Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 160 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 17, 2013
    The jokes are often double-edged, the performances always spot-on. The Way, Way Back doesn't re-invent the teenage turning point genre, but Faxon and Rash offer a breezy new spin. You'll see more inventive movies this year but few more endearing.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 8, 2013
    The Way Way Back gets it wittily, thrillingly right. It turns the familiar into something bracingly fresh and funny. It makes you laugh, then breaks your heart.
  3. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Aug 24, 2013
    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.
  4. 75
    The performances and the ready supply of one-liners make this an amusing look at a new generation getting lost down memory lane.
  5. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Feb 26, 2013
    Despite the familiarity of this setup, Way Back is a charmer, putting refreshingly little emphasis on Duncan's romantic needs and allowing family melodrama to erupt and simmer down without pat resolution.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Feb 26, 2013
    The story of a teen desperate for a father figure who finds encouragement from a wild-and-crazy water-park employee -- rather than from the guy auditioning to be his stepdad -- can be explosively funny in parts, but overall feels pretty familiar, relying more on its cast than the material to win favor.
  7. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Jun 29, 2013
    Praises the electric carelessness of teenage angst while depicting it as if it were ultimately no more exciting, though no less pleasant, than an hour in the wave pool.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
  1. Aug 3, 2013
    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. Expand
  2. Dec 4, 2013
    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.
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    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.
  4. Nov 8, 2013
    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.
  5. Jan 19, 2014
    One of those feel good films that everyone can relate to in some way. You can't help but feel bad for the kid sometimes and feel so overjoyed when something good happens. Basically, this movie connects you emotionally to this character and the character development is marvelous. And Sam Rockwell? I want to be his friend in real life. Brilliant. Expand
  6. Sep 7, 2013
    While critics are always on the lookout for the next Citizen Kane and score poorly when a film fails to come up to scratch those who aren't paid to go to the movies are on the lookout for good entertainment for 90 minutes. This delivers.

    Warm, touching, funny, well-played What's not to like in this movie? Liam James is good as the teenager at the centre of the story and Rockwell, Carell and Collette give great support.
  7. Nov 27, 2013
    There are good movies, bad movies, and movies so south of bad that I had to walk out early on. It's so much worse than terrible that it was painful to sit through the "humor." I don't know whether to be more surprised that only two users rated it negative or that so many people liked it. I am certainly surprised that Andrew O'Heir gave it 80. Basically you have parents who treat their children terribly, which isn't funny, and running gags like unsuccessful lazy eye surgery that really isn't funny. Add to that the fact that Janney either has no flair for comedy or her director has no talent for comedy, or both. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews