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"THE WAY BACK"
(2020) (Ben Affleck, Brandon Wilson) (R)


At-A-Glace Content Summary

Alcohol/Drugs Extreme
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons Minor
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) Minor
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking Moderate
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A former high school basketball star, now a grieving alcoholic, gets a shot at redemption when he's asked to take over the coaching duties at his former school.
PLOT:

Back in the 1990s, Jack Cunningham (BEN AFFLECK) was the star basketball player at Bishop Hayes High School but he purposefully let a bright future slip through his fingers. Now separated from his wife, Angela (JANINA GAVANKAR), and dealing with a recent tragedy by self-medicating through alcohol, Jack is a full-blown alcoholic who even drinks while working his construction job, all of which concerns his sister, Beth (MICHAELA WATKINS).

Accordingly, he's surprised when he's contacted by the head priest at his former school -- who's unaware of his issues -- to take over coaching duties for the basketball team due to the current coach having had a heart attack. Jack is reluctant, but eventually agrees and gets the quick low-down from assistant coach Dan (AL MADRIGAL) about the sorry state of the team, while pointing out the qualities of the various players that include showboat Marcus (MELVIN GREGG), uber-talented but humble Brandon (BRANDON WILSON), and school lothario Kenny (WILL ROPPP), among others.

With most of the players unfocused and undisciplined, Jack has his work cut out for him, and it's rough-going for a while, but he eventually whips the team into competitive shape. Since he's yet to deal with his off-court demons, however, it's uncertain if those issues and his behavior will ultimately undermine his and the team's efforts.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Those into basketball-based movies might be interested, while fans of Affleck or anyone else in the cast might also show some interest.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language throughout including some sexual references.


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