treacle, and the plodding itself, although lighter than it should be, results in a soul-quest that touches upon the faculties of regret, despair, loss, and spirituality without affectedly being as so, assuming a semblance to a pretentious sermon. Notwithstanding the cloud of predictability that is suspended above the filmâ Expand
  7. Jun 26, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If the Barrymores or Fondas are the first family of acting, the Sheen/Estevez clan deserves serious consideration as the last.

    So little talent, so much overwrought grimacing and flat delivery. In "The Way", Martin Sheen adopts a new chipmunk style of acting, in which he speaks with tiny little mouth movements and takes little steps like an upright chipmunk. Occasionally, Emelio Estavez. - the supposed "brains" behind the project - appears on camera in hallucination sequences and adopts the same chipmunk style, creating a veritable Alvin and the Chipmunks effect as father and son trade engage in kind of a dueling chipmunk extravaganza.

    Sheen is an old grouch who goes on this stupid pilgrimage in search of a movie and presumably to help out Emelio's career. Too bad he doesn't run into Charley Sheen along the way but at the time he may have been off on his own "Torpedo of Truth" pilgrimage and thus unavailable.

    This is a bad movie although the photography and music are OK and apparently the real life Pilgrimage to Santiago is quite popular.

See all 14 User Reviews