The Way Back 2011 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(1,257) IMDb 7.3/10
Available in HD
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Inspired by an incredible true story, THE WAY BACK begins in 1940 when seven prisoners attempt the impossible: escape from a brutal Siberian gulag. Thus begins a treacherous 4,500-mile trek to freedom across the world's most merciless landscapes.

Starring:
Dragos Bucur, Colin Farrell
Runtime:
2 hours 14 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Way Back

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Adventure
Director Peter Weir
Starring Dragos Bucur, Colin Farrell
Supporting actors Ed Harris, Alexandru Potocean, Saoirse Ronan, Gustaf Skarsgård, Mark Strong, Jim Sturgess, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Zahary Baharov, Sally E. Brunski, Igor Gnezdilov, Dejan Angelov, Stanislav Pishtalov, Mariy Grigorov, Nikolay Stanoev, Stefan Shterev, Yordan Bikov, Ruslan Kupenov, Nikolay Mutafchiev
Studio Image Entertainment
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Very good film - gripping story, amazing scenery and great acting.
Harley Red
Hard to believe things like this actually happened. good movie to watch .good story of survival.
TP
This true story was remarkable and reflects the will and determination of humanity to survive.
Joan McPhillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

355 of 366 people found the following review helpful By Danusha V. Goska on January 23, 2011
Format: DVD
"The Way Back" is a masterpiece, a must-see film for thinking people and for lovers of cinema as a serious art form. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire film, and was stifling tears. I could not resist applauding at the end. I couldn't wait to discuss it with friends. Several hours after I left the theater, I kept seeing everything - a meaty sandwich, clean water flowing from the tap - through the prism of "The Way Back." I'm a long-time fan of director Peter Weir, who gave us classics like "Picnic at Hanging Rock," "Witness" and "The Year of Living Dangerously." Weir has outdone himself.

"The Way Back" depicts a long walk that Gulag escapees took from Siberia to India. I've been lucky enough, under luckier circumstances, to travel some of the world the film references, from Poland to the Himalaya. The film's authenticity in language, costume, even hairstyles, swept me up into its world.

Both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia attacked Poland in September, 1939, thus beginning World War Two. At first, the Communists killed and deported more people even than the genocidal Nazis. Over a million Poles were deported in cattle cars. Many died; many never returned. No one knows exact numbers. Many struggled to return home, traveling on foot through Eurasia, making shorter treks comparable to that depicted in "The Way Back;" I've met such people.

Janusz (Jim Sturgess) is a young Pole falsely accused by Soviets. His wife is tortured to force a confession. Without ceremony, he is shipped to hellish Siberian concentration camps and mines. Janusz determines to escape, with a ragtag, multilingual crew of followers.

Janusz is not particularly handsome, or muscular, or super intelligent. He doesn't have a commanding voice or swagger.
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87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Apollo's Crow on February 1, 2011
Format: DVD
Over the last decade, many have felt increasingly pessimistic about the state of modern American cinema, a growing wasteland of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, flashy effects and trashy writing. There have been a few diamonds in the rough, but for the most part, we have watched the art of film rapidly devolve into a soulless industry with strictly financial motivations, pandering to the market of the lowest common denominator.

But the end of 2010 gave us hope for the next decade, with several strong releases, most notably this powerful offering from master film-maker Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Dead Poets Society, Fearless). Weir is at the top of his game, taking us on a journey which, despite its two-hour length, seems to end all too soon. As we follow a group of desperate Gulag escapees battling the cruel and beautiful indifference of nature, we witness not only an incredible story of human endurance, but also the true value of freedom and the price one is willing to pay for it. The performances were nearly perfect - Ed Harris, Saoirse Ronan, and Jim Sturgess are particularly brilliant. The characters are kept somewhat at a distance; we learn only enough about them as to establish a strong connection and human element, as we watch this band of relative strangers create intense bonds with each other during the ordeal. The dialogue is minimal but effective, giving the film a more realistic feel over-all. Cinematographer Russell Boyd, who has worked with Weir on such exquisite films as Gallipoli and Picnic at Hanging Rock, engulfs us in a stunning palette of landscapes across an epic expanse of Asia, from the snow-driven forest of Siberia to the vast emptiness of the Gobi Desert.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By dv_forever on February 4, 2011
Format: DVD
I won't wade into the controversy regarding the facts behind the story of this film. Just how true the story is and to whom it actually occurred won't be my focus. I'll write about the filmmaking itself. Peter Weir's entire career has been focused on this singular theme, man at battle with his environment. From the early day of "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to "The Mosquito Coast", "The Truman Show" and "Master and Commander"... the same theme dominates his expression as a filmmaker. "The Way Back" was the perfect vehicle for him to explore this territory once again. He gets to film everything from wintry landscapes of Siberia, the deserts of Mongolia, to the Himalaya in China and even a little of India.

The cinematography is suitably sumptuous but in no way artificially gorgeous. There is bleakness as well as beauty in the images. The story and characters take second place to the forces of nature. This might be the lethal ingredient to many viewers and their potential engagement with this film. The main character Janusz has a back story and a character arc, but the others are fuzzily sketched. The talents of Ed Harris are mostly wasted but I suppose it's better to have him more in the background instead of how Harris typically dominates his movies with his shouting and lapses into anger. I thought Colin Farrell was miscast as a Russian criminal who provides a bit of comic mischief but the young Saoirse Ronan makes an impression as the lost young girl.

The main message of this film apart from the man versus nature dynamic is the idea that it's better to die a free man than live as a prisoner. Imagine having a sentence in one of those Siberian prisons. Making a break for it even with the high chance of death is preferable in my mind to a dull life of drudgery in this far off prison.
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