The Visitor

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Released 2007

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Movie Summary

Director:
Thomas McCarthy , Tom McCarthy
Released:
2007
Rating:
PG-13
The Visitor is a 2008 drama about an unlikely friendship between a college professor and an immigrant couple. Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), a widowed economics professor in his 60s, no longer has passion for his job. He spends most of his spare time taking piano lessons and practicing, hoping to keep alive the memory of his concert pianist wife. After spending some time away, Walter is shocked to find that a young couple has moved into his apartment. Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira), in the country illegally, are the victims of a rental scam. As they prepare to leave, Walter realizes that they have nowhere else to stay and decides to share his apartment with them. He quickly strikes up a friendship with Tarek, who teaches him to play the djembe drum. When Tarek is threatened with deportation and his mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) suddenly arrives, Walter's quiet life is turned upside down.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    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.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    An unassuming but quietly heartbreaking drama.

  • 80

    Variety

    A combination immigrant/resurrection tale, Visitor tilts toward the soulful rather than the political, and could be this year's humanistic indie hit.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Independent, Social Issues