The Way

  • Film
  • Drama
0 Love It
You could walk the 800km Camino de Santiago pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees into Spain. Or get the two-hour-plus version with this soft-focus Christian-values film starring Martin Sheen and directed by his son Emilio Estevez. Like the real thing, it goes on and on, and just when you think you can’t take any more insufferably trite good intentions, it keeps on going.

Sheen plays a doctor who makes the pilgrimage after his son is killed trekking the first leg. Every step he takes, he makes a new friend, each one broken and looking for meaning. The acting is perfectly serviceable: Estevez appears as Sheen’s dead son; James Nesbitt is a hack travel writer. Spot the angry, feminist-looking woman and you know the abortion storyline (no Christian movie is complete without one) is coming. I was half-hoping the family black sheep Charlie might show up. Presumably he will take more fixing than is possible with endless montages accompanied by Christian rock songs with catchy lines like: ‘How ’bout remembering your divinity?’

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday May 13 2011
Duration: 128 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Emilio Estevez
Screenwriter: Emilio Estevez
Cast: Deborah Kara Unger
Emilio Estevez
Martin Sheen

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|28
1 person listening
la tigressa

i AGREE WITH YOU 100% Cath! And I say this as a spiritual hiker/pilgrim 'type' in my own nutty way ...but also an intelligent, deep, ironic sort who found the cliches, platitudes, predictability, lack of inventiveness and moronic music unbearable. A by-the-numbers velvet-poodle-painting of a little movie. Oh lord, spare us all...just cuz you're spiritually-inclined doesn't mean yr IQ is under 40. It's a relief to see some reviews that understand that rather than only the praise for utter cliche.

la tigressa

i AGREE WITH YOU 100% Cath! And I say this as a spiritual hiker/pilgrim 'type' in my own nutty way ...but also an intelligent, deep, ironic sort who found the cliches, platitudes, predictability, lack of inventiveness and moronic music unbearable. A by-the-numbers velvet-poodle-painting of a little movie. Oh lord, spare us all...just cuz you're spiritually-inclined doesn't mean yr IQ is under 40. It's a relief to see some reviews that understand that rather than only the praise for utter cliche.

Jools

I wonder if the reviewer has experienced loss? I have and this film moved me, despite it sliding into cheese every so often (noble gipsy folk scene, an example), it had a wistful beauty and sadness and honesty. Maybe when the reviewer grows up, they will feel more for this film

Jools

I wonder if the reviewer has experienced loss? I have and this film moved me, despite it sliding into cheese every so often (noble gipsy folk scene, an example), it had a wistful beauty and sadness and honesty. Maybe when the reviewer grows up, they will feel more for this film

Sam

As you said Les, "Freedom of speech" meaning I can freely express myself when someone who is paid to speak from on high about something they know little about, when they decide to berate it just to be. The masses see these critics opinions as something worth hearing, so therefor they should be questioned, and confronted when they make a bad judgment, or should I only express my freedom of speech when it's in agreement with Les!

Sam

As you said Les, "Freedom of speech" meaning I can freely express myself when someone who is paid to speak from on high about something they know little about, when they decide to berate it just to be. The masses see these critics opinions as something worth hearing, so therefor they should be questioned, and confronted when they make a bad judgment, or should I only express my freedom of speech when it's in agreement with Les!

Sam

Cath you are clearly the wrong person to review a film which is about walking the Camino, when you clearly have no idea what the Camino is, why are we subjected to the view from such narrow minded so called critics! Makes me think Timeout is a complete waste of time

Sam

Cath you are clearly the wrong person to review a film which is about walking the Camino, when you clearly have no idea what the Camino is, why are we subjected to the view from such narrow minded so called critics! Makes me think Timeout is a complete waste of time

Andy

Perhaps when Timeout once again becomes a formidable entertainment magazine they will be able to afford film reviewers that know what they are talking about. The Way is beautifully written and directed and drifts along in a most agreeable fashion. What it lacks in action and special effects it makes up for in a range of emotive encounters that surprise you with their weight. The way is a lovely, gentle and thoughtful film that provokes a significant amount of self-reflection. Well recommended.

