Directed by: E.B. Hughes
Written by: E.B. Hughes
Starring: Denny Bess, Reyna Kahan, Mark Borkowski, Don Striano, Ron Rey
A man has just been released from prison. Can he leave his criminal past behind and become a better person?
Max (Bess) has finished a prison sentence and has returned to New York City, where he attempts to start a new life. He starts a relationship with Sara (Kahan), a young woman who is a fellow tenant of the building he lives in and he tries to get a job. However he is a drug addict and the past catches up with him when Lucius (Borkowski), a dangerous gangster, finds out that he has returned and wants the large sum of money that he owes him.
This dark crime drama has elements that are often seen in films of its kind. There is hard drug use, nasty criminals, guns, beatings, profanity and sex scenes. The plot has also been seen many times before: someone is coming out of jail and trying to start over. Nothing original.
Bess delivers a convincing performance as an ex-convict, who means well but is struggling with his drug addiction and is desperately trying to get on with his life. Kahan is sympathetic as the woman who becomes his shoulder to cry on and motivates him. Borkowski steals the show in every scene he is in, by playing a short-tempered hoodlum, who is willing to use violence to deal with his problems.
The cinematography makes the film look dark and poignant, which serves it well, considering its contents. There are also great establishing shots. The score is dramatic throughout and at certain points, when a situation is nail-biting, the music becomes extremely intense.
Generally the plot is quite engaging, with interesting characters and many dramatic situations. The movie explores the dark side of life and pulls no punches when it shows Max fighting his demons. There is also a surprising scene, in which Max goes to visit a psychic for guidance.
The Long Way Back may not offer anything new, however it offers a moving experience and a hard-hitting look into crime and drug addiction.