Opening

100% John Wick Oct 24
No Score Yet Ouija Oct 24
No Score Yet 23 Blast Oct 24
56% Laggies Oct 24
54% White Bird in a Blizzard Oct 24

Top Box Office

79% Fury $23.7M
88% Gone Girl $17.5M
77% The Book of Life $17.0M
64% Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day $11.5M
8% The Best Of Me $10.0M
23% Dracula Untold $10.0M
47% The Judge $7.9M
31% Annabelle $7.9M
62% The Equalizer $5.4M
63% The Maze Runner $4.4M

Coming Soon

86% Goodbye to Language 3D Oct 29
48% Saw Oct 31
83% Nightcrawler Oct 31
56% Before I Go to Sleep Oct 31
50% Horns Oct 31

New TV Episodes Tonight

96% The Flash: Season 1
79% Marry Me: Season 1
86% Sons of Anarchy: Season 7
92% Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 2
64% NCIS: New Orleans: Season 1
56% Forever: Season 1
56% Selfie: Season 1
100% Person Of Interest: Season 4
56% Happyland: Season 1
29% Manhattan Love Story: Season 1
No Score Yet Brickleberry: Season 3
No Score Yet About a Boy: Season 2
No Score Yet Uncle: Season 1
No Score Yet Chicago Fire: Season 3
No Score Yet NCIS: Season 12
No Score Yet Faking It: Season 2
No Score Yet Supernatural: Season 10
No Score Yet Awkward: Season 4


New Fall TV

96% The Affair: Season 1
66% A to Z: Season 1
18% Bad Judge: Season 1
52% Cristela: Season 1
No Score Yet Death Comes to Pemberley: Season 1
96% The Flash: Season 1
65% Gracepoint: Season 1
100% Jane the Virgin: Season 1
79% Kingdom: Season 1
79% Marry Me: Season 1
15% Mulaney: Season 1
20% Stalker: Season 1
93% Survivor's Remorse: Season 1
No Score Yet Transporter: The Series: Season 1
No Score Yet Uncle: Season 1


Certified Fresh TV

96% The Affair: Season 1
84% American Horror Story: Freak Show
85% black-ish: Season 1
88% Boardwalk Empire: Season 5
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
96% The Flash: Season 1
100% The Good Wife: Season 6
90% Gotham: Season 1
82% Homeland: Season 4
84% How to Get Away With Murder: Season 1
100% Jane the Virgin: Season 1
88% The Knick: Season 1
79% Marry Me: Season 1
98% Transparent: Season One
97% The Walking Dead: Season 5

The Visitor (2008)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 116
Fresh: 103
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: The Visitor is a heartfelt, humanistic drama that deftly explores identity, immigration, and other major post-9/11 issues.

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 27
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: The Visitor is a heartfelt, humanistic drama that deftly explores identity, immigration, and other major post-9/11 issues.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 126,580

Trailer


ADVERTISEMENT

Movie Info

A lonesome widower and college economics professor finds his mundane existence suddenly shaken up when he befriends a pair of illegal immigrants, one of whom has recently been threatened with deportation by U.S. immigration authorities, in the sophomore feature from The Station Agent director Tom McCarthy. Years after losing his wife, 62-year-old Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) has also lost his passion for writing and teaching. In an effort to fill the empty void that his life has become, Walter … More

Rating:
PG-13 (for brief strong language)
Genre:
Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Tom McCarthy
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Jan 27, 2009
Box Office:
$9.2M
Runtime:
Overture Films - Official Site


Cast



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Critic Reviews for The Visitor

All Critics (117) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (13) | DVD (6)

At first glance Walter isn't a guy you want to spend two hours with. But by the end of the film, you don't want to see him go. Jenkins is like that: He sneaks up on you and steals your heart with light-fingered skill.

Full Review… | May 2, 2008
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The Visitor is a tiny treasure of a movie. This is a wistful comedy that quickly finds its rhythm, but never lets that groove become a rut.

