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(I) (2010)

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My 393rd Review: Treads Lightly But Very Nicely...
intelearts27 March 2011
This beautiful simple and involving film is one of the better films I've seen in the past couple of years. It does what the best of cinema can - it moves us, and reminds us that life is a journey full of chance encounters and that its not all serendipity, but we can walk on too.

Matin Sheen and his son, Emilio Estevez, make a winning team here - the direction, though straightforward is, like Ron Howard, filled with memorable scenes and images that linger. Sheen himself is always good at taking us with him - his half-amused, half-bemused style suits this perfectly. As he travels on the old pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela to deal with tragic loss he meets and forms a group with three other pilgrims.

All in all, the overall experience of watching this is simply pleasure - and like Danny Boyle's films, it seems simple but it is a complete experience. The Way is human, emotive, emotional, and sincere, and for this viewer a good journey.
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Understated and therefore very moving
paulinewainwright3 May 2011
This movie exceeded all expectations, which were already very high. All kudos to Emilio Estevez for an excellent screenplay and superb direction. The photography, too, was wonderful. I think this will go down as one of Martin Sheen's best ever performances. He underplays his role (due to Emilio's direction?) which makes it all the stronger. In fact, it's the understated quality of the whole film that makes it very moving. It never descends into sentimentality but you still feel the grief of Martin Sheen's character as he makes the pilgrimage his estranged dead son never completed. At the same time, there are a lot of funny moments, which lift it from becoming a depressing journey. The gradual coalescing of the four very different main characters into a unified group works very well. Each of them has a different reason for making the pilgrimage and, to begin with, they seem to have nothing in common, but it's still very believable when they start to relate to each other. Emilio and his father Martin have every reason to be very proud of this film. It works on every level.
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wonderful film
gareth-9114 May 2011
went to see this last night at 11.10pm, but cinema forgot to start the film, so it was 5 to midnight before we got going - with a little prompting.

It makes me want to do el camino. Very touching. I cried twice and laughed, and towards the end was sitting with a huge grin on my face. The warmth between the characters was good, honest, authentic.

It's also like having plans to do one thing, but you end up doing something quite different, that just grows. I could feel a loosening at the end of it, where feelings had shifted for people, there was a release for the characters that had happened in a very real way. Nothing grated, it was very gentle, but built up to a wave that carried me with it.

Scenery is beautiful of course. An interesting bit with the gypsies in Spain that I found challenging. It brought me up as I believed the same stuff they assumed - I'd heard it so much: and it is interesting when I realised that what I've accepted as truth may just be prejudice. We all like a scapegoat to absolve ourselves, and to feel superior to other folks.

Well done everyone involved with this. I think I will be buying a few copies of this to hand out.

It makes me want to go, but it kind of makes me want to go alone to see who I meet on the way.
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Refuses to get lost on a road so big
StevePulaski11 October 2011
I've been anticipating The Way for about two and a half years for the wrong reason - I wanted to see Emilio Estevez back on the screen. The last formal film he appeared in was Rated X with his brother Charlie Sheen in 2000. Finally we see Emilio's talents not only behind the camera, but in writing as well. He handles the screenplay, the directing, and the producing in this beautifully crafted film.

You can tell just from the close-to-home feel of the character The Way is something sentimental and meaningful to both Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Both real life father and son actors have been taking most of their time in 2011 and using it to promote a film with heart and soul, but will likely be ignored when in theaters because of its very limited release and its minimal marketing.

The story focuses on Tom (Sheen), an American doctor, who goes to France after hearing his adventure-seeking son Daniel (Estevez) has died in a storm while hiking the Camino de Santiago - a famed Christian route many walk on to find faith or go to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at the end of the five-hundred mile route.

After arriving in France to pick up Daniel's ashes, Tom makes a split-second decision that he will follow hike the path of his son, while spreading his ashes throughout the trail. He meets up with many different people with many different stories. They are Joost (Wageningen), a Dutchman who is hiking the trail for exercise purposes, Sarah (Unger) who is trying to quit smoking, and "Jack from Ireland" (Nesbitt) who is suffering from writer's block and is trying to collect information about fellow hikers and their separate journeys.

