Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In a world of 6 billion people, it takes only one to change your life. In actor and filmmaker Tom McCarthy's follow-up to his award-winning directorial debut "The Station Agent," we get to know Walter Vale, a disillusioned Connecticut economics professor whose life is transformed by a chanceIn a world of 6 billion people, it takes only one to change your life. In actor and filmmaker Tom McCarthy's follow-up to his award-winning directorial debut "The Station Agent," we get to know Walter Vale, a disillusioned Connecticut economics professor whose life is transformed by a chance encounter in New York City. Through newfound connections with virtual strangers, Walter is awakened to a new world and a new life. (Overture Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. The Visitor, is, if anything, more imaginative and touching than his first.
  2. 90
    The curious thing about The Visitor is that even as it goes more or less where you think it will, it still manages to surprise you along the way.
  3. 88
    McCarthy's flawless casting may be the film's greatest strength: Veteran character actor Jenkins and his costars vanish into their characters -- their performances are so subtle and unforced that they don't feel like performances at all.
  4. 80
    Powerful second film by writer-director Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent).
  5. A compelling and illuminating story of four people who form an unlikely and momentary friendship of considerable depth.
  6. 75
    The combined effect is, as I say, small but sincere. McCarthy may prove to have something bigger in him, or he may be a miniaturist content to build little stories and fill them with all the humanity they can bear. If that's the case, there are far less worthy ways to spend a career.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    50
    McCarthy unquestionably means well, but he's made one of those incredibly naïve movies that gives liberals a bad name, and which does more to regress the sociopolitical discourse than advance it.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 4 out of 37
  1. DavidF.
    May 31, 2008
    10
    This is a perfect film. Loved every minute of it. Beautifully acted and directed. Go see this wonderful movie.
  2. UzK
    Feb 14, 2009
    10
    Very touching. Loved the emotions exemplified in this film.
  3. MarcD.
    Apr 16, 2008
    9
    Just a beautiful, elegant film. I wasn't expecting too much from this movie, but by the end, my heart was in my throat, and I had an Just a beautiful, elegant film. I wasn't expecting too much from this movie, but by the end, my heart was in my throat, and I had an amazing sympathy for the characters - partly a function of the story, but also because of some amazing acting performances. Richard Jenkins and Haaz Sleiman will be recognized, no doubt, but Hiam Abbass, as Tarek's mother, is spectacular. For any adult male who has a close relationship with his mother (like me!), or for those mothers who remain close with their adult children, this movie will grab you. Expand
  4. Aug 12, 2010
    9
    Easily one of my favorite films in recent years. I have recommended this film countless times and it was equally as good on the secondEasily one of my favorite films in recent years. I have recommended this film countless times and it was equally as good on the second viewing. The blossoming of the professor character, given a new set of influences in his life, was realistic and a captivating story. If only all films had such a brilliant personal portrait as the main theme. Issues of the tragic impacts of illegal immigration are played out effectively, but to me was a side story to that of our professor finding himself. Expand
  5. Nan
    Apr 12, 2008
    8
    Excellent performance by Richard Jenkins.
  6. MarilynD.
    Jul 26, 2008
    8
    Delightfully entertaining! Beautiful, yet tragically depressing story.
  7. CharlotteB.
    Oct 31, 2008
    0
    What a disgusting naive liberal white guilt film. White culture is uninspiring to Walter. Only Muslim culture has value. There is What a disgusting naive liberal white guilt film. White culture is uninspiring to Walter. Only Muslim culture has value. There is anti-Semitism in this film that is condoned, when his Jewish named neighbor is portrayed as gay and silly, talking about his dog sprinkles & his mother in Florida. This movie is the height of "guilty white liberalism" when Walter is only respectful of the Muslim characters & satires the non-Muslims. I was deeply disappointed and do not to be brainwashed that third world Syrian & Senegal culture has more dignity than Euro-American. Expand

See all 37 User Reviews

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