Full Review… | May 2, 2008
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The Visitor is a small movie, but its emotions could not be writ any larger.

Full Review… | April 25, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

The film becomes less about the suffering of immigrants who have never enjoyed the embrace of Ellis Island than the righteous indignation of a liberal intelligentsia raging against its own powerlessness.

Full Review… | April 25, 2008
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The story of Vale's revitalization and his grief is compelling but simple, free of any sentimentality, and marked by powerful performances from Jenkins and Hiam Abbass, who plays Mouna Khalil, Tarek's mother.

Full Review… | April 25, 2008
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The script here is very strong.

April 21, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

THE VISITOR begs the question, "Is too late to try something new?" If your like the rest of the world, you want the answer to be "Never." THE VISITOR answers that in one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking ways you'll ever see.

Full Review… | August 28, 2013
Gordon and the Whale

First with The Station Agent and now with The Visitor, actor-turned-director Tom McCarthy has quickly proven himself a master of the delicately-observed social drama.

Full Review… | January 4, 2012
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The Visitor gives Richard Jenkins a chance to develop a character for the whole running time.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
East Bay Express

Un retrato sutil y sensible sobre la inesperada conexión que se produce entre cuatro personas de diferentes culturas y orígenes, y también una postal algo desencantada y agridulce de la Nueva York posterior al 11/9. Destacable actuación protagónica de Ric

Full Review… | November 30, 2009
Uruguay Total

click for full review

Full Review… | May 14, 2009
Movies for the Masses

Our patience with the characters' apathy and uninteresting demeanor is not rewarded enough.

Full Review… | March 2, 2009
Hollywood Report Card

An interesting examination of the unusual relationship between a bored college professor and an illegal immigrant. There are some thought-provoking discussions in the film patched periodically with rough spots.

Full Review… | March 1, 2009
Cinema Sight

Tasting the bitter fruits of globalization

Full Review… | February 24, 2009

The astonishing sensitivity with which Richard Jenkins approaches his role is nicely complimented by the performances of other cast members.

Full Review… | February 10, 2009
Apollo Guide

Its mushy humanism is...insidious.

Full Review… | February 5, 2009
Time Out Sydney

The best movies are those that understand the human condition and have a personal vision. The Visitor is one of those rare creations. The Visitor is a parable of decency.

Full Review… | February 1, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

The not-so subliminal message about life being fair versus breaking the law isn't enough to carry a film purporting to be a character-driven drama.

Full Review… | January 17, 2009
MovieCrypt.com

Jenkins, as always has a quiet, almost apologetic hesitation to his performance that serves him well as Walter....a very sweet and gentle film.

Full Review… | January 5, 2009

A showcase role for otherwise supporting actor Richard Jenkins, and he makes the most of it without ever being showy.

Full Review… | December 24, 2008
Window to the Movies

Exactly the type of movie the GOP would rather Americans not see, as it individualizes (rather than demonizes) its foreign characters and provides them with a collective voice that demands to be heard.

Full Review… | November 26, 2008
Creative Loafing

A character study drowning in liberal guilt.

Full Review… | November 23, 2008
Lessons of Darkness

Uplifting and undeniably winning in its perceptive landscape, The Visitor is no stranger to compelling filmmaking rooted in gentleness and inspirational fortitude

Full Review… | November 19, 2008
Movie Eye

It is a lovely, well-crafted, bittersweet little film.

Full Review… | October 9, 2008
Laramie Movie Scope

Dabbles in messages and liberal guilt, but more importantly, it sets up a reasonable and genuine space for a fascinating and heartbreaking character.

Full Review… | October 3, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

It's a lovely, moving film, marked by memorable performances throughout.