The Way has a number of strange qualities - for one it has noticeable parallels to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. And two, it is odd for Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, two actors that practice in strict Catholicism, to focus on a film that leads to a Christian Cathedral. Whatever the reason behind it, the story is pitch-perfect and Martin Sheen may have just given one of the best performances of his career.

The tears come and go in The Way, but so do the shocker scenes like when the topic of abortion is briefly mentioned. It is rare for such a film to bring up a controversial topic, which is why The Way deserves a load of credit.

The plot isn't too deep, but the story is truly moving. The acting by the four characters is fantastic, and like any road movie, it is more about the characters getting to find their inner-selves rather than walking from point a to point b. Only here - it is more welcomed because of the fact that is what the Camino de Santiago is all about.

Starring: Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen, and Emilio Estevez. Directed by: Emilio Estevez.
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It's not "The Way", it's "Our Own Way"
msmoc19 May 2011
This is surely Emilio Estevez's Masterwork, in the same way as was Costner's "Dances with Wolves". It is "The Quiet Epic"! The movie didn't require; Noise, CGI, Foul Language or Special Effects - all that it needed and got were; Across the Board Top Class Acting Performances and Brilliant Cinematography.

Although, no longer a spring chicken, I spent over 2 hours completely engrossed in this film, alternating between tears and laughter. I found it was a movie made with such loving care that it encouraged, and enabled me, to share their experience and make my own life journey with them. My own emotions and life history became intermingled with theirs. I feel it was Emilio's intention for us all to take "Our Own Way".

My main sadness is that so many people will be unable to see it at cinemas, as it has only been given a single weeks run to facilitate the usual glut of "So called Blockbusters". Movies like The Way need time to breathe, as "Word of Mouth" is the key to expanding Audience figures and the wider appreciation such a work deserves..
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Martin Sheen walks 500 miles in northern Spain and it is a pleasure to watch every single one
chaz-2820 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Everyone has their own, personal reason for choosing to walk the real 500 mile Camino de Santiago. This is a trail which begins in France, winds its way through the French Pyrenees, across northern Spain's Basque region, and ends in Galicia at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Legend says St. James is buried here. Every year, thousands of 'pilgrims' make this arduous trek which can take months to accomplish. However, don't let the word pilgrim fool you; many people undertake this quest for non-religious reasons.

In fact, four such folk are the main characters in The Way. Tom (Martin Sheen) is a native Californian eye doctor who spends as much time on the links as he does at the office. He receives an unexpected phone call from a French policeman informing him his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) died in southern France in a major storm. Tom flies out to France to collect his body and learns about the pilgrimage Daniel was just starting out on.

Tom and Daniel did not have the best parting one would like to have the last time you are going to see your son. Tom thought Daniel was wasting his life on these silly adventures while Daniel responded with the platitude, "You don't choose your life, you experience it." In a moment of remorse and homage, Tom decides to walk the 500 miles for Daniel with his cremated remains spreading his ashes along the way.

Quickly, he is joined by fellow pilgrims each with their own reasons for taking a few months out of their lives to backpack across Spain. There is the Dutchman Joost (Yorick van Wageningen) who is walking the trail to lose weight for his brother's wedding. Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) is a chain smoking Canadian who vows to drop the habit once she reaches the cathedral and Jack (James Nesbitt) is an Irishman convinced the trail will finally crack his writer's block. Initially, Tom does not particularly want their company because he is suffering from some severe guilt and remorse about Daniel. This leads to the film's low point of a drunken rage against pilgrims and his walking mates. Fortunately, once this ridiculous and needless scene is over, the rest of The Way is a very enjoyable movie to watch.

The Way was shot with only available light, sunlight during the day and candles and fire at night which lends it a great deal of authenticity. Other than the main characters, everyone else on screen are actual pilgrims walking the trail to the cathedral. There is a scene later on with real Roma (Gypsies). Since the Camino de Santiago means a great deal to many people, especially those in northern Spain, you can really see how writer/director Emilio Estevez took his time to do this right.

