Feature

The Way

Martin Sheen stars as an elderly curmudgeon who embarks on a spiritual journey as he retraces his dead son's footsteps on an old pilgrimage trail in Spain.

Directed by Emilio Estevez(PG-13)

***

While it may not be a great or urgent film, The Way is a pleasurable and “quietly positive” movie about a spiritual journey, said Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Martin Sheen stars as an elderly curmudgeon who decides to follow an ancient pilgrimage trail across Spanish mountain country to scatter his son’s ashes on the very path where the younger man died. Sheen is directed by his own son Emilio Estevez, and in “a nice touch,” Estevez plays the deceased son in the movie’s flashbacks. Despite early signs that we’re in for nothing more than a “rote” tale about the importance of seeking new horizons, the movie broadens into something more, said Tasha Robinson in the A.V. Club. The fellow travelers whom Sheen encounters are burdened by personal issues that “run deep enough that they can’t be wiped clean with a simple happily-ever-after moment.” The movie ends up being “slightly too long,” said Lou Lumenick in the New York Post. But Sheen keeps it at all times “firmly grounded in emotional honesty.” In his first feature-film lead in many years, the star of 1979’s Apocalypse Now is “simply terrific.”

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