The Way, Way Back Synopsis
A water-park employee becomes friend and mentor to a withdrawn, fatherless boy.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Wall Street Journal

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

By Tirdad Derakhshani
A sly, richly modulated, emotionally engaging, and brutally honest film.
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By William Goss
Faxon and Rush’s screenplay doesn’t deviate too far from formula, but their sturdy direction, bolstered by handsome production values,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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A Great Break From The Summer Blockbusters!

By MedRed
Just fantastic! The Way, Way Back is a heartwarming tale of an awkward teenager coming to grips with his changing family dynamic while learning to have confidence in himself. The story is...

Not your typical Summer movie

By Svoboda1
Was lucky enough to snag some screener tickets to this after seeing the preview and I'm glad I did. When most Summer movies are crammed full of explosions and overdone CGI, this is a classic Summer...

Great flick

By scottaprice
This is a feel good movie...that's intellectually stimulating, contains great acting, has some really great humor, and sends you on your way with much to talk about. If it's dinner and a

Way, Way Good!

By cccourt
When you just want to see a smart movie with great acting (Sam Rockwell MUST be nominated) and an ensemble committed to a project, this is one for you. And is out RIGHT now! The boy's pain is...

worth it

By maxpads
I enjoy movies like this a lot...movies about life that meander through a realistic yet comical lens with no clear destination. That said, I like for those movies to reveal something to me eventually...

Beautifully Written, Well Acted, Engaging Coming-of-Age Story

By pupmom
This movie was so fulfilling. Without violence, stupidity, or predictability, The Way, Way Back is highly entertaining. Characters are realistic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes sweet, and...

Great flick

By jrshayalma
Great 13 year old said "If they make a sequel I want to see it". Funny, great message and can put yourself into one of the characters easily....

Edgier than Juno but not up to Moonrise Kingdom

By thscherman
Delightfully weird flick, more weird and less easy to watch than Juno, but some fine performances. Allison Janey's brilliantly delivered first lines prepares you for something a bit different than...

Great Story

By DonB7
It goes to show that no matter how much is spent or not spent on sets and special effects it comes down to storytelling which makes for a good movie....

Kept WAITING for something to happen... ANYTHING!!!

By slonnett
We went to see this with our 14 year old son and a couple of his buddies thinking it would be an endearing, "coming of age" movie with some reliable Steve Carell humor mixed in amongst the poignant...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Some Sexual Content, Language, Brief Drug Material and Thematic Elements
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Refreshing coming-of-age tale a joy for teens and up.
Read the Common Sense Media Review