"The Way Back" Review

Premise: Jack Cunningham is an alcoholic separated from his wife Angela, and a former high-school basketball star. Jack is hired by the school he once attended to be the replacement basketball coach. Though this new position offers an opportunity for healing and redemption, Jack must also face the demons of his past and confront the reality of his addiction.

The Good: Ben Affleck has received rave reviews, and deservedly. so. He has also been incredibly open with the public about how personal of a project this film is for him, given his own struggles with addiction. There's no doubt that a prior knowledge of his struggles will make the project resonate more but the performance more than holds its own either way. Gavin O'Connor previously collaborated with with him on "The Accountant" and they've fallen into a great creative rhythm. There are some truly beautiful shots that linger on Jack as he processes bad news or needs to process some other sort of strong emotion.

Who This Film Is For: It's worth noting that the film is first and foremost focused on Jack. Anyone wanting a straight-forward athletic inspiration film should look elsewhere. This is a character drama about addiction and anyone open to a powerful story about this subject matter should give this one a shot.


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