The Visitor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Visitor Reviews

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½ September 22, 2017
Low-key, occasionally poignant, and mature.  The story of a man going through the motions, yet regaining meaning, richness and the spice of life through his newfound friendship with a humble Syrian immigrant in a post-9/11 NY is both touching to see and serves as an important message regarding the nuances of different cultures.  The performances were very natural, the pace was patient even though it did bog down in parts, and the characters were well realized and relatable in their own way.  I somewhat wish the arrest of Tarek had taken place a little later in the film to give more  development towards the bond between he and the protagonist, but that's a minor gripe.  Overall, I'd recommend it.
September 13, 2017
Pretty good movie! It kept my attention the whole way through, with a great performance from Richard Jenkins and great supporting cast! Loved the social/political commentary about immigration.
May 1, 2017
This film is beautiful and so moving. Every American who looks at immigration without any real contact with the issue should see this very poignant movie that very movingly presents the human tragedy of illegal immigrants. Although the date of release was 2008, the fact that the young Arab who gets arrested while traveling on the subway in New York City is from Syria and in a period post 9/11 is very telling because of the current threat that is even worse today because of the promised mass deportations and the anti-immigrant prejudice so prevent among US citizens now. I wish every American could see this film which presents the problem in all of its heartbreaking reality so that the viewer, like the main character, slowly, through the low key dramatic story, realizes the terrible human cost of this treatment of immigrants, and, like Walter, comes to see how very unfair it is. I don't usually post my movie reviews on FB, but I'm posting this one in the hopes that someone will be encouraged to watch this outstanding film
½ January 12, 2017
Tom McCarthy once again doing what he does best: quiet character dramas that take a simple plot and manage to become captivating through the pacing, the editing, the music, the acting and the way those characters face the events that occur. "The Visitor" is an engrossing film, put together in a way that the viewer effortlessly grows attached to the characters, without even noticing. Jenkins, in his first leading role, does an excellent job, and so do the other actors. An honest sophomore effort.
½ December 10, 2016
Richard Jenkins deservedly was honored with an Oscar nomination for his role as Walter - A man with a genuine heartfelt, passion not for writing, but for the well-being of others - He's a man that you find yourself rooting for during the entirety of the film. "The Visitor" does veer into slight political undertones, but it succeeds at connecting with its audience emotionally.
December 6, 2016
The Visitor benefits from Tom McCarthy empathetic grip on a delicate subject and Richard Jenkins' mesmerizing performance on the lead as a widower that befriends illegal immigrants.
½ November 18, 2016
3,5/5 Ratings for The Visitor
Critics Consensus: The Visitor is a heartfelt, humanistic drama that deftly explores identity, immigration, and other major post-9/11 issues.
September 21, 2016
Completely successful film on every front. Soulful direction, Jenkins' central performance mesmerising, screenplay with depth, score including the drumming perfect.
This movie is 8 years old yet the situation in Syria is worse now. And with America's policy towards refugees changing possibly for the worse, the film has more impact now than when it was made.
September 3, 2016
This film is so unbelievable relevant to the present day; when so many people are living lives of fear and displacement, helpless and without proper support, It pains me so much to think of the number of people who's lives are shattered by war and whom are not supported as they should be. It is portrayed with such honesty and tenderness, really beautiful and ful of sorrow....well worth watching!!
July 26, 2016
This is the worst movie I've ever seen. So incredibly boring. Let me save you a couple hours of your life: A bored and lonely man meets some people, the end. You're welcome.
½ May 2, 2016
For a lonely professor grieving the loss of his beloved wife (not to mention his dwindling passion for life), benevolence --as a response to his existential crises-- proves a viable cure when he discovers a young immigrant couple living in his inner city apartment and allows them to continue inhabiting the residence. 62-year old Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins gives a stellar performance here) may seem boring beyond repair at first, but with each heartwarming moment he spends with Tarek, Zainab, and Tarek's mother, Mouna, you discover there is still some spark to him yet. I particularly enjoyed when Tarek teaches Walter how to play the drums! "The Visitor" is a beautiful commentary on compassion, humanism, ethnology, identity, cross-cultural communication, immigration, and the human condition in a post-9/11 America.

A warning: if you are not in the mood for an emotional independent drama with a spice of romance (although it does a wonderful job pulling you in as it develops), you may find the film too sentimental and even a bit boring, as it drags a little, especially in the beginning. This is definitely a film to watch when you want to be reminded of the goodness in others.

