“The Way Back”


Metacritic (5/10), Rotten Tomatoes (**+)

As redemption-through-sports movies go, this by-the-numbers basketball melodrama is about as predictable and clichéd as they come. This supremely solemn saga of a baggage-laden, alcoholic former high school basketball star seeking to turn his life around is so rote that virtually any viewer could have penned its formulaic script. In fact, were it not for the surprisingly strong Critics Choice Award-nominated performance of protagonist Ben Affleck, director Gavin O’Connor’s latest would be otherwise virtually forgettable. There are many far better movies about sports underdogs, miraculous comebacks and the plight of addiction out there that would make superior viewing choices; all you have to do is pick one.