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The Way (2011)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 95
Fresh: 78 | Rotten: 17

It may be a little too deliberately paced for more impatient viewers, but The Way is a worthy effort from writer/director Emilio Estevez, balancing heartfelt emotion with clear-eyed drama that resists cheap sentiment.

73

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 7

It may be a little too deliberately paced for more impatient viewers, but The Way is a worthy effort from writer/director Emilio Estevez, balancing heartfelt emotion with clear-eyed drama that resists cheap sentiment.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 12,687

My Rating

Movie Info

The Way is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides embark on the historical

PG-13,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy

Emilio Estevez

$4.4M

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Cast

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October 7, 2011:
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All Critics (95) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (78) | Rotten (17)

Okay, since the destination is preordained, what does the script do en route? Estevez's answer is two-fold: minor episodic adventures + incessantly repeated montages.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (3)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Estevez takes full advantage of the beautiful mountain scenery, dramatic skies and ancient architecture to give us moments of quiet wonder.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Heartfelt if occasionally plodding.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With "The Way," writer-director Emilio Estevez has made a respectable failure.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comments (6)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It could have come out sentimental, but doesn't. The secret is the matter-of-factness.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Way" is overly earnest and clumsily directed by Emilio Estevez (the non-prodigal son of Sheen). Yet it is nonetheless effective in evoking empathy and introspection.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Emilio Estevez directs a road-trip movie with a different twist: The characters are all walking. 'The Way' refers to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a Catholic pilgrim's journey that reaches 550 miles across France and northern Spain.

February 18, 2014 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

Emilio Estevez hasn't just been making wine lately. His film The Way, an inspirational drama, is a thoughtful travel pic worth seeing.

February 11, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Easygoing, touching, and a nice vehicle for Martin Sheen

January 6, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Martin Sheen shines in a beautifully made, unforced tale of spiritual reawakening and self-discovery that is as life-affirming as it is entertaining.

June 30, 2012 Full Review Source: 3AW

The Way is inspiring, cathartic, poetic, hopeful, and makes you want to throw on a backpack, start walking and find yourself.

April 29, 2012 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

The Way is a serene experience that prefers to take you by the hand rather than drag you by the foot.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

The Way moves both the heart and the soul with its deeply spiritual exploration into grief and pilgrimage.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Estevez and Sheen combine in a touching father-son tale of grief and reconciliation.

April 23, 2012 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

It's not quite a road movie nor a real redemption story, nor a buddy movie; it's a diary where the journey is more important than the getting to the destination

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Estevez has made a gentle and immensely likeable film that flows naturally, whose heart comes from the solid, grounding performance by his father Martin Sheen

April 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The Way is a worthy effort and a sign that Estevez may yet emerge as an excellent filmmaker.

January 11, 2012 Full Review Source: OK! Magazine
OK! Magazine

Between the sprightly soundtrack, the sensational on-location shoot, the anchoring performance by Sheen, and the methodological freedom permitted so that Avery's pilgrimage can naturally take its course, The Way immerses body and soul.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Bangitout.com
Bangitout.com

Smartly written and directed with a master filmmaker's eye, "The Way" is one of those films you'll want to see again and again.

December 29, 2011 Full Review Source: MediaMikes
MediaMikes

The film does make a nice travelogue as Tom walks The Way and takes in the scenery. It's not a badly made film but it does aim for very low hanging sentimental fruit.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

It's the kind of mushy pic you might be inspired to walk out on.

November 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This is a quiet, warm film that some will find actually spiritual.

November 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

The Way almost immediately loses its way and stays lost.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Tri-City Herald | Comments (2)
Tri-City Herald

This modest, heartfelt and utterly unpretentious cinematic spirit-quest is too sincere to mock, and yet somehow doesn't succumb to outright sentimentality.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for The Way

It's nothing short of sensational. A deeply intimate, vastly original and personal piece of work that's spiritual and breathtaking. A truly heartfelt, spirited and wonderfully engaging movie. It's deeply moving, very funny and absolutely gorgeous in its craft and use of scenery. Director, Emilio Estevez takes full advantage of his cast and locations and brings out the best of everybody. A real triumph. Esteves and Sheen strike gold, the father-son duo make this picture worth while. Martin Sheen is superb, he gives one of the best performances of his entire career. Deborah Kara Unger is fantastic. Yorick van Wageningen is wonderful. James Nesbitt is terrific. They have wonderful chemistry together. This film delivers great laughs, beautiful scenery and top-notch performances. It's such an excellent and outstanding movie. It shines with humanity and beauty.
May 12, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

Now playing at Theater Insomnia...

