"The Way Back" is the kind of movie people are talking about when they say 'They don't make them the way they used to' (without the cursing!)
Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) was the star of his basketball team in high school but now is an alcoholic who never met his promise afterward. He is a construction worker who drinks vodka from a thermos on the job, stops at the bar on the way home, has a beer in the shower and goes through a case during an evening at home.
For no reason that I could understand he is offered the job of head coach at his former high school where the team has been a loser in the 2 decades since he played there. Of course, there is(n't) a solid reason the assistant coach can't take over the position except to help Cunningham redeem himself.
What happens from this point on should be known to anyone who has watched movies, oh say, the last 20 years so I'll leave that alone.
This movie is a cut above others like it because of a smart script by Brad Ingelsby matched by the direction by Gavin O'Connor and the photography of Eduard Grau but by another factor that won't be avoided by anyone.
Ben Afflick gives a strong performance of what is causing his pain and how he tries to stop the hurting. Is he acting or is he just playing the actor that we have read in all the news stories and Internet media? It doesn't make a difference as this is one of Afflick's best performances and raises "The Way Back" above other films in this genre.