‘The Way Back’ follows the story of Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck). Jack was a phenomenal High school basketball star and had a full ride to Kansas before stepping away from the game, he now struggles with alcohol issues after the death of his son, and a divorce. He is asked to coach his old alma mater, the team hasn’t had a play off appearance in twenty years since Jack led them to state. He must find a way to bring this rag tag team together while struggling with his own issues off the court, the main one being alcohol abuse.
‘The Way Back’ has a large cast, his basketball team, his family, coaches, etc… So I’ll just list a few of the bigger parts. Other than Ben Affleck, ‘The Way Back’ stars Al Madrigal (Night School), Michaela Watkins (The Unicorn), Janina Gavankar (The League), Brandon Wilson (Pele: Birth of a Legend), and John Aylward (Armageddon). All the acting is great and flows well.
If anyone has ever faced addiction, they know the path to sobriety is not an easy one. It’s not a straight line, it is filled with several ups and downs. You wake mornings swearing to never touch another drink, but morning gives way to day and day gives way to night, and by night you have forgotten about morning and you have another drink. One of the things I like about this film it’s not a feel good hey I’m going to quit drinking and the underdog wins all story. It’s real and full of struggle. It’s also a good basketball story, so that’s a double bonus. It’s great to see Ben Affleck back, I give it a 7.5/10.