The sugar-sweet father-son team-up turns out to be far more than Martin Sheen doing a favor for the less famous of his sons. Emilio Estevez pours his heart into the script and direction of the travelogue, starring his father as a man grieving over the death of his middle-aged son by going on a cross-country hike.
The film starts off unremarkably, but builds momentum as it goes and gradually becomes something near transcendent. Deborah Kara Unger adds pep as a woman Sheen's character meets along his literal road to redemption. Estevez wisely shows restraint with the character, stopping short of making her the protagonist's sole salvation.
A thoughtful meditation about the way fathers fail to connect with sons, and they way we shoulder regrets that last a lifetime, The Way is a worthy effort and a sign that Estevez may yet emerge as an excellent filmmaker.