The Way Back Reviews

  • The scenes of brute survival - hunting for food, improvising shelter, making wind-and-snow masks out of sheets of birch bark - are vivid. The men are not.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • It's impossible not to cry at their suffering, but whether you'll feel anything is another story.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • There are exhilarating moments, and there are some undeniably tense scenes. Mixed in, however, is possibly more trudging than you're going to see in any other film.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Weir's movie is superbly made, but its fancy-dancing around history gives a hint of inauthenticity to a film that otherwise thrives on its reverence for historical detail.

    Dan Kois — Washington Post

  • The movie's grueling, inspiring, astonishing to look at. You come out feeling you've traveled half the planet. As ordeal movies go, though, this one's oddly easy to shake off.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • There's even a sense in which the movie is about its own logistics, although it would take a fanatic like Werner Herzog to turn that into compelling cinema.

    J. Hoberman — Village Voice

  • How many new ways can you dramatize icy gales, parched deserts, agonizing thirst, shimmering mirages? And how do you step up the pace of a story that's about people walking?

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Gorgeous to look at, and a matter-of-fact paean to the possibility of human decency, The Way Back makes the genre-juggling dream quest of Inception look like child's play.

    Kathleen Murphy — MSN Movies

  • The abiding sensation, at the end, is one not of fulfillment but of exhaustion.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • Not every incredible story makes a compelling movie.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Weir and editor Lee Smith seem preoccupied with hustling events along, and nervous about boring us for even a second. The result is a brisk trot through a story that is, at heart, a tough slog.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Whether it is truth, fiction or, most likely, a little of each, the story Weir tells is a powerful parable of man's charge for freedom and his humbling by nature.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Way Back" is a return to the historical epics of David Lean, a story of survival under unthinkable physical and spiritual hardship.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • No one will go away disappointed or indifferent. It's a movie that sticks with you like Elmer's glue.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

  • An impressive but not especially immersive true story of four POWs who escaped the Siberian Gulags and crossed the Himalayas on foot to freedom.

    Peter Debruge — Variety

  • The film largely misses its opportunities to reflect the enormity of communism, choosing instead the route of a conventional adventure yarn.

    Kyle Smith — New York Post

  • Despite a strong cast that includes Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan, we never really get to know any of the sloggers.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • Eventually the film itself is something of an endurance test, and not as rewarding as it hopes to be. But it's a worthy venture, earnest and well-produced and occasionally gripping.

    Eric D. Snider — Film.com

  • The Way Back is fascinating until it becomes an ordeal.

    Rick Groen — Globe and Mail

  • A harrowing epic that will not be an easy sell, but it finds Weir again working at the top of his game.

    Stephen Farber — Hollywood Reporter

Top Movies