100

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
It's a joyous movie, the best one I've seen in a very long time.
Full Review
100

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
With his rapid-fire delivery and big heart, Rockwell makes Owen his version of “M*A*S*H”’s Hawkeye Pierce, but the film’s layers of well-observed truths go deeper than that.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
It's funny, affecting, and appealing, and more worthy than much of what's out there. Often, coming-of-age stories rely forcefully on formulaic narrative developments but The Way Way Back remains fresh from start to finish.
Full Review
88

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The Way Way Back gets it wittily, thrillingly right. It turns the familiar into something bracingly fresh and funny. It makes you laugh, then breaks your heart.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Bill Zwecker
Co-writers/directors Faxon and Rast have created a little gem of a film. Without question, The Way Way Back is the best coming-of-age movie of the summer and should be seen by audiences of all ages.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Tirdad Derakhshani
A sly, richly modulated, emotionally engaging, and brutally honest film.
Full Review
75

Film.com

By William Goss
Faxon and Rush’s screenplay doesn’t deviate too far from formula, but their sturdy direction, bolstered by handsome production values, evokes a wistful sense of carefree summers and conjures up a potent amount of simmering teenage angst beneath the frequent chuckles.
Full Review
75

Entertainment Weekly

There's something slightly formulaic and familiar about Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's coming-of-age film The Way, Way Back, but not enough to dampen its crowd-pleasing charm.
Full Review
75

The Playlist

By Cory Everett
Comedy is hard all on its own, but comedy that resonates is a rare thing indeed. So it’s admirable that Rash and Faxon are continuing to head down that path they started with “The Descendants,” even if this film isn’t quite as refined.
Full Review
60

Variety

By Peter Debruge
The story of a teen desperate for a father figure who finds encouragement from a wild-and-crazy water-park employee -- rather than from the guy auditioning to be his stepdad -- can be explosively funny in parts, but overall feels pretty familiar, relying more on its cast than the material to win favor.
Full Review
68 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.