The Way Way Back - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Way Way Back Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 27, 2017
What better time of year could one choose to set a sentimental coming-of-age movie other than summer? Summertime has always been that youthful energetic part of the year every kid looks forward to, but The Way Way Back paints a darker picture than your usual colorful coastal palate. A 14 year old Duncan is stuck between a rock and a hard place: his mom is dating a sinister and selfish man (played by the great Steve Carell) who takes his new family to his beach house where Duncan meets a new group of characters... and his own dad doesn't wnt him. What makes this film work so well is the cast. Steve Carell in one of his more unique roles as the bad guy does an amazing job, and Sam Rockwell gives the same effort as the friendly everyday jackass. I really liked learning it was directed by two members of the cast: it adds a touch of sentiment and originality to an already indie feel. I only wish the relationship between Duncan and his new neighbor had been explored a little bit more. Otherwise, this is a highly watchable and memorable film thanks to the location, soundtrack, and mainly the awesome cast. There may be better coming-of-age stories, but The Way Way Back is undoubtedly one of the better ones.
½ March 25, 2017
This movie was way too PG for me. Kids swear all the time at this age. Kids like girls at this age. Kids do really creepy and dumb things. None of that happens in this movie. The producers tried to appeal to young kids but its just not funny. The adult parts of the movie are awesome. Toni Collette is amazing. But she doesn't make up for the weak teenage scenes.
½ March 14, 2017
Functional coming of age story, probably not really funny enough but at times it is touching. I do feel like I'll have forgotten it in a week mind you.
½ March 4, 2017
A whimsical story about a young boy coming of age, and a stellar cast is a what drew me in. I was more than satisfied with the product, though predicable, manages to be charming and funny mainly through Sam Rockwell. I absolutely loved this film, and I would say it's good for almost anyone to go see
February 24, 2017
The Way Way Back is a film with great acting and a good script, which makes it a very enjoyable movie and actually has you rooting for it's characters.
February 9, 2017
Tender, funny and heartfelt, with a charming performance from Sam Rockwell.
½ February 8, 2017
a good fun summer movie. I love it.
January 24, 2017
Dysfunctional parenting.
January 8, 2017
Really sweet, funny and moving coming of age story. Great multi facetted characters and convincing acting.
½ January 7, 2017
+ A decent movie that might be called coming-of-age or even a mild rom-com. Basically it's a near autobiographical summer's tale by one of the screenwriters. It taps the issue of fatherlessness, or dad longing, from a couple of angles. That's interesting, but only up to a point. And there are quite a few genre cliches. You'll swear Greg Kinnear was in this after you've seen it. But alas ... Acutally, Kinnear does a better take on some of the same subject material in "Stuck in Love." And can you believe Carell is the heavy?! I know, huh ...?!
December 31, 2016
It's good movie to watch
½ December 18, 2016
One of those "lazy summer, coming of age" films. Not much new under this sun, but it hits some nice notes. The jewel of the film is Rockwell as the bad influence with a heart. Steve Carell is also surprisingly effective as the new boyfriend with just the wrong amount of charm. An enjoyable time-killer if you're in that mood.
½ December 11, 2016
Let me start off by saying, I adore this film. I could watch it over and over again (and do).
I was drawn to it initially because of the cast. A true ensemble, each playing their part beautifully. Carell, as a rarely seen straight man, is great, you hate him, but you're supposed to. Collette is subtle, offering up everything with a tinge of sadness. Janney makes you cringe, she's sloppy and loud, and has no filter but she's the perfect accompaniment to Collette.
At the waterpark, Rockwell and Rudolph banter back and forth and you never want it to end. It feels improvised, because it's so easy and simple. Their characters have known each other for years and it shows.

Rockwell's character, Owen, takes the awkward teen, Duncan, under his wing. At 14, we all could use a mentor like Owen. His life philosophy rubs off on Duncan, all the while teaching him how not to end up like Owen. Ultimately, this newfound attitude in Duncan rubs off on his mum (Collette).

This film is funny, it's sunny and smart, beautifully written, excellently cast and has a fantastic amount of heart.

Probably gonna watch it again now....
December 5, 2016
A very entertaining family drama written by Jim Rash (Dean Dean Pelton from Community) Features 2 great performances by Toni Colette and Steve Carrell.
½ December 2, 2016
This movie came out of nowhere really enjoyed this movie.
½ November 18, 2016
If you ever want a perfect example of a true coming-of-age story, then you're in the right place.
Super Reviewer
½ October 5, 2016
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.
September 25, 2016
The Way Way Back is the directorial debut of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash who wrote this and The Descendants, and it stars Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, and AnnaSophia Robb in a coming-of-age film about a kid and his family going to a summer home and spend time with the family's friends and meeting new friends, even though Duncan (Liam James) didn't want to be there and the mom's boyfriend is a total jerk. It had been years since I've watched the film, and I remember liking it a lot from it, which the trailers for it doesn't show the full potential that the film have. I haven't seen Liam James in any film, which I also haven't seen Steve Carell act like a jerk to the mother's son while being a bit supportive to the mother, and they both were really good in this. Toni Collette is good in this, Allison Janney is having fun acting like a blunt drunk, and for Sam Rockwell, he honestly stole the show. He's having a lot of fun of what he usually does, he brings a lot of energy to the film, and he dances in this, which is always a delight to watch. The movie knows to bring a lot of positive moments, while also putting in serious parts in here that doesn't make it sappy. It has an amount of humor and charm into it that makes the film enjoyable to watch, and with a well written script, has memorable characters that are relevant, and talks with real dialogue that is interesting to listen to. Stuff like this and Perks of Being a Wallflower are the kind of coming-of-age films that are top notch, and has that kind of replay-ability that I'll never get tired of watching it again and still get a smile out of me.
½ September 9, 2016
This is a movie where I wish I didn't watch it until the end.
Throughout this movie, you are taken on a journey of an introverted kid coming out of his shell. And this journey is done by Liam James's amazing acting. When Duncan feels dejected and doesn't belong, you see it on his face, in the way he walks, the way he talks. And when he is jubilant, feels one with the group, you see it in his smile, in his confident posture. I felt a connection with Duncan, and at one scene close to the ending, I even cried.
Liam's acting the only highlight of the movie. Plot isn't original, lots of cliché's, other characters are questionable.
If it wasn't for the ending, this would have been a good, watch it once, maybe watch it in the future movie.
But the ending...well it sucked. It is sudden, inconclusive, and leaves you staring at the screen thinking "''s over?"
In the end, this movie was good, but I wouldn't watch it again, and wouldn't recommend it.
September 1, 2016
A great summer coming of age film to watch, the acting and story is terrific
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