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Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen, James Nesbitt ... see more see more... , Tcheky Karyo , Ángela Molina , Carlos Leal , Simón Andreu , Eusebio Lazaro , Antonio Gil , Spencer Garrett , Romy Baskerville , Renee Estevez , David Alexanian , William Holden , Joe Torrenueva , Matt Clark , Stéphane Dausse , Patxi Pérez , Anthony Von Seck , José Luis Molina , José Javier Ruiz , Omar Muñoz , Milagros Alcalde Díez , Maximiano Benito Nebreda , Santi Prego , Joaquim de Almeida

The Way is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American... read more read more... doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on, is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life". Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. -- (C) Icon

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83% liked it

12,675 ratings


82% liked it

95 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 55 min.

Directed by: Emilio Estevez

Release Date: October 7, 2011

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Stats: 880 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (880)

  • May 12, 2013
    It's nothing short of sensational. A deeply intimate, vastly original and personal piece of work that's spiritual and breathtaking. A truly heartfelt, spirited and wonderfully engaging movie. It's deeply moving, very funny and absolutely gorgeous in its craft and use of scenery. ... read moreDirector, Emilio Estevez takes full advantage of his cast and locations and brings out the best of everybody. A real triumph. Esteves and Sheen strike gold, the father-son duo make this picture worth while. Martin Sheen is superb, he gives one of the best performances of his entire career. Deborah Kara Unger is fantastic. Yorick van Wageningen is wonderful. James Nesbitt is terrific. They have wonderful chemistry together. This film delivers great laughs, beautiful scenery and top-notch performances. It's such an excellent and outstanding movie. It shines with humanity and beauty.
  • November 27, 2012
    Now playing at Theater Insomnia...

    Full review at 11/30
  • September 16, 2012
    Written and directed, and briefly featuring an appearance by Emilio Estevez, this is a moving and heartwarming indie drama (with a fair amount of levity) about one man's quest to find meaning in life.

    Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen as a grumpy and irascible opthamologis... read moret named Tom who has hit a crossraods in his life. He's a widower, and somewhat estranged from his free spirited adult son Daniel. After Daniel is killed in the Pyrenees Mountains, Tom travels to France to bring his son's body home. Daniel had been in the proocess of walking the Camino de Santiago, aka The Way of Saint James, a historic religious pilgrimage route spanning from France along the coast of Spain to the Atlantic Ocean.

    Feeling a strange compulsion, rather than return home, Tom has Daniel's remains cremated and sets out, despite his inexperience, on a quest to finish the trek his son started as a way of honoring his memory and trying to shake his own life out of a rut.

    Along the way, Tom unwittingly finds himself making the 800 KM (or so) trek with a motley band of colorful characters from all over the globe, each one, like Tom, with their own personal issues and diverse reasons for hiking "The Way".

    This movie is so sincere, well meaning, and earnest that you really feel bad saying anything negative about it. Yes, there's lots of cliches, and many of the characters are just moderately fleshed out archetypes, but it's the performances, especially that of Sheen, that really hold this film together and make it worthwhile. Well that, and it helps that the film was shot entirely on location along the actual Camino de Santiago, with all of the non speaking trekkers and extras being actual pilgrims making the trip.

    I really loved that aspect of the production, because the locations and cinematography are absolutely gorgeous, the level of authenticity is really high, and you get a real sense of the sincerity and genuine labor of love that the project is. That's also probably to the credit that it's an indie affair, instead of a mega budget mess. The low-key aspects to everything make it more appealing special.

    The film does meander at times, and the pacing is pretty leisurely, almost as if they are trying to force the viewer into making the trip themselves, and some of the music cues are rather trite and on the nose. However, the actual score is really nice, and it surprised me since it was done by Tyler Bates, most known for doing the music for many of the films by Zack Snyder and Rob Zombie. It actually works really nicely though, and it was an enjoyable surprise.

