User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 159 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 159

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  1. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    So 'The Way, Way Back' was just released in England, and because I'm a huge fan of 'Little Miss Sunshine' I checked it out. I wasn't disappointed. GREAT FILM! Absolutely hilarious, it found that perfect line between comedy and sad reflection, which 'Little Miss Sunshine' did so well, you can really feel the presence of the producers in this film which if you're in doubt of whether to see this film or not should reassure you.

    Acting wise the entire cast was great, I enjoyed seeing Carrell in a bad guy role, as he doesn't normally do that, essentially he is a "C U Next Tuesday" in this film, which is great, he performs the role perfectly. Sam Rockwell was brilliant. As were the rest of the cast not a single bad performance. A mesmerizing ensemble cast.

    All in all this was a great film, it is a great summer movie, I love that line where you can take a situation as either comedy or sadness, it makes the film more personal to the viewer, which this film is brilliant at. I love the way that when the film makes you sad it is always going to bring you back to being happy with hilarious scenes, dialogue and situation humor.

    INCREDIBLE FILM and a must see.
    Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2013
    9
    Some movies are just meant to tell a little story and not be some big deal. That's all this was and it succeeded. If you can't relate to someone in this movie, well you live a nice life. OK, I would have given this an 8, but honest to dog, it made me cry a little. That never happens. Even the hokey predictable ending was satisfying. The story didn't spin off into some complex plot, it just moved along character-driven, illustrating the pitfalls of blending families. It's the first time I enjoyed Carell, he was believable for a change. I was so happy the kid met Rockwell, everyone needs an adult who isn't a parent. Expand
  3. Jul 7, 2013
    9
    The Way Way Back could have been as good as Little Miss Sunshine but manages to make you weep with great acting from Sam Rockwell, excellent screenplay which is included with masterful direction. Must watch this season- hardly, doesn't deserve to be missed.
  4. Jul 23, 2013
    10
    Great movie! It manages to touch your emotions and make you wanna cry. The plot is interesting and makes you feel sorry for the main characters. I highly recomend people to watch this as I was emotionally touched by this movie.
  5. Dec 4, 2013
    10
    Perhaps the most beautiful film I've seen in a year. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. It has the whole package. A great script, and not a single bad performance. Steve Carell plays the bad guy very well. Which is surprising, i didn't know he could pull it off. Sam Rockwell....well, rocks. Totally brilliant. And the rest of the cast are top-notch.

    I'm very glad that i
    checked out this movie. Coming-of-age stories are one of my favorite types of stories. And this movie should be watched by any fan of that kind. Expand
  6. Jul 27, 2014
    9
    What most impressed me, was Steve Carrel with the role of the bad guy... With most of time facing the reality, it makes the movie be such a great experience to have. Its really amazing and worth to watch.
  7. Jul 24, 2013
    9
    Loved every second of it. Moving film that's both warm and funny and intelligently-written. If you love coming-of-age dramas, this falls in line with this year's "Kings of Summer" as one of the best of the year.
  8. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    The Way, Way Back is one of the best films of the year. The strength of the film is making you feel for the main character for what he is going through. It mixes comedy and emotion perfectly and gives an ending that simply is remarkable.
  9. Dec 9, 2013
    9
    Movies like this are hardly ever enlightening, but that doesn't make a difference because it is a great movie. It is a difficult to balance both comedy and drama successfully, but the film makers delivered well. Wonderful vivid supporting characters.
  10. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    So 'The Way, Way Back' was just released in England, and because I'm a huge fan of 'Little Miss Sunshine' I checked it out. I wasn't disappointed. GREAT FILM! Absolutely hilarious, it found that perfect line between comedy and sad reflection, which 'Little Miss Sunshine' did so well, you can really feel the presence of the producers in this film which if you're in doubt of whether to see this film or not should reassure you.

    Acting wise the entire cast was great, I enjoyed seeing Carrell in a bad guy role, as he doesn't normally do that, essentially he is a "C U Next Tuesday" in this film, which is great, he performs the role perfectly. Sam Rockwell was brilliant. As were the rest of the cast not a single bad performance. A mesmerizing ensemble cast.

