Their Escape Was Just the Beginning.
"...a story of survival under unthinkable physical and spiritual hardship. Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
|Siberian gulag escapees walk 4000 miles overland to freedom in india.|
"...uplifting celebration of how much people can take and how much they value freedom. Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"This is old-school monumental filmmaking... Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
A small band of multicultural convicts stages a daring escape from a World War II-era Siberian gulag, and embarks on a treacherous journey across five countries in a desperate race for freedom and survival. Adapted from author Slavomir Rawicz's gripping memoir THE LONG WALK: THE TRUE STORY OF A TREK TO FREEDOM, writer/director Peter Weir's sweeping POW drama stars Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saoirse Ronan.
Cast & Crew
Los Angeles Times
"THE WAY BACK demands to be seen on the largest possible screen, the better to experience the way it visualizes an essential motivating tension between the small-scale intimacy and drama of its characters and the vast enormity of its landscapes.
Wall Street Journal
"[T]here's cumulative power in the tale, part prison break and part survival epic....Russell Boyd did the spectacular cinematography."
New York Times
"Working with his frequent cinematographer, Russell Boyd, as well as a crack sound crew, Mr. Weir makes the most of his stunning natural set..."
"THE WAY BACK, with its epic story and spectacularly bleak setting, invites comparisons with LAURENCE OF ARABIA and DR. ZHIVAGO. It's awash in vast, unforgiving terrain."
"Weir gives the film an epic scope, framing his characters against giant, imposing vistas that highlight how inconsequential they appear against the vastness of nature."
"Peter Weir makes a partial return to form with THE WAY BACK. Like some of his best films, it features characters ensnared in the brutalities of politics and war..."
Sight and Sound
"There are some meticulous performances among the weary plodders...Jim Sturgess embodies monomaniacal focus as the group's leader Janusz..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "It's the journey that counts, and Weir makes you feel it in your bones....[A]n artful tale of survival against the elements..."
"The scenes of brute survival -- hunting for food, improvising shelter, making wind-and-snow masks out of sheets of bark -- are vivid." -- Grade: B
Rolling Stone 8 of 10
The director, 66, brings his passion for precision to every frame of the film, refusing to hype or Hollywoodize the detailed richness of the story. Freely adapting Slavomir Rawicz's 1956 book The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom, Weir and co-writer Keith Clarke answered long-standing questions about the authenticity of Rawicz's story ? did this really happen to him, or was he reporting tales he had heard from others? ? by doing their own research into the lives of these POWs..He has crafted a riveting tale that clings bravely to the integrity of its storytelling, even at the risk of emotional remoteness. It's the journey that counts, and Weir makes you feel it in your bones. His refusal to pander to the heartstrings may cost the movie at the box office. But it shouldn't deter you from watching a master at work. Resonantly shot by Russell Boyd, this artful tale of survival against the elements ? radiating terror and beauty ? continues Weir's fascination with characters trapped by worlds they didn't make.
- Peter Travers