    Another thing about this movie that really scores points with me is that, not only is it a road movie/travelogue sort of thing (which I absolutely love), but it's also the type of road movie where the journey is more important than the destination, something I also love and a sentiment I believe in personally.

    All in all, the film is somewhat typical of road movies and moving, heartwarming indie character dramas, but it is pretty well made, strongly acted, and a fair way to spend a couple of hours. Who knows, maybe this will inspire people to actually embark on "The Way" for themselves.
  • fb1672039553
    June 30, 2012
    A father sets out to mourn and honor his dead son, attempting to make peace with their troubled relationship by walking in his footsteps. The writing doesn't go very far with the internal journey the father must take, which is disappointing. Instead, it fills the movie with contr... read moreived characters and scenarios - it's almost a Wizard of Oz story, where each traveler who joins him is missing an essence of themselves and they think they will be fixed by the end of the pilgrimage. But these tag-a-long characters were too fabricated to be emotionally engaging.
  • May 22, 2012
    Very nicely done. Well made. Enjoyable. Heartwarming film....This film has a nice, easy, slow pace. No fireworks. Just lovely. Inspired me to do this pilgrimage?? Maybe..not sure I would even make it halfway. Maybe if I had a scooter..
  • May 6, 2012
    Life is too big to walk it alone.

    Excellent Film! The Way is human, emotive, emotional, and sincere, and for this viewer a good journey. Martin Sheen is a Hollywood icon and a terrific actor but this is probably his best role in years. Sheen gives a powerhouse performance that ... read morejust makes you love and feel for this father looking desperately to find a son he's lost, but also a piece of himself. Sheen is riveting and this was an award worthy performance. I've come to the conclusion that when Estevez cares about a project he puts every ounce of his soul into the film. The Way demonstrates what kind of passion he puts into his film. It is just beautiful in every sense of the word. The Spanish countryside is stunning, the shots he uses of all of them together walking the trail, and the relationship he creates between these four strangers who are completely different. I felt on the verge of tears through the whole film but not just because it is sad because there are scenes of sadness but just how heart felt and honest and passionate this movie is. Please see this beautiful and simple drama because it is magnificent.

    "The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life". Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. On his journey, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen), a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer ('James Nesbitt' ), who is suffering from a bout of writer's block. From the unexpected and, oftentimes, amusing experiences along the way, this unlikely quartet of misfits creates an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through Tom's unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we choose".
  • April 26, 2012
    Cast: Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen, Emilio Estevez, Spencer Garrett, Antonio Gil-Martinez, Carlos Leal, Simón Andreu, Santi Prego

    Director:Emilio Estevez

    Summary: When his son dies while hiking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route i... read moren the Pyrenees, a grieving father flies to France to claim the remains. Looking for insights into his estranged child's life, he decides to complete the 500-mile trek to Spain.

    My Thoughts: "Emilio Estevez has written and directed a beautiful story about self discovery, redemption, and spiritual healing. Martin Sheen does a fantastic job in the film. Emilio does a great job at directing and making you kinda feel like fifth wheel on this journey with these four characters. I enjoyed each one of their stories and loved the relationship that grew between the four as the film goes on. The scenery was beautiful and the movie makes you want to experience the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in the Pyrenees. Emilio did a fantastic job with this film. Great watch if you don't mind the concept and films that don't have to do with the norm of films like action, murder, blood and guts. It was a nice simple film."
  • April 23, 2012
    "You don't choose a life, Dad. You live one."

    A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El camino de Santiago," and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.

    ... read more
    2011 has given us its share of small films that deal with intimate human experiences. Some go and explore social issues, universal themes of oppression and racism. "The Way" brings together a group of people on their own personal quests, looking for a miracle, a possibility of change for the better, hoping for the best, sharing "El Camino to Compostela". After a father loses his only son in France, he heads back to claim his body, only to realize there are important spiritual matters he needs to settle. His relationship with his son had not been his best until this moment; completing his son's journey might give him an opportunity to find redemption and peace of mind. On his way to Compostela, he is joined by a Dutch man, an American woman, and an Irish writer. Each of them has a story to tell, seeks a connection to Avery, who reluctantly lets them into his life. The journey takes them through interesting stops. One will probably end up saying "miracles actually happen" with the way the plot turns.

