Up 526 this week

The Way Back (I) (2010)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  21 January 2011 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 82,757 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 155 user | 214 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot to freedom in India.



(screenplay) (as Keith Clarke) , (novel), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd
Hanna (2011)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives.

Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana
Kon-Tiki (2012)
Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Stars: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Gustaf Skarsgård
Rescue Dawn (2006)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A U.S. fighter pilot's epic struggle of survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Viet Nam War.

Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, Jeremy Davies
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A family's moral codes are tested when Ray Tierney investigates a case that reveals an incendiary police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law. For Ray, the truth is revelatory, a Pandora's Box that threatens to upend not only the Tierney legacy but the entire NYPD.

Director: Gavin O'Connor
Stars: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Noah Emmerich
Ondine (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan
The Road I (2009)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee
127 Hours (2010)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An adventurous mountain climber becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An eccentric and dogmatic inventor sells his house and takes his family to Central America to build a utopia in the middle of the jungle. Conflicts with his family, a local preacher and ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, River Phoenix
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the end of WW2, a German POW doing hard labor in the Soviet Gulag escapes from his Siberian camp to return to Germany but he's pursued by a Soviet NKVD officer.

Director: Hardy Martins
Stars: Bernhard Bettermann, Iris Böhm, Anatoliy Kotenyov
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An ex-con with a reputation tries to go straight by working as a handy man for a reclusive actress but this is unfortunately not the wish of London's underground crime lord.

Director: William Monahan
Stars: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone


Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandru Potocean ...
Interrogator (as Zahari Baharov)
Sally E. Brunski ...
Janusz's Wife, 1939 (as Sally Edwards)
Igor Gnezdilov ...
Stanislav Pishtalov ...
Mariy Grigorov ...
Lazar (as Marii Grigorov)


In 1941, three men reach India from Tibet, having walked 4000 miles after escaping a Siberian gulag. The film tells their story and that of four others who escaped with them and a teenage girl who joins them in flight. The group's natural leader is Janusz, a Pole condemned by accusations secured by torturing his wife; he knows how to live in the wilds. They escape under cover of a snowstorm: a cynical American, a Russian thug, a comic accountant, a pastry chef who draws, a priest, and a Pole with night blindness. They face freezing nights, lack of food and water, mosquitoes, an endless desert, the Himalayas, and moral questions of when to leave someone behind. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their escape was just the beginning

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violent content, depiction of physical hardships, a nude image and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |

Release Date:

21 January 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camino a la libertad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£1,327,650 (UK) (31 December 2010)


$2,677,401 (USA) (18 February 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Renowned historian Anne Applebaum, who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction for "GULAG: A history"(2003), worked as a historical consultant on this movie. She said about the historical accuracy: "I read the script a couple of times. I know that other people read the script as well. He [Peter Weir] sent it to another historian at Stanford and he sent it to a couple of the survivors whose names I'd given him. And I have to say I thought the result was superb. You know, there may be little licenses you have to take in order to convey to an audience that doesn't know the story, what's going on. Sometimes the guards say things they might not have said because they are explaining things to the audience. But given that he needed to do things like that, I think it's extraordinary. It's amazingly real. You understand exactly how claustrophobic it was. Many of the incidents that you see in the movie come from real stories or come from gulag survivor and writer Varlam Shalamov or come from other gulag writers. I can see them almost exactly. I think it's an extremely well-done film and about as true-to-life as you could make a movie."[2010] See more »


In Mongolia, the escapees approach an arch decorated with photos of Stalin and a Mongolian leader. When they first see the arch, there is a band of local people coming toward them, led by a person mounted on an animal (probably a horse). However, as the escapees reach the arch, the local band has disappeared. See more »


[first lines]
[in Polish, using English subtitles]
Interrogator: [presents pen to sign confession]
Janusz: No.
Interrogator: Bring in the witness.
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [brought in]
Interrogator: Do you know this man? His name?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: Janusz Wieszczek.
Interrogator: Witness, what's your relationship with this man?
Janusz's Wife, 1939: [crying] I am his wife.
See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.1 (2011) See more »


Written by Burkhard Dallwitz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

2 January 2011 | by (Wales) – See all my reviews

This was a long film but I was unaware of the length because I was so thoroughly engrossed. The scenery and the photography were simply spell binding but more than that, this was a story about the indomitable spirit of people faced with desperate odds told with sensitivity and at times, humour. Others have commented on the quality of the acting, the accuracy of the story and the cinema-photography; I want to comment on a different aspect of the film. We hear and see a great deal about the crimes of the Nazis during this period but very little about the crimes of the Soviet system. This film is not a "dull metaphor" of the Cold War as one reviewer has said If this films sparks a little enquiry amongst its audiences it will have done a great service to the memory of Poles and other eastern Europeans who suffered the double tragedy of Nazi and then Communist occupation. When Nazism was defeated in 1945, half of Europe was just beginning a sentence in Communist bondage that was to last another thirty five years. This aspect of the story is all the more effective because it is told through the eyes of a small group of people and at a personal level. At the end of this film, the entire audience sat still for about fifteen seconds. There was not the usual end of film scrum. People just needed a moment to absorb what they had sen. This was the best film of the year!

164 of 217 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why does Valka like Stalin? Dioxholster
What is the most historically accurate movie out there? ninetymin
The ending skockoa
what was that mosquito repellant friedkiwi
Swollen legs? mnlawrence
No evidence east171
Discuss The Way Back (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: