The Way Back [2020] ★★½

Hate on Ben Affleck all you want, but the man can deliver some emotional performances at times. Case in point: “The Way Back”, a lowkey but effective drama about an everyday man trying to get his life back on track. Affleck’s Jack Cunningham is a mess when we first meet him, struggling with alcohol addiction and avoiding family reunions at every opportunity. One day, he gets a phone call from his alma mater, offering him a job to coach their basketball team. I think you can call “The Way Back” a cross between “Coach Carter” and pretty much every drama about a man seeking some sort of redemption. Despite its formulaic nature, the film rarely feels corny and doesn’t manipulate its audience. I’m sure you can predict where the story will eventually go, but this is all about the journey and not the destination. It is a bumpy journey, no doubt about that, but I think it’s still well-worth taking, especially if you want to see Ben Affleck in something completely different for a change.

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