The Way Way Back
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THE WAY, WAY BACK is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncan's (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget. (c) Fox Searchlight
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Nice comedic work from Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney buoys this pleasant but routine coming-of-age drama by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"The coming-of-age tale The Way, Way Back is sweet, heartfelt and utterly trite and predictable from beginning to end."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"An astoundingly sweet, lovable, immensely enjoyable little film that hits all the right notes as you're watching it thanks to its excellent cast."
‑ Christopher Runyon, Movie Mezzanine
"This coming-of-age comedy/drama rings emotionally false during many of its jacked-up, stacked-deck emotional confrontations and mistakes obnoxiousness for personality in almost every adult character."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"The Way Way Back is a real crowd-pleasing charmer that breaks free of its familiar trappings with consistent humor and personal touches."
‑ Travis Hopson, Examiner.com
"This film's masterstroke is showing everything from Duncan's point of view, without the traditional cloying narration."
‑ Anna Smith, Time Out
"Aiming for a middle path between drama and comedy, "The Way Way Back" is so overloaded with jokes that it could sink in the water hazard, but on the final scorecard, sure enough, it's in the hole."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The film has been complacently concocted for likability even as it gives you very little that's real, structured, or spontaneous enough to enjoy."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"If you're first act was writing the Oscar winning screenplay for "The Descendants," looking for an encore can be tough. But Nat Faxon and Jim Rash leveraged that win and made the leap to directing their own small-budget, bighearted coming of age comedy."
‑ Thelma Adams, Yahoo! Movies
"Funny, touching and irresistibly charming, The Way, Way Back is a coming-of-age comedy that gets the pains and joys and, above all, awkwardness of adolescence spot on."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"An unexpected yet irresistible cross between Meatballs and The Ice Storm, The Way Way Back just may be the best movie of the summer."
‑ Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
"Nostalgia often tinges our memories in soft, warm colors; something like The Way Way Back reminds us of the good, the bad, and the cringe-worthy."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"The story has some of the lighthearted fun a boy should have working for a fun-loving boss and enjoying the company of a hot girlfriend, but he should be having a lot more fun than this."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
""The Way Way Back" is a sharply written comedy that's full of wise and wise-guy moments."
‑ James Plath, Movie Metropolis
"More charm and original laughs than most recent coming-of-age films...overcomes its contrived formula (dysfunctional adults, kids as victims) aided greatly by Rockwell."
‑ Bruce Bennett, Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
More reviews for The Way Way Back on Rotten Tomatoes