During these trying times, when we’re all just trying to find our way back to normalcy, may I offer you a film about Ben Affleck as an alcoholic basketball coach just trying his find to way back to normalcy? The Way Back, (briefly) released in theaters earlier this year, is just that film. And now, in the wake of the coronavirus, Warner Bros. is making the film available early on VOD.
The film is directed by Gavin O’Connor, who previously made The Accountant with Affleck, and written by Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace). It co-stars Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins and Janina Gavankar alongside a group of young actors playing Affleck’s high school charges. It gives off satisfyingly throwback, old-fashioned vibes, presenting a type of sports film narrative you may have seen many times before, but executed extremely well. Plus, Affleck is giving near career-best work in the central role, and has gone on record about how the process of making it was therapeutic for him. Kudos to Warner Bros. for giving this flick an earlier chance to make an impression among all us self-quarantined folks — some of which are Oscar viewers ready to see if Affleck can go the distance.
Other films recently given the “early VOD in the wake of coronavirus” treatment include Universal’s The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Trolls World Tour; Sony/Columbia’s Bloodshot; and Warner Bros’ other huge Q1 feature Birds of Prey. As for The Way Back — it’s available to rent on digital VOD on March 24.