B [75%]
½ April 10, 2016
The Visitor is directed and written by Tom McCarthy, and it stars Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman, and Danai Gurira in a drama film about a teacher who has nothing going in his life, and when he went back to New York to present the paper that he co-wrote and to his old apartment, there were two people who are already living there. They leave the house, but the teacher tells them that they can stay, and there's going to be more issues running ahead of their lives. So after 4 years from The Station Agent, Tom McCarthy made The Visitor, and this film is another solid effort from him that he might be one of the most interesting indie directors in my opinion, although I'll probably be hurting my words when I go watch The Cobbler which I heard that it wasn't good at all. Richard Jenkins gives a great performance as a lonely guy, and would probably want to be alone at times. Haaz Sleiman in his first main role is really good, and Danai Gurira in her first acting role in a film is also really good that I'm glad that she went from this, to The Walking Dead. There are a lot of heartfelt moments that got me more emotionally invested as the characters are well developed thanks to a well written script by Tom McCarthy. There are some funny moments in it, but for the most of it, it's all serious, and consider that the film has to deal with immigration during post 9/11, it's for the best for the tone of it. The only problem with the film that I saw, is that when I know what the plot is about, I had a feeling that I knew where it was going, and it does, which for some I think that it was because that's how the world works, and some of the events in the beginning, although there are some in here that I actually didn't see coming, even though I should've, given with some hints in there. In the end, Tom McCarthy's The Visitor is a really great film that Tom McCarthy really knows how to make great films that turn him into a humanist, and when I get the time, I'll watch The Cobbler to see whether people are right about that film being a huge stinker.
February 17, 2016
Richard Jenkins is easily the best part of a very good movie, which sees an unhappy and bitter American professor become unlikely friends with an illegal immigrant street drummer and his ethnic jeweler girlfriend. Jenkins and Sleiman are magnetic as the two pals, with Jenkins proving to be incredible at portraying an unassuming everyday man. My only criticism is the brevity; a movie is insufficient at elaborating the entire beauty of the relationship between the two friends, and I wanted to see more of that.
February 14, 2016
Compassionate and wise. A sane voice in the post 9/11 era and as necessary a movie now as ever.
February 6, 2016
A great movie. Heartfelt and smart. Like an onion with many layers to peel away.
November 15, 2015
We saw this at about the same time as Under the Same Moon. Both helped to put a face on illegal immigrants.
October 13, 2015
Refreshingly honest assessment of today's process for foreigners to become citizens in a post 9/11 age. They make you wait for decads and jump through legal loops and loopholes just to become a citizen.

For those who can not wait, due to their country's wars, poverty, genocide, or what have you, you come to America anyways and hope you don't get deported. America, after all, is the land of the free. It is a melting pot of mixed cultures that makes us the U.S of A. Without the ethnecity, America would be pretty boring. Hamburgers and more Hamburgers. So why do we make it impossible for people to become citizens? Crowd control has a lot to do with it.

But this movie shines light on an often debated topic, but with a true human story to drive the point home. It's an emotional rollercoaster.. Donald Trump should watch this movie, and maybe his heart will grow 10x bigger. Or perhaps, he will have a heart attack out of outrage.
October 12, 2015
I didn't know what to expect with this movie. I got it because it was critically praised and nominated for an Oscar, and it delivers. It has a great story, great performances and you feel for every character in this movie and especially for Richard Jenkins character. It is a great unlikely-friendship movie that will make you smile.
½ September 22, 2015
"The Visitor" is the kind of story that make you reconcile with the life and to think that there is hope. Great performances especially from Richard Jenkins as the old widower who has lost passion for life and work and recovers it in his relation with a young couple of illegal aliens. No happy ending.
½ July 26, 2015
Interesting film. At first you think you'll just about die of boredom, but as it goes along, it's actually really good! "Walter" is a widower & econ profession who stumbled upon this couple squatting at his apartment in the city. One of them is a Syrian immigrant who gets detained, even though he didn't do anything wrong. Walter does what he can to help him & his wife. It shines a light on how difficult it is for some immigrants to live the American dream when everyone thinks you're a terrorist. It truly is an excellent film! Not much to look for in terms of action, but the dialogue & themes were great! I wasn't bored at all.
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