Full Review… | September 9, 2008
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Audience Reviews for The Visitor

A movie I'm sure most people saw only after Richard Jenkins was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, The Visitor is compelling and well-acted. It starts well, but it suffers in the end because of its change in focus: for a long part in the middle, it's barely about the main character anymore. And though this is kind of the point - he gets swept up in lives very different and much harder than his own - the depth of the early going thins out and the plot becomes much more mechanical, to the point that the final evolution of the protagonist doesn't hit at gut level the way the filmmaker clearly hopes it would. A good movie, but not a great one, notable mostly for Jenkins's performance... the Academy, it seems, would agree.

More
danperry17
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

A lonely widower professor gets a new lease on lfie after a chance encounter with some illegal immigrants.

Based on that set up alone, you could easily just cast this movie off as another case of minority characters acting as an angelic force whose purpose is to help a down and out white, as well as yet again a film where a white man comes to the aid of minorities in need.

Why do that though? Especially when the way it's all handled (as is the case here) is done with care, intelligence, and an overhwelming sense of gentleness and sincerity (in good ways). The film does have typical elements to it, but it's well played, avoids being pandering (almost completely), and is aved by some terrific performances, especially that of Jenkins in a standout lead role.

Yeah, the film is uneven and all over the place with what it is trying to do, but it's never boring, has a lot fo heart, and could have been done a whole lot worse. Give it a go.

More
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

Now this is more like it! A slow, simple story that flows out organically and doesn't force anything. It starts out lightly but somehow manages to pull out a spectrum of emotions: laughter, heartbreak, peace, frustration. Richard Jenkins is truly a work of art. Instead of stealing the show for himself he reacts to the events and people that happen. The story isn't about him, and he doesn't make it about him, and I appreciate that. The change is subtle yet quick and pronounced and Jenkins never breaks character. He leaks grief and jadedness wherever he goes but you can sense when he is really happy and when his passive bubble is burst. This isn't a role with lengthy soliloquys and in fact the character is quite an awkward one but somehow this only makes it more humanistic, more compassionate.Music is a uniting force in this movie and whomever chose it has a wonderful ear. Good interspersing of African drum beats among the expansive piano runs. The director managed to make New York look very spare but it's never an image of complete coldness. In fact the cinematography is quite warm and this is all owing to Jenkins' quiet sympathy. It just goes to show that depression is not the answer and even though it doesn't end happily I'm left feeling...elevated somehow. Who was really the one most elevated, the immigrants or the professor? I guess the ending shows the professor, the "visitor" was the one that was. I guess the "visitor" is a metaphor for a happenstance upon a really rich culture. I don't know, honestly I'm really struck by Richard Jenkins. I hope he at least gets considered for an Oscar nod. I can't usually tell these things but this nuanced role was played beautifully and naturally.

More
jennifxu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

The Visitor is a simple and gentle film that explores many issues, from immigration to loneliness. The film tells the story of Walter, an economics professor who, since his wife died, has lost any interest in life. His days are filled with joyless routine. Returning to New York to attend a conference, he finds a young foreign couple living in his apartment. Tarek and Zainab are from Syria and Senegal respectively and were fooled into renting the apartment illegally. Walter however, allows them to stay, mostly out of pity, but also out of interest in Tarek's african drum. Walter's late wife was a professional piano player and Walter had been trying in the years since her death to learn to play the instrument. The drum speaks to him in a way the piano could not, and soon he and Tarek are playing together in the park. They seem to form a quick yet tight bond over music that turns into a warm friendship.

The Visitor could've turned into a very predictable, standard look at america's immigration policy towards muslims post 9/11, but Richard Jenkins (academy award nominated) performance as "every white man" keeps it from being one dimensional. You might get the impression his character is supposed to be the typical american, lifeless and without any cultural heritage, but Jenkins brings a pathos to the screen that goes beyond what you might find in the script. The film is all the more satisfying because of it.

More
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

The Visitor Quotes


Tarek:
She's a good muslim. I'm a bad one.
– Submitted by David H (2 years ago)
Mouna:
This feels like Syria.
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
Walter Vale:
We are not helpless children!
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Visitor on our Movie forum!