    All in all this was a great film, it is a great summer movie, I love that line where you can take a situation as either comedy or sadness, it makes the film more personal to the viewer, which this film is brilliant at. I love the way that when the film makes you sad it is always going to bring you back to being happy with hilarious scenes, dialogue and situation humor.

    INCREDIBLE FILM and a must see.
    Expand
  11. Jun 20, 2014
    10
    I give it a 10, cause it was a real good summer movie. You can really feel for the characters situations.It`s funny, awkward, and has feel good moments.
  12. Jul 29, 2013
    10
    I love The Way, Way Back. It's the first 10/10 I'm awarding all year and for a good reason. All around the board spectacular performances, Sam Rockwell particularly shines. I loved it.
  13. Aug 3, 2013
    10
    This movie was absolutely brilliant. It touches on your heart strings. The characters all had strong personalities except for the protagonist, which made him stand out the most. I could really feel the pain of the protagonist and the ending was fantastic. This movie is a must see.
  14. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    My new favorite film of the year. This film's got everything strong writing, strong directing, and strong acting. The best part of this film by far is Sam Rockwell he is pin point perfect, just down right hilarious. Similar to one of my favorite films of 2012 The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Way Way Back is even better. A+
  15. Jul 27, 2013
    9
    Sweet, satisfying...and my favorite film so far this year. Liam James stars as 14-year old Duncan, who's dragged by his mother (Toni Collette) and new beau (Steve Carell) to the beach to spend the summer. Allison Janney is hysterical as the next door neighbor and Sam Rockwell is the mentor I wish I had growing up This coming-of-age film was smart, funny and really hit home for me personally. The last 20 minutes were a misty blur. I will definitely see this film again. Expand
  16. Nov 7, 2013
    9
    I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story. While the story of an awkward teenager coming out of his shell thanks to the wisdom of a glorified goofball/slacker is nothing really new, writers/directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash made the film feel fresh and unique. The funny parts are really funny and the drama is blended perfectly to give the film a very human approach. Add in great performances from Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and, most importantly, Sam Rockwell and you have the makings of a very endearing, very amusing movie. Collapse
  17. Apr 24, 2014
    9
    The Way Way Back is a wonderfully crafted coming of age story with two great teen actors and a showboat-y performance from Rockwell. While he is in all his waterpark gear and flirting with the e employees, we almost forget that he played a crazy prisoner in "The Green Mile". Toni Collette and Steve Carrell make up a talented supporting cast. The direction, editing, cinematography, and script are all on par to make for a very enjoyable film. Expand
  18. Nov 8, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "The Way Way Back" is a stunning film that focuses on telling the plot through subtle comments and camera angles.

    A 14-year old boy named Duncan ,who has social issues after his father leaves his mother and him, goes on a family trip with his mom's new boyfriend (played by Steve Carell, who does such a good job you actually hate him) to his beach house.

    Along the way, Duncan makes new friends, gets a job at a water park, along with discovering some scandals going on in the background.

    This movie is a must-watch and the best drama movie of the year. Although it may seem sulky and boring at times if you don't get the "subtle plot expansion" at first, but watching once or twice will make it worth it.
    Expand
  19. Dec 28, 2013
    10
    Every performance in the film is perfect, particularly Sam Rockwell's hilarious turn as the water park manager. Rockwell is reason enough to see the film, and shouldn't be forgotten come awards time.
  20. Feb 15, 2014
    9
    very nice movie.. really refreshing.. the whole cast did their roles very well. and really touching and beautiful climax. really we do things to protect ourselves because we are scared.
  21. Sep 7, 2014
    9
    One of the best movies i have ever seen. it was a movie which had a mixture of comedy, romance and adventure which really brought out the best of the movie. It really touches your heart and shows you how a shy boy like "Duncan" becomes someone who is confident about himself through the help of his friends.

    A MUST-WATCH MOVIE!!
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.