Box art for The Visitor

The Visitor


Walter (Academy-Award®-nominee Richard Jenkins) is a disaffected college professor who has been drifting aimlessly through his life.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5

Insightful drama shatters post-9/11 stereotypes.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this thoughtful drama -- which celebrates the diversity of other cultures -- explores the hot-button issue of immigration. There's a little bit of swearing and some drinking, but overall the content is age-appropriate for teens, though very sensitive kids may be upset by the fact that the story doesn't spare the heartbreak that comes when families are separated abruptly. Characters pay dearly for their mistakes, even accidental ones. It's clear that the filmmaker has a strong point of view about U.S. policy since 9/11, but he attempts to be fair and even-handed.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the wide range of attitudes toward people who are in the U.S. illegally. How do you think the filmmaker feels about the immigrant characters he has created? What contributions do they make to their adopted country? Does this movie change any of your ideas about people and families from the Middle East and Africa? What about immigration in general? What do you think the movie's final message is?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 28
    see all The Visitor reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The Visitor gives viewers a perceptive, deeply personal take on the timeless immigrant narrative, in which the most epic journey is finally one of self-discovery.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fresh: The astonishing sensitivity with which Richard Jenkins approaches his role is nicely complimented by the performances of other cast members.

- Brian Webster, Apollo Guide, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: At first glance Walter isn't a guy you want to spend two hours with. But by the end of the film, you don't want to see him go. Jenkins is like that: He sneaks up on you and steals your heart with light-fingered skill.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, May 2, 2008

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Richard Jenkins brilliantly portrays a lonely college professor who has nothing in his life since his wife died. When he's unexpectedly sent to New York to present a paper a colleague wrote, he finds his apartment has been taken over by an immigrant couple who have been living there for two months. After allowing them to stay, Tarek gets arrested and is on the brink of deportation which puts a new spin on Vale's life and existence since these two are really the only thing he has now. With Tarek's mother, they try and fight his deportation. It's heartwarming, but altogether sad and sometimes funny as the whole film shows just how cruel and unusual the system works since 9/11. This isn't the first film to deal with the after-effects of the terrorist attacks, but it works rather well and is interesting enough to keep your attention. very well-made with believeable performances from all involved.

- middleeasternfilms, Thursday, November 11, 2010

4 stars

Beautiful. It took some time to get into the film but by the end you are hooked and so involved with the characters. Great acting, great cast, beautifully shot. Love it!

- dreamfaeries, Sunday, August 29, 2010

5 stars

Now this is an experience not to be missed. I've mentioned in past comments that my primary prayer when I watch a flim is being able to care about characters as if they were real human beings. I present Exhibit A. The good people who carried out this project fired on all cylinders. I've not seen something this moving in many moons. The proverbial icing on the cake is the soundtrack. The music is an integral part of the movie, and it is brilliant. If you want to remember why movies are supposed to be made, this is a guaranteed refresher opportunity.

- binky013, Friday, July 30, 2010