Andy

Perhaps when Timeout once again becomes a formidable entertainment magazine they will be able to afford film reviewers that know what they are talking about. The Way is beautifully written and directed and drifts along in a most agreeable fashion. What it lacks in action and special effects it makes up for in a range of emotive encounters that surprise you with their weight. The way is a lovely, gentle and thoughtful film that provokes a significant amount of self-reflection. Well recommended.

stevhors

This film doesn't deserve the negative reviews it's been getting. OK some of the characters are cliches but the acting, apart from Nesbitt's early overdone rants, is first rate Strong story lines, beautiful scenery and the relentless feeling of a long distance walk make for an enjoyable film which will appeal to everyone, and there are many, who enjoy the outdoor life.

stevhors

This film doesn't deserve the negative reviews it's been getting. OK some of the characters are cliches but the acting, apart from Nesbitt's early overdone rants, is first rate Strong story lines, beautiful scenery and the relentless feeling of a long distance walk make for an enjoyable film which will appeal to everyone, and there are many, who enjoy the outdoor life.

Oldie

As someone who is past walking 'The Way' myself, I loved it as did the people around me in the Cinema. Sheen didn't pick his fellow walkers, they picked him. Every walker has a story, this movie includes only four. I'm going to see it again and enjoy it all over again I am sure.

Oldie

As someone who is past walking 'The Way' myself, I loved it as did the people around me in the Cinema. Sheen didn't pick his fellow walkers, they picked him. Every walker has a story, this movie includes only four. I'm going to see it again and enjoy it all over again I am sure.

Anthony

Just caught up with this movie and was touched by it. Great central performance from Sheen, wonderful photography and a sprinkling of humour amidst all the grief. The arrival of Nesbitt halfway through threatens to ruin the movie but he calms down eventually. I think your reviewer must have been having a really bad day!

Anthony

Just caught up with this movie and was touched by it. Great central performance from Sheen, wonderful photography and a sprinkling of humour amidst all the grief. The arrival of Nesbitt halfway through threatens to ruin the movie but he calms down eventually. I think your reviewer must have been having a really bad day!

Paul

I must have been one of the few men in the cinema packed with groups of women on their second tasting of Eat Pray Love. What could have been a good film quickly degenerated in a Wizard of Oz like story of Sheen picking up various waifs and strays along the yellow brick road to SantiagoDC. Seemed to be habit for angst ridden white middle-class people with more money than common-sense whilst most people have to stay at home to work and bring up their families. A scene with the gypsies seemed to be a Guinness or Latino beer advert as cliche piles on cliche. If you are a critical thinker skeptical of theism, this film will push you over the line once you see the weak and self indulgent pilgrims to keep you company in a heaven. This could have been a great film about bereavement and self awareness, instead it mush for the Captain Corelli chicklit mush crowd who like their life platitudes

Paul

I must have been one of the few men in the cinema packed with groups of women on their second tasting of Eat Pray Love. What could have been a good film quickly degenerated in a Wizard of Oz like story of Sheen picking up various waifs and strays along the yellow brick road to SantiagoDC. Seemed to be habit for angst ridden white middle-class people with more money than common-sense whilst most people have to stay at home to work and bring up their families. A scene with the gypsies seemed to be a Guinness or Latino beer advert as cliche piles on cliche. If you are a critical thinker skeptical of theism, this film will push you over the line once you see the weak and self indulgent pilgrims to keep you company in a heaven. This could have been a great film about bereavement and self awareness, instead it mush for the Captain Corelli chicklit mush crowd who like their life platitudes

Les Reid

I went along to this film knowing that it was probably going to be fairly religious, given the setting of a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, but hoping that the landscapes of Northern Spain would compensate for whatever excesses of piety occurred. Unfortunately, they didn't. Two-dimensional characters and fake profundity were all the film had to offer, eg "It's not a question of the life you choose, but the life you live." - which phoney gem of wisdom is offered by the dead son to his father in flashback. Lay it on thick, please! Instead, "Is this tripe or trite or both?" was the question that haunted me. This film represents an attempt to cannibalise two very good films, Last Orders by Fred Schepisi and The Son's Room by Nanni Moretti. The former deals with a journey to scatter the ashes of their dead friend by a long-established but fractious group of Londoners. The latter is about the repercussions and recriminations within an Italian family after their son is killed in an accident. Both those films are convincing dramas, and both are well acted and well scripted - so they are totally unlike 'The Way', which tries to combine their central narratives. By all means, if you feel like a challenge, go and see "The Way". But you would probably have more fun crawling to Santiago on your hands and knees, pushing a pea with your nose. And feel just as enlightened at the end of your journey.

Les Reid

I went along to this film knowing that it was probably going to be fairly religious, given the setting of a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, but hoping that the landscapes of Northern Spain would compensate for whatever excesses of piety occurred. Unfortunately, they didn't. Two-dimensional characters and fake profundity were all the film had to offer, eg "It's not a question of the life you choose, but the life you live." - which phoney gem of wisdom is offered by the dead son to his father in flashback. Lay it on thick, please! Instead, "Is this tripe or trite or both?" was the question that haunted me. This film represents an attempt to cannibalise two very good films, Last Orders by Fred Schepisi and The Son's Room by Nanni Moretti. The former deals with a journey to scatter the ashes of their dead friend by a long-established but fractious group of Londoners. The latter is about the repercussions and recriminations within an Italian family after their son is killed in an accident. Both those films are convincing dramas, and both are well acted and well scripted - so they are totally unlike 'The Way', which tries to combine their central narratives. By all means, if you feel like a challenge, go and see "The Way". But you would probably have more fun crawling to Santiago on your hands and knees, pushing a pea with your nose. And feel just as enlightened at the end of your journey.

Ed

Hopeless bumper sticker of a movie. Emilio Estevez films always seem to be a bit broad. They always seem to walk up to big subjects but never get to crack the surface. BOBBY made all the right moves, as does this film THE WAY. But never for one minute was I convinced of the characters loss, or of the cut out / corny characters. I liked the fat Dutch guy most, but Martin Sheen was dislikeable (albeit, he was n mourning), and James Nesbitt was woeful and very annoying. Nice to see Emilio Estevez on the big screen again though. I think one of the montages went on for 20 minutes... Soppy, cliched, broad, and one for the soppiest of non-cynics...

Ed

Hopeless bumper sticker of a movie. Emilio Estevez films always seem to be a bit broad. They always seem to walk up to big subjects but never get to crack the surface. BOBBY made all the right moves, as does this film THE WAY. But never for one minute was I convinced of the characters loss, or of the cut out / corny characters. I liked the fat Dutch guy most, but Martin Sheen was dislikeable (albeit, he was n mourning), and James Nesbitt was woeful and very annoying. Nice to see Emilio Estevez on the big screen again though. I think one of the montages went on for 20 minutes... Soppy, cliched, broad, and one for the soppiest of non-cynics...

Ed

What a heartless review. Even as an atheist I loved this film - yes it is a wee bit long but beautifully done, not at all preachy or heavy.

Ed

What a heartless review. Even as an atheist I loved this film - yes it is a wee bit long but beautifully done, not at all preachy or heavy.

marc spotly

I really really enjoyed, this completely laid back, warm hearted film. I found its lack of instant spirituality great. No ones problems get solved. it was too short for me...

marc spotly

I really really enjoyed, this completely laid back, warm hearted film. I found its lack of instant spirituality great. No ones problems get solved. it was too short for me...

Green

Spot the atheist reviewer...ouch I liked it, doesnt really capture the hardship of the camino though. Would have thought the reviewer here would have had an affinity for the hack travel writer though...

Green

Spot the atheist reviewer...ouch I liked it, doesnt really capture the hardship of the camino though. Would have thought the reviewer here would have had an affinity for the hack travel writer though...