It is refreshing to see Emilio pop his head up once again for some work. I last saw him when he directed 2006's Bobby and since then it appears he has only directed a couple episodes of Numb3rs. Perhaps he is always waiting for some real inspiration to use as his next project. He mentioned The Way came about from his father and his son's experience on the trail. I wonder if the character Jack is a model for Emilio since the first draft of this screenplay took six months to write. Furthermore, it is about time Martin Sheen showed up in a good movie again. Recently, he has had some bit parts in throw away movies such as Love Happens and Imagine That and hasn't truly had quality work since The Departed.

The Way won't win any awards; however, it is so positive and perhaps intentionally persuasive that I bet every person in the audience thought about how they could find a few months to take off and hike that distance. I had no idea that such a place as the Camino de Santiago existed before watching The Way which I suspect is a big reason why Emilio Estevez took the time to write and direct this film. He wants the rest of us to know about it as well.
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Simple but engaging road movie
DanielKing21 February 2011
Like most road movies, this is as much about the characters' inward journey as it is about getting from A to B. At times it is too sentimental for my taste and some of the encounters seem rather artificial. But it has considerable warmth, humanity and good humour.

I saw this at the BFI in London at a screening attended by Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen. They are very proud of their film and it obviously means a lot to them, as father and son. They came across as intelligent and socially aware people, which was great to see.

During the discussion, a member of the audience pointed out the parallels with "The Wizard of Oz", something which I confess escaped me while the film was on but seemed perfectly obvious when I heard it. So watch out for that if you see the movie, and also look out for a cameo by Matt Clark, veteran character actor and, apparently, good friend of MArtin Sheen.
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Simple yet impressive !
Christian19672 November 2011
I really liked this film. It made me feel good. I loved the beautiful countryside camera shots. Those alone are worthy of National Geographic. The parts between conversations had a calming effect on me along with the soundtrack. I thought Martin Sheen did very well as did the other actors. They all worked so well together and by the end of the movie you could see they spent a lot of time together on the set and honestly got along or so it seemed and thats what made the movie impressive. Wonderful movie to watch with an uplifting vibe and quirky characters with a real bond make this a definite must see. I can actually see myself watching this for a second time and that's rare in films for me. Enjoy !
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great piece of cinema
wmconsidine15 May 2011
I have looked forward to "the way" since first hearing about it. I heard interviews with Martin Sheen himself and a great double interview with Martin and Emilio on Irish radio. I did a part of the camino in 2009 and It was a life changing/enhancing experience for me so I couldn't wait to see how the film would deal with it. Yesterday I saw the film in the Screen cinema in College Green Dublin. The film is, in my opinion, very true to the camino experience. A previous reviewer trivialised it as "a road movie" and suggested "wizard of Oz" characterisation. The camino "road" has been travelled for over a thousand years. Long before "road movies" were even thought about and yes, any story of fellow travellers sharing their stories on a journey, can be similar to the "wizard of Oz" but I think Chaucers "Canterbury Tales" is probably the true origin of the species. The camino de Santiago in its reality, and in this film, is a wonderful kaleidoscopic confluence of humanity. Pilgrims seem to self-select for certain character traits such as eccentricity, other worldliness, joyfullness, adventurousness, hurt, curiosity etc. Tom's companions were all from the palette of characters I found on the camino. Tom himself was an accidental pilgrim and only at the end of the camino did he allow himself to fall in love with it like the others. Tom, the cynical skeptic, driven to put one foot in front of another as a way of dealing with the brokenness of his relationship with his son and the trauma of his sudden death, allows the distance required to allow viewers share in the journey of the Camino in a way that could not have been achieved by following four "ordinary" pilgrims, no matter how colourful. Tom was the "straight man", the foil, that allowed the full colours of all the other characters to shine through. I thought it was a brilliant piece of cinema. Ole!
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Big Heart
YohjiArmstrong3 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
THE WAY is a small, simple road movie about a father who completes the pilgrimage his son died on. Along the way he is joined by three other pilgrims - a Canadian, an Irishman and a Dutchman - who all have their own diverse reasons for pilgrimage. There is very little that is big about this film except for its heart and the landscapes. It is that rarest of things- a nice film that leaves you feeling good about the world, without descending in sickliness or falseness.

