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The Visitor (I) (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 May 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 36,018 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 167 user | 227 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Moore ...
Michael Cumpsty ...
Bill McHenry ...
Tzahi Moskovitz ...
Mr. Shah
Neal Lerner ...
Martin Revere
Cop #1
Cop #2


In Connecticut, lonely widowed Professor Walter Vale has a boring life. He teaches only one class at the local college and is trying to learn how to play the piano, despite not having the necessary musical talent. Walter is assigned to attend a conference about Global Policy and Development at New York University, where he is to give a lecture about a paper on which he is co-author. When he arrives at his apartment in New York, he finds Tarek Khalil, a Syrian musician, and Zainab, a Senegalese street vendor, living there. He sympathizes with the situation of the illegal immigrants and invites the couple to stay with him. Tarek invites him to go to his gig at Jules Live Jazz. Walter is fascinated with his African drum and Tarek offers to teach Walter to play the drum. However, after an incident in the subway, Tarek is arrested by the police and sent to a detention center for illegal immigrants. Walter has just hired a lawyer to defend Tarek when, out of the blue, Tarek's mother Mouna ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


connection is everything See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

23 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Visitante  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$86,488 (USA) (11 April 2008)


$9,422,422 (USA) (3 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to dvd's interviews of both Tom McCarthy and Richard Jenkins, Walter's change of glasses scene - that reveals his change of feelings for Mouna - was Richard Jenkins' idea. See more »


The deportation center is supposed to be in Queens, but the street signs on the corner are obviously those of Manhattan - not only does it refer to W 115th St (there is no "W" or "E" in Queens), but it's also the telltale green/white color scheme of Manhattan street signage. See more »


Ronald Cole: Sir?
Prof. Walter Vale: Yes? Did you find him?
Ronald Cole: He's been removed.
Prof. Walter Vale: Removed to where?
Ronald Cole: Deported.
Prof. Walter Vale: Deported? When?
Ronald Cole: He was deported this morning.
Prof. Walter Vale: How can that be? No, he - Um, sir, is there any way that I could contact him?
Ronald Cole: I don't think so.
Prof. Walter Vale: You don't think so? What kind of an answer is that?
See more »


Featured in The 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards (2009) See more »


Sonata No. 21 in C Major
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven (uncredited)
Courtesy of APM Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

25 April 2008 | by (Huntington, New York) – See all my reviews

It's only about twice a decade that I run across a movie that really impresses me. It's usually an obscure film that I entered with no expectations -- but left blown away by its cinematic achievement.

I just saw such a film tonight. "The Visitor" A small independent production with zero-advertising. Made by Tom McCarthy whose prior film, "The Station Agent," was an imperfect, character-absorbed drama.

The star of this movie is an actor (Richard Jenkins) whom you'll recognize from his numerous roles as minor-characters, most notably the dead-patriarch in "Six Feet Under." All of the other actors are completely unknown, but notably talented.

The appeal of this film is its story. An aged, listless academic, whose wife died earlier, floats through his uninteresting life until something happens to jar him. What happens next is unexpected, interesting and poignant. It would ruin the story if I told it to you, so you'll have to trust me. Suffice it to say it's a story of rebirth.

Like most of my favorite films, it has comedy, pathos, surprises, authenticity and a philosophical examination of what it means to be human. In short, everything, even politics.

And the presentation is skillfully-crafted. McCarthy demonstrates what was good about his prior work without dragging it down with what was bad about that work.

See it.

132 of 154 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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