Weir has always loved atmospheric locales and group dynamics, and here he makes the most of both
Rafer Guzman, Newsday, 2011-02-18
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, 2011-02-03
The result is a film that seems simultaneously grand and skimpy. For all its faults, it's an honorable effort, though. I hope Weir doesn't wait seven more years for his next film.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2011-01-22
The overall metaphor Weir was aiming for - this idea of enemies so powerful and a war so menacing and confusingly big that no place seems safe except a place absurdly far away - comes through clearly and stays with you.
Mary F. Pols, TIME Magazine, 2011-01-21
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, 2011-01-21
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, 2011-01-21
Whether it's true or not, this portrait of desperate, determined people surviving blizzards and dust storms and crossing mountains and deserts is a gruff and uplifting celebration of how much people can take and how much they value freedom.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2011-01-20
This artful tale of survival against the elements - radiating terror and beauty - continues Peter Weir's fascination with characters trapped by worlds they didn't make.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 2011-01-20
"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, 2011-01-20
This doesn't sound like a lot of fun to watch, but Weir - in his first movie since 2003's "Master and Commander" - makes it mesmerizing and occasionally lyrical.
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, 2011-01-20
The abiding sensation, at the end, is one not of fulfillment but of exhaustion.
Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 2011-01-31
This is an impressive production and technical feat, but through most of it, I kept thinking about how difficult the filming conditions must have been, and not about the lives of the men in front of me.
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, 2011-01-31
he long stretches between stations make The Way Back an arduous road.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2011-01-31
The Way Back represents an exquisite example of style over substance, of vast visuals dwarfing the characters and nearly swallowing the story whole.
Christy Lemire, Associated Press, 2011-01-28
There's little human conflict; Sturgess never doubts himself, and the men mostly get along; even Farrell's gangster is on best behavior.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, 2011-01-22
The Way Back is fascinating until it becomes an ordeal.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, 2011-01-21
It's impossible not to cry at their suffering, but whether you'll feel anything is another story.
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 2011-01-20
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, 2011-01-20
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, 2011-01-20
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, 2011-01-20