The Way Way Back Reviews

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Sandy Schaefer
ScreenRant
July 12, 2013
Despite committed and charming performances from the cast, The Way, Way Back is little more than a run-of-the-mill addition to the coming-of-age genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Sophie Monks Kaufman
Little White Lies
August 28, 2013
A coming-of-age tale by numbers that don't all add up.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
July 4, 2013
Labors under the delusion that all filmmakers need to engineer a crowd-pleaser are a collection of tried-and-true conventions and a healthy dose of nostalgia.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
July 18, 2013
A completely superficial and contrived story without an ounce of genuine emotion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Time Out
July 2, 2013
The film at least avoids a tidy "...and that was the summer that changed my life" wrap-up, but when what comes before the end credits feels so prefab, you might as well throw in a cribbed happy ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ed Gibbs
The Sunday Age
July 28, 2013
Aside from Carell's limited turn at doing nasty, it all feels terribly familiar, in a half-baked, Little Miss Sunshine-lite sort of way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
July 19, 2013
Sam Rockwell is a kick, but the rest of the film runs rather flat.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express
August 29, 2013
The story manages to be both very familiar and somehow not quite believable, in part because the characters feel contrived.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Stephen Silver
EntertainmentTell
July 11, 2013
A mediocre, subpar version of a movie that we've seen many times before.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Bill Gibron
PopMatters
July 19, 2013
It's easy to point out that The Way, Way Back is no Descendants. It's better to say that it's not even in the same league as that amazing cinematic celebration of life, death, and family.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Eric Kohn
indieWIRE
July 2, 2013
Pop music montages and tear-filled spats introduce occasional flashes of emotion into the proceedings, but "The Way, Way Back" mostly just harkens back to better versions of its hackneyed plot.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 12, 2013
Waterslides and infidelity just don't go together.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 6, 2014
The film has been complacently concocted for likability even as it gives you very little that's real, structured, or spontaneous enough to enjoy.
Chris Cabin
Slant Magazine
June 18, 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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Damon Wise
Guardian
January 24, 2013
When the credits roll, one is left thinking less of the fate of the characters than of the rollcall of Sundance offerings this film resembles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Matt Kelemen
AspectRatio.us
July 17, 2013
Faxon and Nash, who won an Oscar for The Descendants, wrote the screenplay based on their own childhood memories of water park anarchy and substitute fathers, and probably were inspired more than a little by classic summer camp comedy Meatballs (1978).
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5
Richard von Busack
MetroActive
July 28, 2013
A puzzling mix of Meatballs and '70s loco parentis drama, with authentic loco parents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5
Mark Dujsik
Mark Reviews Movies
July 4, 2013
[Duncan is] a passive participant in his own story, and that does not make for an especially admirable protagonist.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
July 15, 2013
Once again, the oppressed American teen-ager lopes and shuffles to center stage, there to display his woes.
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 5, 2013
The film is awash in safe choices, from indie-pop-accompanied montages to sitcom one-liners and black-and-white characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Roger Moore
Movie Nation
July 4, 2013
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