7.6/10
40,500
168 user 231 critic

The Visitor (2007)

PG-13 | | Drama | 23 May 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

Director:

Tom McCarthy

Writer:

Tom McCarthy
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Win Win (2011)
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach's chicanery comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he has double-crossed comes into his life.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale
Frozen River (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mom looks for another source of income, when her husband leaves with the money meant for the new mobile home. A nearby Indian territory stretches across the border to Canada with a drivable frozen river between. Smugling?

Director: Courtney Hunt
Stars: Melissa Leo, Misty Upham, Charlie McDermott
The Savages (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sister and brother face the realities of familial responsibility as they begin to care for their ailing father.

Director: Tamara Jenkins
Stars: Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A single mother's life is thrown into turmoil after her struggling, rarely seen younger brother returns to town.

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick, Amy Ryan
In America (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou
The Cobbler (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A cobbler, bored of his everyday life, stumbles upon a magical heirloom that allows him to become other people and see the world in a different way.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Adam Sandler, Melonie Diaz, Steve Buscemi
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed.

Director: Julian Schnabel
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin
Drama

Plot details being kept under wraps.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Crime | Drama

John contacts host Brian Reed to have him investigate a supposed murder by the son of a wealthy family in his hometown, which he openly despises.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Jenkins ... Walter
Haaz Sleiman ... Tarek
Danai Gurira ... Zainab
Hiam Abbass ... Mouna
Marian Seldes ... Barbara
Maggie Moore Maggie Moore ... Karen
Michael Cumpsty ... Charles
Bill McHenry Bill McHenry ... Darin
Richard Kind ... Jacob
Tzahi Moskovitz ... Zev
Amir Arison ... Mr. Shah
Neal Lerner ... Martin Revere
Ramon Fernandez ... Cop #1
Frank Pando ... Cop #2
Waleed Zuaiter ... Omar
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

connection is everything See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Arabic | Romanian

Release Date:

23 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Visitor See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$86,488, 13 April 2008

Gross USA:

$9,427,089

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,078,175
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD's interviews of both Tom McCarthy and Richard Jenkins, Walter's change of glasses scene (which reveals his change of feelings for Mouna) was Richard Jenkins's idea. See more »

Goofs

After the announcement at the airport about their flight about to board, Walter and Mouna go to the security control area. Normally passengers would have already gone through security at that point, rather than casually walking towards there after the announcement for the flight departure is made. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Walter Vale: I've been teaching the same course for 20 years, and it doesn't mean anything to me. None of it does. I pretend. I pretend that I'm busy, that I'm working, that I'm writing. I'm not doing anything.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Baldwin's L2 grand piano See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.9 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Darius Blues
Written by Bill McHenry (BMI)
Performed by Bill McHenry, Nic Thys, Haaz Sleiman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The Visitor
2 May 2008 | by laraemeadowsSee all my reviews

The Visitor strings together unlikely events in the lives of a professor and his visitors. Remarkably sincere and touching, the unimaginable events feel natural.

Awkward Connecticut economics professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins) has essentially checked out from his job, his personality and his life. Walter is forced by circumstance to return to his abandoned New York City apartment. When he returns he meets Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira), who have taken up unauthorized residence in his apartment. Tarek and Zainab teach Walter to live again, to come out of his shell and remind him how unfair life can be.

Writer and director Thomas McCarthy wrote all of the characters in The Visitor with almost contradictory personality attributes which gives them each a complex humanity.

McCarthy wrote Walter Vale painfully dull and bumbling but it was Richard Jenkins who also makes Walter charming and heart breaking. In nearly every setting, Jenkins both makes the audience scrunch their faces at Walter's social inadequacies while simultaneously bringing out our Florence Nightingale instincts. As Walter changes in the course The Visitor, Jenkins keeps the essential qualities of Walter but changes him in surprising ways.

The supporting cast isn't any less remarkable in The Visitor. There is a master of life, a vision of unabashed sadness and an embodiment of sensual motherly warmth. Haaz Sleiman, who plays Tarek, is (damn foxy) full of life as Tarek. His esprit fills Tarek, the audience, the other characters and actors with such vitality. Danai Jekesai Guria plays Zainab, Tarek's girlfriend. So much of Zainab is forlorn despondent dejection. Rich with beautiful hardness and unnaturally attractive pain, Danai Jekesai Guria made Zainab so hard to watch but impossible to pull your eyes away from. Hiam Abbass plays Mouna, Tarek's mother. Her fear is palpable but she never loses her intangible sensuality.

The most remarkable part of The Visitor is the way it organically shows the way life can change un-expectantly, unfairly and without warning and does it with real, raw emotion. Just when you think you've figured out what the movie is about, you slapped with a new reality. It is frightening, timely and angering. Even the ending, which is not the typical movie ending, is emotive in a subtle and realistic way. I was not overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the movie, I was perfectly whelmed; a task indeed.

The pacing is the one complaint I have with The Visitor. The editing could have been much better. There are beautiful scenes sometimes drawn out to boredom. Scenes that were the actors' timing is slightly off are only highlighted by the shoddy editing. The Visitor is an artsy movie but Tom McArdle checked out completely in a few of the scenes.

Slow bits aside, The Visitor is a rewarding film with rich characters, beautiful acting and complexities that might make those people who are quick to tears, cry.


56 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 168 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed