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The Way Way Back (2013)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  26 July 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 106,742 users   Metascore: 68/100
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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.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Weaver ...


Duncan (Liam James) is not a popular kid and it doesn't look like the summer is going to offer anything better for him. His mother's boyfriend has invited them to his beach house where Duncan is expected to improve his personality and physical appearance, and meet girls. But his would-be step-sister doesn't want anything to do with him and his shy demeanor makes it difficult for him to meet anybody new. When Duncan wanders into the Water Wizz, the local water park, he meets adult employees who are just having fun. Owen (Sam Rockwell) lets Duncan work with him and their new-found bond will help each other mature and find their place in life. Which for Duncan means standing up to his would-be step-father, having a conversation with the girl next door and being more comfortable with who he is. Written by napierslogs

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


We've All Been There.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 July 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Way Back  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$552,788 (USA) (5 July 2013)


$21,501,098 (USA) (15 November 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bad weather forced the crew to shoot interior scenes first, which involved Nat Faxon and Jim Rash as performers, making their directorial debut in front of the camera, not behind it. See more »


When Owen and Roddy are jokingly giving Duncan a hard time for flirting with Susanna, a girl wearing a purple bikini walks past them three times, going in the same direction each time. See more »


Owen: I'm sorry. I'm developmentally challenged. Like bad. Nightmarey, special episode bad. I'm sorry.
Caitlin: It's alright. I was... I was a little frustrated. I mean, I just planned on being here for one summer, you know. And then, next thing you know it's three years. It had a lot to do with you. So... I just don't want to look back and regret that it should have only been one summer.
See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.185 (2013) See more »


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User Reviews

Very enjoyable
29 September 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having seen a run of fairly forgettable blockbusters it was nice to go along and watch a low budget movie.

The way way back is a coming of age movie and follows shy Duncan on his summer vacation with mother and step dad. I'm sure the relationship between Duncan and parents will be familiar to many people. The good thing about this type of movie is that it focuses more on characters and you get a real sense, feel and empathy for several characters. The cast is strong and in addition to the lead played by Liam James you have the likes of Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell.

The movie does occasionally get a little too "feel good", but that's a small drawback in what is otherwise a very enjoyable watch. Well worth a watch if you like off beat indie dramas.

49 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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