Excerpt: It's fair to begin a look at The Way Back with the film's director Peter Weir. The Australian filmmaker has made just fourteen feature films over a span of thirty-six years now. Since Green Card in 1990 he's been especially inactive, directing only four movies.
Excerpt: Because I’m so technically behind the times, I’m not able to do screen captures of blu-ray discs. Which is not really a bad thing, per se, because captures of blu-ray releases inevitably bring out the complaints of compressed jpegs and Photoshop alterations, even more than they do for their DVD...
Summary: For those with a love of historical fiction based in reality – this adventure may have actually happened but we don’t know who it happened to – this is a suitable way to share the experience vicariously. It’s also a lesson in how to depict an ugly ordeal in beautiful settings.
Excerpt: Inspired by an incredible true story, "The Way Back" begins in 1940 when seven prisoners attempt the impossible: escape from a brutal Siberian gulag. Thus begins a treacherous 4,500-mile trek to freedom across the world's most merciless landscapes. They have little food and few supplies.
Excerpt: The Movie In an incredible-but-true story, a small band of men dare to brave the elements of Siberia, and that's just the beginning of a 4,000-mile trek to freedom. They are all prisoners in a gulag, the brutal, largely unknown work camps built across Russia to house unwanted elements of society.
Conclusion: 'The Way Back' is a well made examination of survival and the will of man. Though there are some minor shortcomings in the script, the visuals, acting, and direction weave a tale that earns its emotional ending. The video and audio presentation are very impressive, but the supplements are too slim.
Excerpt: Stuck in a Siberian Russian Gulag, the conditions are harrowing. The cold and blizzard drops prisoners where they stand. The mines crush their will and their persons. The logging operations are deadly.
Excerpt: As we know from history and decades at the movies, World War II took place on an enormous scale, from the European theater to the Pacific, from troops guarding the southern tip of Africa to the shipping channels of the North Atlantic.
Excerpt: Deep into The Way Back , Peter Weir’s first film since 2003’s Master And Commander , a drifter (Saoirse Ronan) corners an escaped POW played by Ed Harris, and fills him in on the backstories of some of his fellow travelers.