Max (Denny Dale Bess) is a small time con who is released from prison. In prison for drug related offenses he faces an uncertain future. However he has a good friend in Ziggy who runs the building he is staying. Additionally he has met Sara, a young woman in the next apartment. Perhaps he can put his life back together, or perhaps the dealer he stole 20 grand from will get his revenge.
This small gem of a film hits all the right notes. To be certain the film doesn't break any new ground, the tale of a con coming back to the world has been over done over the years, but at the same time writer/director E B Hughes fills his film with great characters, a genuine sense of New York and a pace that keeps us hooked. That last point I think is key since the way the film is constructed there is never a moment when we have time to think. This film just goes.
The real story here is Denny Dale Bess as Max. World weary and uncertain, he creates a character we like and we can relate to. He's a guy we know and we probably hang out with with the result we are invested in his plight. It's a beautifully modulated performance that is always real and has signs of life behind the eyes. Bess is so good that it kind of feels like we are watching him live out his life.
Currently on VOD LONG WAY BACK is worth not only your time but your money.