There is an obvious relationship to THE WIZARD OF OZ: four characters, all on a journey, hoping it will cure them of their particular problem. Here we have a man who wants to lose weight, a writer with writer's block and a woman who wants to give up smoking. The film is competently handled, bar a few dreadful musical choices, and rather enjoyable. The Christian subtext might not appeal to some but it is never over-played, with the attack on abortion being unusually sensitive.
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A stunning, beautiful, heart wrenching story
Robert_duder21 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I like nothing more than when you see a movie that you only have meagre expectations of, maybe you'd heard of it or seen a trailer but don't know what to expect and then WHAM it blows you away. That is exactly what happened with Emilio Estevez's The Way. The movie is not your typical Hollywood blockbuster. It isn't fast paced, it isn't full of action or riveting moments. Instead it is simple, heart felt, subtle and completely and utterly beautiful. Your emotions will just run high and while the movie has this dark undertone of sadness and grief, the beauty, and the spirit of the journey will lift you up and make you want to experience this again and again. I haven't seen a movie that made me feel this way in such a long time. The stunning scenery is only small part of this film but what a beautiful countryside this rag tag group of pilgrims experience. Its a story about four people from different walks of life on the same walk to experience something...anything...and you will walk with them step by step.

Martin Sheen is a Hollywood icon and a terrific actor but this is probably his best role in years. Sheen gives a powerhouse performance that just makes you love and feel for this father looking desperately to find a son he's lost, but also a piece of himself. Sheen is riveting and this was an award worthy performance. Yorick van Wageningen is Sheen's first companion that he meets. A dutch man who, on the surface is walking The Way for his weight but you will learn much more about him. He seems a bizarre match to Sheen but they work well together and he is a lot of fun and adds a smile to the film. Deborah Kara Unger is the jaded and angry Canadian girl (she really is Canadian!) She adds a definitive flare to the cast with her sarcasm and biting wit but has perhaps the most to take from the journey. James Nesbitt is perhaps the least developed of the characters as he comes on late in the movie but he is still an important part of the cast and he is terrific. Nesbitt's character most importantly gets Sheen to finally open up about his son. Writer, director and creator of the film Emilio Estevez plays the small role of Sheen's son. It is significant though because I think the intensity of the emotions Sheen displays is increased by the fact that Estevez is actually his son.

Estevez really blew me away with his previous project Bobby. I've come to the conclusion that when Estevez cares about a project he puts every ounce of his soul into the film. The Way demonstrates what kind of passion he puts into his film. It is just beautiful in every sense of the word. The Spanish countryside is stunning, the shots he uses of all of them together walking the trail, and the relationship he creates between these four strangers who are completely different. I felt on the verge of tears through the whole film but not just because it is sad because there are scenes of sadness but just how heart felt and honest and passionate this movie is. Please see this beautiful and simple drama because it is magnificent. 10/10
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My way or ...
kosmasp3 August 2013
... my sons way. Emilio Estevez has shown on numerous occasions, that he seems to be the more sensible one. Then again comparing him to Charlie Sheen (and his recent outbursts nonetheless) would be unfair to his brother. And while Martin Sheen also took on another surname to make it in Hollywood (Charlie and Martin succeeded), Emilio chose to keep his name, even though it may have blocked some doors for him.

For this movie he reunites with his father (not the first time he's directing him, but the toughest shoot he put him through yet). It's a very personal story about loss and finding one's way. The title is apt then and the journey ahead of the characters may be long, but also very insightful. Great acting and great locations make this a movie that will make you sentimental for sure.
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A very moving and sentimental Spanish/US co-production about some pilgrims throughout Camino De Santiago
ma-cortes2 September 2020
"The Way" is a really nice film in which we face some peculiar roles while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world . Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), 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 pay tribute his son's desire to finish the journey . Tom decides to journey on this path of pilgrims, what Tom doesn't scheme on is the profound impact the trip will have on him and his "California Bubble Life". Inexperienced as a trekker, Tom soon finds out that he will not be alone on this journey and he becomes stronger . On his journey, Tom meets other pilgrims from all around the world , each with their own issues and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a fatty man (Yorick van Wageningen) from Netherland, who wants to lose weight , a smoking Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an eccentric Irish writer (James Nesbitt) . From the unexpected and, often times, fun adventures , this unlikely quartet of misfits creates an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again. All of them are broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives , but along the way they strengthen their souls . Through Tom's unresolved relationship with his son, he discovers the difference between "the life we live and the life we ".Life is too big to walk it alone.