    In reality, the film works well because the main actors give heartfelt performance. The entire cast is in fact amazing, giving depth to characters that could have been clichés. The most touching is a surprise, as the shallow Dutch man grows more and more interesting as he becomes our eyes, and we are witnesses to a man who is processing the emotions his fellow companions are feeling. It's hard not to be moved by the display of faith in a film that could have gone overboard and become preachy. Instead, he lets us participate in some personal experiences, taking us through "the way", letting us see the surroundings, the people at the different stops, letting us become involved. It is a very moving experience.
  • March 12, 2012
    The musical montages get a little annoying as the film goes along, but a great performance from Martin Sheen and refusal to go for cheap melodrama makes this a heartfelt European journey flick.
  • fb100000145236770
    March 2, 2012
    Movies like "The Way" are a great reminder of how underrated some actors are. "The Way" stars Martin Sheen(as Tom) in his best role in years. Tom lives the life as a doctor who plays golf, and doesn't do much else with his time. One day while golfing he gets a phone call that ... read morehis estranged son has died in an accident while embarking on "the camino de santiago"(basically, a long historical walk in Europe). Once in France to collect his sons remains, Tom decides to finish the camino for his son. Along the journey he meets new people and his life changes forever. Sheen is moving, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Directed by and co-starring his son Emilio Estevez you get a real sense of their bond as father and son. Also, you can really see how much Emilio looks like Martin, it's pretty uncanny. The movie lags a bit in parts, but it's never dull. I was surprised when it never veered into melodramatic territory as it easily could have. Instead the movie remains balanced and entertaining. Give the movie a shot and you won't regret taking this journey.

Critic Reviews

Rick Groen
November 4, 2011
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Okay, since the destination is preordained, what does the script do en route? Estevez's answer is two-fold: minor episodic adventures + incessantly repeated montages. Full Review

Bruce Demara
November 4, 2011
Bruce Demara, Toronto Star

Estevez takes full advantage of the beautiful mountain scenery, dramatic skies and ancient architecture to give us moments of quiet wonder. Full Review

Tom Long
October 21, 2011
Tom Long, Detroit News

Heartfelt if occasionally plodding. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
October 20, 2011
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

With "The Way," writer-director Emilio Estevez has made a respectable failure. Full Review

Colin Covert
October 14, 2011
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

It could have come out sentimental, but doesn't. The secret is the matter-of-factness. Full Review

Kerry Lengel
October 13, 2011
Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic

"The Way" is overly earnest and clumsily directed by Emilio Estevez (the non-prodigal son of Sheen). Yet it is nonetheless effective in evoking empathy and introspection. Full Review

Richard Roeper
October 12, 2011
Richard Roeper, Richard

"The Way" is one of the better films of the year. Full Review

Peter Rainer
October 7, 2011
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

There is nothing terribly spiritual about the journey for any of these people, and yet the sheer arduousness of the trek, the beauty of the countryside, and the personal revelations that ensue all com... Full Review

Calvin Wilson
October 7, 2011
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The Way" might have been a bit more eventful. Still, it's good company. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
October 7, 2011
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

A sensuous, expansive hymn to travel and transformation in a movie that honors earthly pleasures as readily as it contemplates higher things. Full Review

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    • Tom: You believe in miracles father?
    • Father Frank: It's my job.
    • Jack: Now there's something you don't see everyday: a yank without an opinion!
    • Ishmael: Our children have the best and the worst of us.
    • Tom: You can keep the pack just give me the box!
    • Daniel: You don't choose a life Dad. You live one.
    • Tom: Daniel was a lot like you. Smart, confident, stubborn... pissed me off a lot.

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The Way Trivia

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  • What was the song that Jules gave Michael and Kimmy as a gift in "My Bestfriend's Wedding?"  Answer »

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