Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Open

2015 LIFE@50+ MIAMI

Miami skyline viewed through palm trees.

Enjoy fun in the sun during Life@50+, May 14-16, 2015

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

AARP TV

Watch episodes of AARP Live and other AARP broadcasts.

Most Popular

Viewed

Movie Review: The Way

Emilio Estevez's uplifting story of life and purpose

From left: Martin Sheen, James Nesbitt, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen star in The Way

From left: Martin Sheen, James Nesbitt, Deborah Kara Unger and Yorick van Wageningen star in The Way. — Everett Collection

   
Directed by Emilio Estevez
Rated PG-13, Runtime: 115 mins.
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen and Deborah Kara Unger

En español  |  A story about a father and son, The Way succeeds in large part because it stars Martin Sheen, the real-life father of the film’s writer and director, Emilio Estevez. It is also the tale of a literal journey that leads to a spiritual, personal transformation, and that is territory that Sheen — survivor of both addiction and heart disease, parent of a wayward son, devout Catholic — knows well.  Sheen makes this film work, though he couldn’t have done it without his son.

The Way begins with Tom (Sheen), a widowed ophthalmologist, filling his days with work and golf. He argues with his only son, Daniel (Estevez), who has decided, at almost 40, that he’s not going to complete his doctoral dissertation but is instead going to set out to see the world. “You don’t choose a life,” the son tells his dad, “you live one.”

Tom is on the golf course when he receives a call on his cell phone from a police officer in the border town of St. Jean Pied de Port in southern France informing him that Daniel was killed in a storm in the Pyrenees along the Camino de Santiago.  Each year, thousands of “pilgrims” from around the world trek 500 miles from France across northern Spain to the town of Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of St. James is housed in the main cathedral. As fellow travelers, they journey together, but motivated by infinitely diverse goals, they each complete an interior passage alone.

Tom travels to St. Jean Pied de Port to collect his son’s remains and is drawn to complete the odyssey that Daniel had just begun. Along the way to Santiago, he meets a trio of pilgrims — Sarah, an angry divorcee from Canada (Deborah Kara Unger); Jack, a frustrated writer from Ireland (James Nesbitt); and Joost, a hilarious gastronome from Holland (Yorick van Wageningen) — and comes to know himself, through them.

The Way is by no means a perfect film. At times, the dialog is forced, and the characters — especially Jack, a caricature of Don Quixote if there ever was one — are overplayed.  Some of the subplots are heavy-handed.  For example, Sarah makes this journey in part to assuage the guilt she feels over having had an abortion; Martin Sheen, in real life, is opposed to abortion. Sheen is also known to hand out rosaries, as does a priest Tom encounters on the road to Santiago.

But following this motley crew of pilgrims is a funny, heartwarming armchair-travel adventure. The scenery of the Galician countryside will take your breath away. And the message underlying The Way — that it’s never too late to change — will inspire you. It sent me from the theater to my computer to explore the possibilities of one day walking the Camino de Santiago on my own.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Movies for Grownups Radio

Download weekly podcasts of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and more. Listen


Movies for Grownups Awards

AARP honors the films and filmmakers who make the movies we want to see. Read

300_line

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save up to 20% on live Cirque du Soleil shows with their AARP membership card.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Movies Unlimited

Members save 10% on purchases of DVDs & Blu-ray discs from Movies Unlimited.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.