ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"The Way Back" (2020) Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
Alec Zander profile image

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

Addiction is a terrible thing. Even if we don't realize it, we all have an addiction to something, whether it be food or shopping or alcohol or drugs. Anything can be a drug. Our phones have become drugs in a way. Overcoming those addictions are hard but with the right help and the right support system, we can break free and find our true selves again. The Way Back is a perfect example of how addiction can take over our lives, and often it's born from a traumatic experience.

The film follows Jack Cunningham, an ex-basketball player who could have had a shot at a scholarship but instead walked away from the game. He started working construction, got married and had a kid. After a horrible tragedy, Jack turned to alcohol, becoming an addict. Now, years later, he's offered a coaching position over the basketball team at his old school. Maybe, just maybe, this job will give him the shot at redemption he needs.

Mostly, the film hit all the marks that it needed to. There's only two negative comments that I have and I'll do my best to keep them spoiler-free. First, there's a point in the film where it seems like Jack has given up alcohol but the subject is just dropped for a good hour. An addict can't just quit his addiction cold turkey without having side effects. We never saw him go through withdrawals nor did we see him taking further steps to stay away from his addiction. It gave off the impression that giving up an addiction is easy and anyone can do it. It's not easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication. I just found that to be a missed opportunity. The second negative is the fact that the film did hit emotionally as hard as it could have. There were a couple powerful moments that felt dry and didn't move me like I needed to be moved. I need to feel for the characters and be able to sympathize with them. The story was all there and it was written and acted well but that heartfelt element wasn't there and that's a true shame.

The positives, however, far outweigh the negatives. The story was true to life and was told in an honest way that made you relate to Jack and what he was going through. Ben Affleck was struggling with alcoholism himself while making this film and he still had the strength to go to rehab and better himself. I find that to be a brave move on his part and it made the film a powerful motivator to others who are struggling.

In conclusion, I was mostly happy with the film. The story, directing, and acting were all on point and sent the message it needed to send. I only wish the film had gone further in-depth and had the heart it was missing. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2020 Nathan Jasper


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)