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The Way (2011)

Emilio Estevez , Martin Sheen , Emilio Estevez  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,801 customer reviews)

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The Way + Camino de Santiago - Practical Preparation and Background + A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago (Camino Guides)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen
  • Directors: Emilio Estevez
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Arc Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,801 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0062VL4QA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"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, who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son , killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago,. 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. From the unexpected and, oftentimes, amusing experiences along "The Way," Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. Through his unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we choose."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
421 of 428 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Canterbury Tales October 7, 2011
Crossing the Pyrenees and Basque country, then winding their way across northern Spain to the tomb of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims have walked the 800 km Camino de Santiago for over a thousand years. The reasons for undertaking such a journey are as varied as the pilgrims themselves. Most of them are seeking something that has little or nothing to do with religion, yet taps into a deep, nameless yearning for connection to the mystery.

In "The Way," four of these pilgrims find themselves thrown together by chance. As their stories unfold we meet Tom, played by Martin Sheen, completing the journey begun by his estranged son who died in a sudden mountain storm shortly after setting off. He is joined by: a jovial bear of a Dutchman, hoping to regain his wife's affection; an acerbic Canadian woman, trying to exorcise the anger built up in an abusive marriage; and an Irish author who masks his writer's block by talking nonstop.

The acting is superb, though some of the characters may have been a bit overdrawn at the beginning. Writer-Director Emilio Estevez, who is Martin Sheen's son and plays his son in the movie, deftly interweaves the development of the personal stories of the four main characters with the hardships and camaraderie of the Pilgrim's Way. He takes us through lush countryside and rocky hills, stopping in local inns, gathering with other pilgrims in the evening around meals, and then retiring to Spartan dormitories to start off again in the morning.

Gradually the experience of the Camino works its way into the spirits of the pilgrims. They become mirrors for each other, helping to strip away the protective layers that have preserved their pain and isolation, and with their new vulnerability, freeing them to feel and connect once more.
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231 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Special. See It. October 24, 2011
My eyes were wet and I laughed out loud in the first fifteen minutes of "The Way," and I continued laughing and crying throughout. I left the theater feeling the generous glow that a good movie inspires. I'll now be telling everyone I know to see this film, on a big screen, and I'm already looking forward to seeing it again.

I was a bit anxious about "The Way." I anticipated so many ways a movie that features backpacking, pilgrimages, and religion could go wrong. Would it be excessively pious and maudlin? New Age-y and Christophobic? Simply a bad movie? There is a reason so many films focus on graphic, intimate scenes and explosions: those are easy to shoot and they arouse viewer interest. "The Way" rapidly calmed my anxiety. It's a honey of a movie.

Tom (Martin Sheen) is a sixty-something ophthalmologist. His son Dan (Emilio Estevez) dies in an accident. Tom travels to France to retrieve his son's body. Learning of his son's attempt to walk the camino, Tom decides to cremate his son's remains and carry them as he fulfills his son's plan.

Tom walks through picturesque, mountainous countryside and through the plazas of old towns. As happens when one is traveling, Tom encounters an assortment of eclectic characters. Joost (Yorick van Wageningen) is a corpulent, talkative, pot smoking Dutchman who is walking the trail to lose weight. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) is a sharp tongued, very angry Canadian blonde. Jack (James Nesbitt) is an Irish travel writer with the gift of gab - he didn't just kiss the Blarney Stone, he went steady with it. There is a priest with a brain tumor who distributes rosaries, and pilgrims debating the roles of the French, the Spanish and the Basque in ancient battles against invading Moors. Waiters take very strong stands on tapas.
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130 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! October 28, 2011
I had no real idea of what the movie was about aside from something about a pilgrimage, but I felt like giving it a chance. I heard from some reviewers that it was good.
So I was unprepared for the emotional impact the film had from the beginning. The screenplay was wonderfully written, the characters were all flawed as each of us are. I don't want to provide too much details, because too much is described already.
I will say that the journey was an emotional one as well as a scenic splendor. As the viewer gets to accompany these pilgrims from diverse walks of life, you see their flaws and qualities up close.
The visual beauty of The Way cannot be overlooked. The innkeepers and fellow pilgrims all looked like regular human beings from everywhere. The music that accompanied the film was well chosen.
A deeply touching film.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buen Camino! November 17, 2011
While I was on a trip to Argentina and Chile with a group of teachers in the summer of 2002, Pam and Rick, a married couple from Maine also on the trip, mentioned to me several times that they thought I should look into going on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, since they knew I was a very devoted Catholic, and since I was discerning my call to the priesthood. At the time, I was a high school Spanish teacher living in Greenville, Mississippi, and a member of the Mississippi Teacher Corps from Ole Miss. I ended up walking the Camino in the summer of 2003 with my friend Nancy, one year before I entered seminary. I am now a priest in the Mississippi Delta - a long way from my upbringing in Chicago and southern California. It is amazing where our journeys take us. Being a pilgrim is all about the journey, about taking yourself out of the ordinary routine and putting yourself into God's hands. The pilgrims call out this encouragement to one another - "Buen Camino" - wishing each other a good road, a good journey.

The characters in The Way were all called to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela for different reasons. Many of us don't even know why we are called. And in the end, we never know how we are going to change. What is a "true pilgrim"? That was a discussion Martin Sheen and the other pilgrims had one evening on their journey in Spain. It is a question most pilgrims ask themselves along the journey, and some pilgrims can become a bit rigid or judgmental about it. There probably is no good answer to that question. When you finish the Camino, you are asked for your motives for going. Many of the characters in that movie struggled with that question as well. Sometimes it is very difficult to put into words the way God is at work in our lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars yet also manages to be charming and even funny at times
This is a thought-provoking and gentle movie. It is about loss and grief and understanding, yet also manages to be charming and even funny at times. Read more
Published 15 hours ago by lookoutmama
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A go to movie when you need to feel good about life's journey. Bravo.
Published 1 day ago by Longboarder25
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this film. A must watch
Published 2 days ago by Brenda Tuley
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great film with touching human stories
This is a great film with touching human stories. It is a film that I find inspiring and sometimes feel "I need to watch The Way again."
Published 2 days ago by Susan Casey
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice ensemble cast
Nice ensemble cast, thoughtfully written, well directed. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Spainish countryside it is a movie well worth seeing. Read more
Published 2 days ago by K. Howell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well done - I bought several 2 send to friends after I read.
Published 2 days ago by C.craig
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Nice film about the Camino Frances, although it does seem to tell of stereotypified personalities of different nationalities.
Published 2 days ago by JoPob
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good movie. Deep.
Published 2 days ago by Jancy C. Hokenson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting. The hostels and people the dad meets are spot on for a typical backpacker experience.
Published 2 days ago by ne
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well done, engaging until the end.
Published 2 days ago by Stannie
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