The Visit (2000)



Critic Consensus: An earnest drama, The Visit gains much emotional power through its fine performances.

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Movie Info

A cast of distinguished veterans and promising newcomers headline this stark prison drama from first-time writer-director Jordan Walker-Pearlman. Hill Harper stars as embittered inmate Alex, sentenced to serve time for a rape he claims that he didn't commit. His link to the outside world is his upper-middle class bother Tony (Obba Babatunde), the only family member who's come to visit him in the half-decade he's been in jail. On his latest visit, Alex pleads with Tony to have the rest of the family visit him, admitting that he's in the final stages of his battle with AIDS. Through flashbacks, dream sequences, and real-time encounters, Alex interacts with the people who have shaped his life -- his parents (Marla Gibbs and Billy Dee Williams), his old friend (Rae Dawn Chong), and his therapist (Phylicia Rashad) -- and attempts to overcome the seething anger and resentment that have punctuated his time in prison. The Visit was greeted with much acclaim when it premiered at the 2000 Method Fest Independent Film Festival.
R (for language and some drug content)
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Hill Harper
as Alex Waters
Phylicia Rashad
as Dr. Coles
Obba Babatundé
as Tony Waters
Rae Dawn Chong
as Felicia McDonald
Marla Gibbs
as Lois Waters
Billy Dee Williams
as Henry Waters
Talia Shire
as Marilyn Coffey
David Clennon
as Bill Brenner
Glynn E. Turman
as Al Rheingold
Efrain Figueroa
as Max Cruz
Amy Stiller
as Julie Bronsky
Jascha Washington
as Young Alex
Christopher Babers
as Young Tony
Jennifer Nicole Freeman
as Young Felicia
Tim De Zarn
as Guard Enheim
Charmin Lee White
as Mrs. Tony Waters
Terrell Mitchell
as Tony's Son
Enoh Essien
as Tony's Daughter
Hugh Dane
as Mr. McDonald
Jordan Lund
as Photographer
Drew Reukewitz
as Prison Guard
Kirk Acevedo
as Parolee
Lyne Odums
as Crackhouse Woman
Jaime Perry
as Drug Dealer
David Roberson
as Corrections Officer
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Critic Reviews for The Visit

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (11)

It couldn't possibly work without a transcendent central performance. Harper gives us that, and more.

April 26, 2001
Top Critic

It's hard not to give it bonus points for avoiding prison movie clichés and for taking a long, unblinking look at the complex dynamics of one American family.

Full Review… | April 20, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

A testament to the tenacity of the family, particularly the African American family.

Full Review… | April 20, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

A spare and moving study of regret and redemption, marked with chilling truths about a life behind bars.

April 20, 2001
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Contains some effective performances, not least from Hill Harper as Alex, the hero.

Full Review… | April 20, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Powerfully depicts the flowering of spiritual redemption within a young man who has every reason to give in to despair.

Full Review… | April 20, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Visit

In its own hokey way, The Visit is a testament to the tenacity of the family, particularly the African American family.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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