Written and directed by Little Miss Sunshine's Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, new coming of age story The Way, Way Back is being hailed by critics ahead of its release in the UK this week. It follows the fortunes of 14-year-old Duncan and his summer vacation with mother Pam (Toni Collette).

The problem being that Pam's overbearing boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) is along for the ride too, as is sister Steph. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in the manager of the Water Wizz water park, Owen (Sam Rockwell). Their relationship begins to open up and Trent experiences a summer he will never forget.

The critics are unanimous in their praise for Faxon and Rash's new movie - their first since writing Alexander Payne's The Descendants, for which they won an Academy Award.

"This film's masterstroke is showing everything from Duncan's point of view, without the traditional cloying narration," said Time Out.

"Collette and Carell endow their characters with poignancy and authenticity, while Rockwell and Janney are superb at wringing every possible bit of humour out of the sparky dialogue," said the Daily Mail.

Watch The Way, Way Back Trailer:

Olly Richards of Empire magazine wrote, "A film for every age, whether you're an awkward kid, former awkward kid or awkward kid-adjacent. Funny, real and uplifting. A film that reaffirms your belief in the human spirit."

Our very own Rich Cline agreed, writing, "An especially strong script gives actors plenty to chew on in this comedy-drama, in which writer-directors Faxon and Rash (The Descendants) take an observant look at the awkward connections we make with each other."

The Way, Way Back is out in cinemas in the UK now.

Sam RockwellSam Rockwell At The Way, Way Back Premiere in New York

Steve Carell
Steve Carell At The Way, Way Back Premiere