The Way Way Back

2013

The Way Way Back

Critics Consensus

Despite its familiar themes, The Way Way Back makes use of its talented cast, finely tuned script, and an abundance of charm to deliver a funny and satisfying coming-of-age story.

84%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 180

84%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,487

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

84%
Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget. (c) Fox Searchlight

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Critic Reviews for The Way Way Back

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (47)

Audience Reviews for The Way Way Back

I like coming-of-age movies, and this is one of the better ones. Duncan comes out of his shell and stands up for himself after a summer at the beach. The chief architect of this change is Owen - a strange duck himself.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Not without its moments, but uneven overall--too many characters to background in the early going. As a result, the movie kind of wanders for the first 20-30 minutes, and winds up leaning too heavily on the montage while telling Duncan's story, glazing over the sense of purpose that his new job gives him and his budding romance with the girl next door. Strong final act, though, and great work by Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell playing against type, but there was just too much story here, probably two and a half hours worth... I wouldn't have sat through this kind of movie were it that long, but instead of glazing over the main plot to make it shorter, they could have cut a plot line or two and really brought us further inside Duncan.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Didn't expect a movie where Steve Carell plays the asshole

Matt Goodman
Matt Goodman

Super Reviewer

A likeable enough coming of age story concerning an insecure, troubled teenager (Liam James) who is forced to go to his mother's boyfriend's (Steve Carell) beach house with them for the summer despite wanting to be with his real father. Once there, he stumbles into a summer job at a local water park, and makes friends with a 40's something staff member (Sam Rockwell) still attempting to live in his early days, and strikes up a potential romantic relationship with the cute girl next door (Annasophia Robb). While it is largely predictable and it has some moments of being absolutely corny, including the finale at the water park, it is still likable enough. It is an average movie with great performances, especially Rockwell, and it definitely has its heart in the right place. Not an outstanding movie by any stretch of the imagination, but far from bad.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

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