The Way


The Way

Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 98


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,490
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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 pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on, is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life". Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. -- (C) Icon


Martin Sheen
as Tom Avery
Emilio Estevez
as Daniel Avery
Tcheky Karyo
as Captain Henri
Simón Andreu
as Don Santiago
Eusebio Lazaro
as El Ramón
Antonio Gil
as Ishmael
Joe Torrenueva
as Father Sandoval
Matt Clark
as Father Frank
Stéphane Dausse
as French Mortician
Anthony Von Seck
as Sitar Playing Pilgrim
José Luis Molina
as Policeman #1
José Javier Ruiz
as Policeman #2
Omar Muñoz
as Gypsy Boy
Milagros Alcalde Díez
as El Molino Innkeeper
Maximiano Benito Nebreda
as El Molino Innkeeper
Santi Prego
as Santiago Office Clerk
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News & Interviews for The Way

Critic Reviews for The Way

All Critics (98) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (81) | 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.

    Nov 4, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Estevez takes full advantage of the beautiful mountain scenery, dramatic skies and ancient architecture to give us moments of quiet wonder.

    Nov 4, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Heartfelt if occasionally plodding.

    Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • With "The Way," writer-director Emilio Estevez has made a respectable failure.

    Oct 20, 2011 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • "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.

    Oct 13, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • "The Way" is one of the better films of the year.

    Oct 12, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Way

  • Aug 04, 2013
    When Daniel(Emilio Estevez, who also wrote, directed and produced) dies on a hike across the Pyrenees, his father Tom(Martin Sheen), an eye doctor, goes to France to identify his body. He also informs Captain Henri(Tcheky Karyo) that he wants his son cremated. But not so it is easier to transport his remains back to the States. Rather, Tom's intent is to finish Daniel's hike on the Camino de Santiago, spreading his ashes along the way, with Joost(Yorick van Wageningen), a friendly Dutchman with his own portable pharmacy, for company. "The Way" has certain things going for it like excellent cinematography which takes full advantage of the scenic locations and more than its fair share of history. But this sentimental movie can never quite transcend being a travelogue to become either a compelling story or character study, for if no other reason than you are never in good company. Maybe if we had seen more of somebody with devout beliefs, considering this is supposed to be a pilgrimage, after all. As far as Tom goes, it might help the movie dramatically for him to start out right away but it would have made more sense if he returned home to think things out while on his daily ten mile walk.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2013
    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.
    Al S Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2012
    A very moving tale of a man coming to grips with the death of his son, with whom he had had a strained relationship. Traveling to France to collect his son's remains, the father, Tom (Martin Sheen), decides to complete the pilgrimage his son had only just started and to scatter his ashes along the way. He meets up with, and eventually joins together with some fellow pilgrims along the way and learns what it means to be part of something bigger than oneself. Excellent cast, beautiful scenery, and a story of personal redemption combined to make this a winner for this viewer.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2012
    Very nicely done. Well made. Enjoyable. Heartwarming film....This film has a nice, easy, slow pace. No fireworks. Just lovely. Inspired me to do this pilgrimage?? Maybe..not sure I would even make it halfway. Maybe if I had a scooter..
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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