Full review at themoviefreakblog.com 11/30
November 27, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

Written and directed, and briefly featuring an appearance by Emilio Estevez, this is a moving and heartwarming indie drama (with a fair amount of levity) about one man's quest to find meaning in life.

Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen as a grumpy and irascible opthamologist named Tom who has hit a crossraods in his life. He's a widower, and somewhat estranged from his free spirited adult son Daniel. After Daniel is killed in the Pyrenees Mountains, Tom travels to France to bring his son's body home. Daniel had been in the proocess of walking the Camino de Santiago, aka The Way of Saint James, a historic religious pilgrimage route spanning from France along the coast of Spain to the Atlantic Ocean.

Feeling a strange compulsion, rather than return home, Tom has Daniel's remains cremated and sets out, despite his inexperience, on a quest to finish the trek his son started as a way of honoring his memory and trying to shake his own life out of a rut.

Along the way, Tom unwittingly finds himself making the 800 KM (or so) trek with a motley band of colorful characters from all over the globe, each one, like Tom, with their own personal issues and diverse reasons for hiking "The Way".

This movie is so sincere, well meaning, and earnest that you really feel bad saying anything negative about it. Yes, there's lots of cliches, and many of the characters are just moderately fleshed out archetypes, but it's the performances, especially that of Sheen, that really hold this film together and make it worthwhile. Well that, and it helps that the film was shot entirely on location along the actual Camino de Santiago, with all of the non speaking trekkers and extras being actual pilgrims making the trip.

I really loved that aspect of the production, because the locations and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous, the level of authenticity is really high, and you get a real sense of the sincerity and genuine labor of love that the project is. That's also probably to the credit that it's an indie affair, instead of a mega budget mess. The low-key aspects to everything make it more appealing special.

The film does meander at times, and the pacing is pretty leisurely, almost as if they are trying to force the viewer into making the trip themselves, and some of the music cues are rather trite and on the nose. However, the actual score is really nice, and it surprised me since it was done by Tyler Bates, most known for doing the music for many of the films by Zack Snyder and Rob Zombie. It actually works really nicely though, and it was an enjoyable surprise.

Another thing about this movie that really scores points with me is that, not only is it a road movie/travelogue sort of thing (which I absolutely love), but it's also the type of road movie where the journey is more important than the destination, something I also love and a sentiment I believe in personally.

All in all, the film is somewhat typical of road movies and moving, heartwarming indie character dramas, but it is pretty well made, strongly acted, and a fair way to spend a couple of hours. Who knows, maybe this will inspire people to actually embark on "The Way" for themselves.
September 16, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A father sets out to mourn and honor his dead son, attempting to make peace with their troubled relationship by walking in his footsteps. The writing doesn't go very far with the internal journey the father must take, which is disappointing. Instead, it fills the movie with contrived characters and scenarios - it's almost a Wizard of Oz story, where each traveler who joins him is missing an essence of themselves and they think they will be fixed by the end of the pilgrimage. But these tag-a-long characters were too fabricated to be emotionally engaging.
June 30, 2012
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

    1. Tom: You believe in miracles father?
    2. Father Frank: It's my job.
    – Submitted by Maryam Z (20 months ago)
    1. Jack: Now there's something you don't see everyday: a yank without an opinion!
    – Submitted by Alexander C (2 years ago)
    1. Ishmael: Our children have the best and the worst of us.
    – Submitted by Maria B (2 years ago)
    1. Tom: You can keep the pack just give me the box!
    – Submitted by Nancy C (2 years ago)
    1. Daniel: You don't choose a life Dad. You live one.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Tom: Daniel was a lot like you. Smart, confident, stubborn... pissed me off a lot.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Foreign Titles

  • Dein Weg (DE)
  • The Way (UK)
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