A powerful , thoughtful and inspirational story about a marvellous father-son relationship , some friends and the challenges have to face a motley grup of roles . Concerning a misfit group of people join and share view points, and amusing experiences along the way . An extremely stirring and touching movie with a lot of messages to fortify the human spirit. .Quartet starring are frankly good : the grieving Martin Sheen , the mature smoking Deborah Kara Unger , the burly Dutchman Yorick van Wageningen and James Nesbitt as an Irish writer who is suffering from a bout of writer's block. Martin Sheen is really fabulous as the beloved father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling The Way , he is the best character by mingling grief and paying tribute to his son, deciding to take the pilgrimage himself. It contains a colorful and evocative cinematography by Juan Miguel Azpiroz . Special mention for musical score composed by Tyler Bates , full of sensitive and attractive sounds. The motion picture was stunningly directed by Emilio Estevez who also appears briefly in some scenes along with his father Martin Sheen.

The film describes alrightly ¨The Camino de Santiago (Latin: Peregrinatio Compostellana, "Pilgrimage of Compostela"; Galician: O Camiño de Santiago), known in English as the Way of St. James , is a network of pilgrims' ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried . Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups, and can be seen within the context of Christian colonization and Christianization. The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the later Middle Ages, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned;other major pilgrimage routes include the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela also called "Saint James" . The Way can take one of dozens of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of Saint James began at one's home and ended at the pilgrimage site. However, a few of the routes are considered main ones. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly travelled.The main pilgrimage route to Santiago follows an earlier Roman trade route, which continues to the Atlantic coast of Galicia, ending at Cape Finisterre. Although it is known today that Cape Finisterre, Spain's westernmost point, is not the westernmost point of Europe , the fact that the Romans called it Finisterrae (literally the end of the world) indicates that they viewed it as such. At night, the Milky Way overhead seems to point the way, so the route acquired the nickname "Voie lactée" - the Milky Way in French However, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation, and political unrest in 16th century Europe led to its decline. By the 1980s, only a few hundred pilgrims per year registered in the pilgrim's office in Santiago. In October 1987, the route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe; it was also named one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Since the 1980s the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day international pilgrims. Whenever St. James's Day (25 July) falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Holy or Jubilee Year . The French Way and the Routes of Northern Spain are the courses listed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
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Extremely Moving Experience
aharmas20 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
2011 has given us its share of small films that deal with intimate human experiences. Some go and explore social issues, universal themes of oppression and racism. "The Way" brings together a group of people on their own personal quests, looking for a miracle, a possibility of change for the better, hoping for the best, sharing "El Camino to Compostela".

After a father loses his only son in France, he heads back to claim his body, only to realize there are important spiritual matters he needs to settle. His relationship with his son had not been his best until this moment; completing his son's journey might give him an opportunity to find redemption and peace of mind.

On his way to Compostela, he is joined by a Dutch man, an American woman, and an Irish writer. Each of them has a story to tell, seeks a connection to Avery, who reluctantly lets them into his life. The journey takes them through interesting stops. One will probably end up saying "miracles actually happen" with the way the plot turns.

In reality, the film works well because the main actors give heartfelt performance. The entire cast is in fact amazing, giving depth to characters that could have been clichés. The most touching is a surprise, as the shallow Dutch man grows more and more interesting as he becomes our eyes, and we are witnesses to a man who is processing the emotions his fellow companions are feeling.

It's hard not to be moved by the display of faith in a film that could have gone overboard and become preachy. Instead, he lets us participate in some personal experiences, taking us through "the way", letting us see the surroundings, the people at the different stops, letting us become involved. It is a very moving experience.
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Well worth the trip; one of the year's best films.
george.schmidt25 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
THE WAY (2011) **** Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen, Tcheky Karyo, Matt Clark. A wonderfully poignant drama and personal project spear-headed by co-star, producer, writer and director Estevez about an estranged father –son relationship that comes to a sudden head when the son (Estevez in flashbacks) is killed in an accident while beginning a trek on the St. Jean Pied de Port in France. The father (real-life dad Sheen in a finely low-key modulated turn) treks out to retrieve the body but instead embarks on his son's quest to walk the Camino de Santiago – The Way of St. James – and in his pilgrimage encounters three fellow travelers : gregarious-to-a-fault Dutchman van Wageningen; Irish writer Nesbitt & comely yet distressed Canadian Unger (in a stand-out performance). Estevez adapts Jack Hitt's book "Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route" with sublime finesse and makes the personal vendetta of his father all the more poignant. A must see for all particularly sons and fathers and the inspirational, spiritual journey is worth the trip indeed; one of the best films of the year. Thank you, my friend, Brian!
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Emilio Estevez's most intimate and emotional film!
Hellmant6 March 2012
'THE WAY': Four Stars (Out of Five)

Emilio Estevez wrote and directed this drama starring his father Martin Sheen. Sheen plays an American doctor who decides to walk the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage in France that his son died on during a storm. Emilio plays his father's sons in flashbacks and ghostly visions. Emilio got inspiration for the film when his own son, Taylor, and father drove the length of the pilgrimage together in 2003. Taylor met his wife on the trip so it became a very special experience for him as well as his family. Sheen and Estevez decided to make a movie about the Camino because of this and Estevez wrote the film with his father in mind for the lead role. The movie is everything it sets out to be: moving, inspirational and touching.

Martin plays Thomas Avery who journeys to France to collect his son's remains shortly after learning of his death. He is told that Daniel, his son, died in the Pyrenees during a storm while attempting to complete the Catholic pilgrimage also known as the Way of St. James. Tom then decides to attempt the walk himself and sets out on a quest while carrying his son's remains and dispersing of them along the way. He meets a trio of other travelers (Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt and Yorick van Wageningen) along the way who are each doing the journey for their own individual reasons. He also continues to see visions of his son at select points along the path.

As a kid Emilio Estevez was one of my favorite actors for several years. I was a big fan of the 'YOUNG GUNS' films, 'STAKEOUT', 'REPO MAN', 'THE BREAKFAST CLUB' and many more. He hasn't appeared in many big roles in movies for several years now, deciding to settle more for cameos and concentrating more on writing and directing, which he's always been the strongest in his family. He's written and directed a wide variety of different genre films from action, like 1987's 'WISDOM' (in which he co-starred with Demi Moore), to slapstick comedy, like 1990's 'MEN AT WORK' (in which he co-starred with his brother Charlie) to historical fiction drama, like 2006's 'BOBBY' (in which he took part in an ensemble cast including the likes of Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LeBeouf and Anthony Hopkins). I've enjoyed all of his directing and writing efforts to varying degrees but I'd have to say this is by far his most intimate and emotional. If you're a fan of Esteves or Sheen you're sure to enjoy but even if you're not you still might want to give this one a try: It's a very beautiful and touching film.

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Emilio Estevez' The Way showcases his father Martin Sheen to great effect here
tavm21 April 2012
When his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) is killed on a journey through Europe, his father Tom (Martin Sheen) takes what would have been his trek through Spain. He eventually gets accompaniment from Joost (Yorick van Wageningen), Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger), and Jack (James Nesbit). This is a wonderful road movie with great location shots from Spain and France. Sheen and his cohorts have fine chemistry and his son provides much compelling dramatic scenes and lines. There's also an abundance of great music, not only from the score by Tyler Bates but also from recordings of James Taylor and Alanis Morissette, among others. Really, all I'll say now is The Way gets a high recommendation from me.
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Buen Camino
paudie9 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I thoroughly enjoyed "The Way". It is the story of an American father (Martin Sheen) who goes to Europe to collect the body of his son, who has been killed in an accident when starting the pilgrimage known as "The Camino de Santiago", starting in France and finishing in North Western Spain.

He decides to finish the route with his son's ashes. Having heard the story outline I feared that the movie would be too sentimental and corny for my liking but this is not the case.

Thanks to some excellent acting and a well-written script we get to see into the lives of Sheen's character as well as the companions he meets on the trek. They are all doing the walk for their own reasons but the movie never becomes maudlin as it gradually reveals their stories.

An undoubted success for Emilio Estevez,who directed and wrote the story.
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nice personal journey movie
SnoopyStyle21 October 2015
Thomas Avery (Martin Sheen) is an American ophthalmologist. His nomadic only-child Daniel (Emilio Estevez) is killed walking the Catholic pilgrimage trail Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. In flashbacks, Thomas refuses to go with Daniel and berates him for his roaming nature. Thomas decides to carry Daniel's ashes and finish the trail for both him and himself. He encounters several hikers along the way.

There is no high drama here. There is a little bit of humor but overwhelmingly, this is a personal journey movie. It is touching and compelling. One call feel Martin Sheen truly invested in this movie. Emilio is the director. He puts in a few too many montages. Deborah Kara Unger is terrific. It's a nice movie overall.
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An emotional & powerful movie about a journey of redemption & forgiveness. One of the best I have ever seen. WATCH THIS! I say A+
cosmo_tiger8 January 2012
"Many people choose to make the trek alone, the way is a very personal journey." Tom (Sheen) is an optometrist and is no longer close with his son. When he gets news that his son has died while on a trek in Europe he goes over seas to bring him back home. Tom's life changes in the process. This movie surprised the hell out of me. Watching the preview it made me want to watch it and I thought it was gonna be good but a little slow. I was dead wrong. Five minutes in this movie grabs you and doesn't let go. You wouldn't think a movie about a 60 year old walking for months would be exciting and worth watching but it keeps you watching and interested the entire time. This movie is extremely emotional and you feel as if you are walking with Tom and willing him to finish for the both of you. I can go on and on about this movie but all I will say is stop what you are doing and watch this. You will not be disappointed. Overall, one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Excellent movie. I give it an A+
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The pilgrimage of a father mourning his adult son
anders-162-82954817 September 2011
This carefully written road movie drama was directed by Emilio Estevez, who used traditional footage, and laid out the story over a compelling soundtrack with artists such as Tyler Bates, James Taylor and Nick Drake. In brief, we're following Martin Sheen's character Tom during his pilgrimage journey whilst mourning his dead son who died on the same pilgrim route after only one day. Tom meets people along the way who also become his friends, although Tom himself is uninviting. In contrast to the other characters Tom develops throughout the film and goes through the various stages of mourning that come with a great loss such as he suffered. Except from the usual message that people spend too little time reflecting over their life's I think "The Way" makes a good job of describing the strong bond between father and son, and at the same time highlight some problems with that relationship. Some scenes are obviously there to hammer in those two messages and the film would have been even better had they been made more subtle. I do recommend watching this film, and I think it shows that Emilio Estevez' directing skills don't just pertain to "Bobby".
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Just Beautiful.
The movie got 7.3 rating on IMDb, so I was expecting "ok movie" when the movie started. Then 123 min was passed. The GREAT 123 min of my life was unfortunately passed. Like it was 5 minutes, I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen until a whole movie's end. I was quite surprised.

The remarkable things about this movie is the scenery and how they filmed it. Beautiful views of mountains, magnificent landscape of old towns in Spain and France. Especially the old buildings in Burgos were beautifully filmed by the filmmakers. And because of that I'm pretty sure this movie makes many audience want to travel there, just like I did.

Not only about the scenery, but also the plot was decent in this film. A father lost his son tried to understand his son through the pilgrimage. Even as a not religious person, I'm Japanese, I could simply enjoyed the movie, and the main topic of the movie "true meaning of the pilgrimage" was very clear to me in the last 10 min of the film.

Do I recommend this to my friends? definitely yes! Does it worth to rent ? absolutely yes! Does it worth to purchase it? yes yes YES!!! If you want to watch some car chase and gun shooting, go rent another one. But If you want to watch a simple but decent and great movie, this is it! You can't miss it!
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A sweet and sweetly made film about walking to change your life
secondtake4 May 2015
The Way (2010)

A charming movie that skirts around religious intentions and mixes in some good human tenderness and friendship. It's a feel-good movie for sure, following four hikers who meet by accident on the road to Santiago de Compostela, or the St. James Way. This is a pilgrimage road that many people have been rediscovering over the last thirty years (it's frankly threatened to become overrun with walkers). The distance varies depending on where you start, but can easily be 500 miles.

So people who undertake this for whatever reason do so seriously. It's not a lighthearted enterprise (and if you look online there are 10 reasons not to do it, reminding walkers that much of the trip is near roadways and a very modern Spain). But this movie romanticizes the heck out of it, and it makes it all a feel-good experience. There may be no particular revelations, human or spiritual, here, but it's fun to get to know the people as they open up to one another.

