User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30

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  1. Jun 17, 2013
    10
    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.
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  2. Mar 21, 2013
    8
    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). Collapse
  3. Jul 13, 2012
    9
    absolutly great movie. it was both comical, dramatic, and interesting. martin did great at his role, and alot of the side characters (his friends) were terific. they were hilarious, and serious when it called for. this movie was a great one.
  4. Jun 26, 2012
    3
    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.
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  5. May 10, 2012
    10
    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.
  6. Apr 24, 2012
    5
    I wanted to really like this film. It is an admirable project underlying the actual relationship between the director and star. But it was cliched, predictable, and overly religious. The scene where Tom gets drunk is very poor and seems to be stuck in their so someplace in the 2 hour running time he gets to say how he really feels. Although I do not believe that what people say while drunk is the truth; just the opposite.The scene with the Gypsies once again looks stuck in so we get the message; it needs to be subtle.So the question becomes is it worth a look? It's right on the borderline between a B- and C+. The scenery is nice although there is not enough of it. The road could have been a character but it is trivialized. Plenty of loopholes: how does a man his age just do a 500 mile walk? Where are all the clothes stored? well, having read what I just wrote I can't recommend it. Nice try that falls short. Expand
  7. Feb 25, 2012
    10
    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.
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  8. Feb 11, 2012
    7
    "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
  9. Dec 15, 2011
    8
    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
  10. Dec 5, 2011
    9
    This movie started off a bit awkwardly in that the acting was a bit stiff and too put on, but once the tragic news came to Martin Sheens character, the acting and the story got more interesting and better. Overall the adventure, the supporting characters, the open European countryside makes the movie a really good watch.
  11. Nov 20, 2011
    9
    Martin Sheen still has a commanding screen presence that The Way is a joy to watch. The best part of The Way is the idea that less is more. Some scenes provide such emotion without a single word being said with the end moments being especially satisfying. The story is of Tom (Martin Sheen), a optician who is quite content with his weekly golf games. However one day he receives a phone call from a police chief in France telling him his globetrotting son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) had been killed on the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James). He immediately heads to France to identify the remains but while there decides to take Daniels ashes on the Camino. While on his journey he is joined by eternal optimist Joost, an overweight Dutchman(Yorick van Wageningen), A chain smoking Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish Writer with writers block (James Nesbitt). Despite the fact he wants to handle his grief in private he comes to learn he needs the others as much as they need him. Itâ Expand
  12. Nov 10, 2011
    5
    I love Martin Sheen and it is hard to be critical of him or Emelio...This is a decent effort, the film is well filmed and has a very genuine feel. However the message is simplistic and littered with clichés. (Witness the stock Irish writer character, played by James Hesbitt...) Some of the characterisation and some scenes are clumsey and not credible. The scenery is beautiful and this film will do a lot to promote The Camino The soundtrack was not bad but some of it jarred...Worth a look, for those looking for a little spirituality.... Expand
  13. Oct 20, 2011
    7
    Everyone has their own, personal reason for choosing to walk the real 500 mile Camino de Santiago. This is a trail which begins in France, winds its way through the French Pyrenees, across northern Spainâ
  14. Oct 13, 2011
    10
    This afternoon we went to see "The Way," All four of us found the film to be stunning. The scenery is breathtaking and the personal stories of both the protagonist and of the people he meets and travels with; and the adventures they encounter; - or generate; are wonderfully realized. It is a "road" story of the highest caliber. See it..
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 10, 2011
    75
    Unafraid of stillness and scenes of quiet contemplation, the film also celebrates companionship and community, which are all good reasons to embrace the experience along The Way.
  2. 50
    The pilgrimage is still long but, even with the crosses they bear, these are pilgrims lite – perhaps it's the modern way.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 20, 2011
    25
    With The Way, writer-director Emilio Estevez has made a respectable failure. What's respectable - and undeniable - is that this is a sincere effort to make a film of sensitivity and spiritual richness.