The Visitor

DVD - 2008
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Visitor
Walter Vale is a widower who teaches economics at a Connecticut university. He lives alone and is no longer motivated by his work. In New York to present a paper at a conference, he goes to the apartment that he has not visited in some time, but has kept since his wife was alive, only to discover a young couple living there. Despite their great cultural differences, Walter befriends Tarek, a Syrian citizen and drummer, and gradually builds a friendship with Esi, his girlfriend from Senegal. One day, when returning from Central Park with Walter, Tarek is arrested for jumping a stuck subway turnstile, despite the fact that he had paid. The police discover he does not have legal papers and transfer him to an immigrant detention center in Queens. Feeling responsible for and connected to Tarek, Walter decides to stay in New York to help and support him. Not hearing from her son, Tarek's mother arrives from Michigan to find out why, and she and Walter support one another while they attempt to free Tarek.


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Feb 21, 2015
  • NewYorkViews rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Great casting and acting, but I found it to be too bourgeois-- where in pricey midtown Manhattan would a new landlord illegally rent out for cheap an all ready pricey rented flat to two illegals for hardly any money, and worse was with this film. I could not finish watching it.

Jul 08, 2014
  • Isley rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Though there is a bit more drama and the slight reek of a “social conscience film” in Thomas McCarthy’s follow up to The Station Agent, it shares many of the previous movie's strengths (specifically, the understated commentary on human interaction) as well. Not many directors can make a film like this (alternately heart-warming and heart wrenching) that holds my interest, so McCarthy must be doing something right.

Jul 04, 2014
  • olenkag rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

What a great movie! Really changes your perspective on immigrants! Recommended!

Mar 16, 2014
  • Jane_Sm rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An absolutely wonderful movie! Re-watched it recently and enjoyed it even more than the first time. Any one of the characters could be someone you know; on the one hand ordinary people, but each so strong in their own way and with such personal dignity. Each does the best they can in the circumstances life has dealt them.

Nov 20, 2013
  • eLode rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I prefer stories delving into current issues of our time. Visitor intends to explore inequitable immigration procedures in New York City, despite a feint to a suburban college. The camera steps as far as the visitors’ room outside the dungeon, no further, then retreats to the waiting room for hints of generic disenfranchisement. The script switched the main role away from the person who forms the story arc to an affluent white citizen. Its cruel bias undermines better intentions. One quarter hour is spent setting up his anomie, of minimal effect later, rather than exploring the experience of the illegal immigrant. His ineffectual “good” intentions parallel the indulgent script. Richard Jenkins tries his best with the material. Haas Slieman totes his Tarek. Zanaib is a character suspended from function. Hiam Abbass as Mouna upstages with fewer lines and one third the time. Her character makes the only crucial turn to wrap this pastiche.

Oct 06, 2013
  • JeanieG rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A great, off beat film. The acting is terrific. The storyline is realistic but not overdone. Wish more films were this good.

Jan 13, 2013
  • chardb rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really liked this movie...both the story and the characters are very authentic.

Dec 22, 2012

Excellent film. Good story and good acting.

Sep 24, 2012
  • kozakd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of my favorite movies. The story unfolds unexpectedly and the characters are given time to develop. Walter starts as a depressed shell of a man and through his involvement with the trials of another family finds joy and purpose . Eventually we love and cheer for all of them.

Sep 19, 2012
  • smurray13 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A beautiful film. Absolutely excellent!

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Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Tarek Khalil: Oh s**t! We have to get home! Zainab's gonna kill me, I'm on Arab time again.
Prof. Walter Vale: What is "Arab time"?
Tarek Khalil: It means I'm late by an hour. All Arabs are late by an hour, it's genetic, we can't help it.

Dec 27, 2009
  • VeganGreen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

We have to get home! Zainab's gonna kill me, I'm on Arab time again.


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Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.


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Apr 19, 2011
  • bdls206 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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