Releasing a basketball movie in March, when so much real drama and joy is on TV with college hoops, seemed kind of risky. But The Way Back isn’t entirely a basketball movie, which may surprise some viewers.
Sports movies — portraying sports in pop culture and media — fit solidly into Awful Announcing’s beat. So I reviewed the movie for the site. Here’s an excerpt:
Some viewers might prefer a more predictable, more conventional sports movie with an uplifting message. But director Gavin O’Connor and Ben Affleck know life isn’t that simple and a tidy resolution doesn’t often make for a good story. What feels more gratifying is that viewers can determine how this story ends. Maybe it goes exactly as you would’ve predicted. But maybe not. Being trusted as an audience to deal with the many possibilities at hand makes it worth seeing. This isn’t the movie you think it is.
Ben Affleck is certainly promoting the hell out of this film, talking to news outlets and appearing on a whole bunch of talk shows and podcasts. But this is obviously a personal role for him, considering his character’s struggle with alcoholism. It’s slightly uncomfortable to watch at times because of that.
You can read the full review at Awful Announcing.