The main figure is Martin Sheen, who carries with him (on an impulse, as you'll see) the ashes of his son. Bereavement is written all over him, and he tries to find meaning in life beyond the golfing and ophthalmology left behind for this trip. This plot idea takes a twist because the director is Sheen's son, Emilio Estevez (who also appears briefly).

There is a little travelogue aspect here, and a little filler (like the whole section with the gypsies), but it's all pretty and easy to watch. And the best of it is sweet without being saccharine.
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OK, but disappointing
grantss14 April 2020
OK, but disappointing. Set up to be a profound and emotional movie, but it is actually quite empty. Pretty much heaps of style and a bit of substance. Amazing scenery and soundtrack through, and this is what drives the feeling that the movie is more than it really is. Quite manipulative.

Decent performances all round, especially from Martin Sheen in the lead role.
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The real walk to remember
estebangonzalez1010 October 2012
¨You don't choose a life, dad. You live one.¨ The Way is Emilio Estevez's directorial follow up to Bobby, and he delivers once again with an honest and authentic film about a father's journey to try to reconnect with his dead son in a pilgrimage through Spain. The film is beautiful and never tries to be over sentimental like most Hollywood dramas do. One may think of it as a religious film, but I found it to be more of a spiritual one. Life is kind of like a journey where we are continually making new relationships, some which may last for a lifetime and others that won't, but despite that they do mark and define each one of us. Emilio Estevez uses the real life pilgrimage through ¨El Camino de Santiago¨ as a metaphor of life itself, where we see how several different characters interact with each other despite their differing views. The film touches universal themes that people of all ages can identify with. It's hard not to feel nostalgic towards this film because we might be reminded along the way that we too have come across some of these characters in our journey through life. We all have different reasons for making the journey, but that doesn't mean we cannot all get along and help each other discover what we are looking for. In that sense the film succeeds in its spirituality, but it also works thanks to the beautiful scenery and a great script adapted by Estevez himself from Jack Hitt's book. The dialogues in this film are great and despite not having much action we are entertained by the interaction between the characters. Estevez decided to make a film about El Camino after his son and father (Martin Sheen) actually made the journey together in real life. The film does succeed in wanting the viewer to experience this journey in real life as well.

When Tom (Martin Sheen) receives a phone call from a police officer in France informing him that his son Daniel (Emilio Estevez) died in a storm while deciding to make a pilgrimage across Spain known as ¨El Camino de Santiago, ¨ he immediately gets on a plane to bring back his dead son's body. Once he arrives at St. Jean Pied de Port, France and identifies the body he decides to cremate it and then begins the pilgrimage while spreading the ashes across various points of the journey. El Camino is an 800 km pilgrimage across Spain that people have been making for centuries ending at the Cathedral of St. James where the apostle's body is said to be buried. Tom realizes there is much more to life than the life he had in California working as a doctor and spending his free time playing golf. As he begins the journey he runs into several different pilgrims who are making the journey for several different reasons. Some of the friends he makes along the way are Joost from Amsterdam (Yorick van Wageningen), a friendly and talkative man who is making the pilgrimage because his wife wants him to lose weight, Sarah (Deborah Kara Unger) a Canadian in her 40's trying to quit smoking, and an Irish man named Jack (James Nesbitt) suffering from writer's block. Along the way these misfits find a way to get along and help each other out through their issues.

Martin Sheen is always great, he's one of the best actor's of our time, and in this film he really delivers a powerful and authentic performance. This is the second time he plays Emilio Estevez's father in a film directed by his real life son, the first being the 1996 film The War at Home which I really liked. He brings a lot of authenticity to his character, but the laughs come from Yorick the Dutch. He is almost unrecognizable from his role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and when the mood begins to get too dark in The Way he always lightens things up. The rest of the cast is also strong, but the main character here actually is El Camino. It's just beautiful and the film makes you want to take the journey yourself. I really enjoyed this film and would definitely recommend it. It is a simple and slow film, but Estevez manages to take us on a journey and reminds us that it is good to get outside of our bubble at times and live life.
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