User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 179 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 179
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  1. Jul 22, 2013
    6
    A super sulky pubescent (Liam James) is stuck with his mom and her bf (Toni Collette & Steve Carell in a non-comic role) at a summer beach house. He finds fun and friendship at a local water park. The plot's familiar, so it's up to the storytelling and characters to make it special. Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney create enjoyable people, but the rest of the people aren't especiallyA super sulky pubescent (Liam James) is stuck with his mom and her bf (Toni Collette & Steve Carell in a non-comic role) at a summer beach house. He finds fun and friendship at a local water park. The plot's familiar, so it's up to the storytelling and characters to make it special. Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney create enjoyable people, but the rest of the people aren't especially interesting. It's predictable and things take too long to happen. Except for Sam Rockwell (as the mentor), things aren't that funny or heartfelt when they do. Expand
  2. Jul 13, 2013
    5
    Sweet movie but fairly simple plot. Seems like it takes place in a few days. As a coming-of-age-working-at -an-amusement-park flick, Adventureland was better.
  3. Apr 14, 2014
    6
    Very nice little film. Good script with a heart and great character development. The whole cast does a great job but Allison Janney and Toni Collette are especially good in this. Both are actresses with a lot of experience and it shows. They are great. The main character (the teen boy) does a great job too. It is a movie with a little bit of comedy but also some really touching moments,Very nice little film. Good script with a heart and great character development. The whole cast does a great job but Allison Janney and Toni Collette are especially good in this. Both are actresses with a lot of experience and it shows. They are great. The main character (the teen boy) does a great job too. It is a movie with a little bit of comedy but also some really touching moments, especially towards the end and the mother´s situation. I recommend it without a doubt. Expand
  4. Jul 21, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Underwhelming. Allison Janney is great, as is Sam Rockwell, but I felt The Way, Way Back lacked a satisfying ending. Perhaps the filmmakers wanted to avoid a crowd-pleasing finale, but the movie is already chock-full of cliché moments. And at times it felt I was watching two different movies one exploring the trials of divorce, and the pain of infidelity, and then another filled with teenage angst and a stereotypical coming-of-age-summer. Expand
  5. Aug 20, 2013
    6
    Disappointing. Sam Rockwell and Janney characters were over the top. Didn't care about any of the characters.------------------------------------------------------
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Aug 27, 2013
    80
    This also marks what may be Allison Janney’s funniest performance to date: her cheerful, outspoken drunk next door is an absolute hoot.
  2. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Aug 26, 2013
    80
    A film for every age, whether you’re an awkward kid, former awkward kid or awkward kid-adjacent. Funny, real and uplifting. A film that reaffirms your belief in the human spirit.
  3. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Aug 24, 2013
    80
    If the Collette/Carell reunion suggests Little Miss Sunshine, it’s not quite that crowd-pleasing. But, crafted with much TLC and sympathy, it’s perfectly tailored to the tongue-tied teen in us all.