The Way Back

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The Way Back

Peter Weir (2010)

12A Certificate


Our Score
Peter Weir's grim but beautifully photographed drama is based on the true story of a group of prisoners who broke out of a Siberian gulag during the Second World War and faced a relentless journey over thousands of miles to find safety. Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell are among the motley crew whose survival instincts develop into a powerful bond as they make their way across icy terrain, the unforgiving desert heat of Mongolia and the seemingly impassable Himalayas - picking up a young female refugee (Saoirse Ronan) on the way. As extraordinary as the real-life source material may be, Weir stumbles into too many cinematic triumph-over-adversity clichés and the film loses pace over its lengthy running time. With the exception of Harris's enigmatic Mr Smith, none of the main characters make much of an impression, making it difficult for the viewer to truly connect with their plight.


Siberian gulag prisoners stage a daring escape during the Second World War. Refusing to live under Stalin's rule, they embark on a gruelling 4,500-mile journey across inhospitable terrain to escape the Soviet Union. Peter Weir's drama, starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Jim Sturgess and Mark Strong.

Cast & Crew

Janusz Jim Sturgess
Mr Smith Ed Harris
Valka Colin Farrell (2)
Irena Saoirse Ronan
Khabarov Mark Strong
Voss Gustaf Skarsgard
Kazik Sebastian Urzendowsky
Zoran Dragos Bucur
Director Peter Weir
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Violence, swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 24 Dec 2010