The Visitor Reviews

  • This audaciously issues-loaded indie drama works, improbably and entirely, on account of the marvelous, often familiar-looking, rarely starring character actor Richard Jenkins and his perfect performance as a stodgy, widowed economics professor.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • 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.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • All the main characters are inherently decent, and the humanity of their saga, which centers on illegal immigration, makes for a deeply moving film.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • 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

  • This is a film of our times -- paranoid, heartbroken, disillusioned -- and the rare recent American movie whose characters react the way actual people might.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • Both director and cast exhibit the dedication of those who truly believe in the message at hand.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The Visitor tells of renewal through love. Its song is tinged with sadness, but stirring all the same.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Richard Jenkins and "The Visitor" make lovely music together. It's a case of a veteran character actor slipping on a leading role like the most comfortable pair of pants in the world.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • [Richard Jenkins] gets the role of a lifetime in this powerful second film by writer-director Thomas McCarthy.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • 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

  • The Visitor is a delicate, human reminder of why independent films matter.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Both halves of the story ring true in their way, but they don't ring out in harmony.

    Kerry Lengel — Arizona Republic

  • Tom McCarthy's The Visitor, from his own screenplay, is nothing short of a triumph for 60-year-old character actor Richard Jenkins, in his first leading role in a feature film.

    Andrew Sarris — New York Observer

  • A marvelous film, small in expense but big in stature.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

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

    John Anderson — Variety

  • Best movie I've seen so far this year? Hands down, it's Tom McCarthy's superb The Visitor, which turns Richard Jenkins, one of the best character actors in the business, into a full-fledged star.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • The Visitor is a tiny treasure of a movie. This is a wistful comedy that quickly finds its rhythm, but never lets that groove become a rut.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • The story of Vale's revitalization and his grief is compelling but simple, free of any sentimentality, and marked by powerful performances from Jenkins and Hiam Abbass, who plays Mouna Khalil, Tarek's mother.

    Philip Marchand — Toronto Star

  • The film becomes less about the suffering of immigrants who have never enjoyed the embrace of Ellis Island than the righteous indignation of a liberal intelligentsia raging against its own powerlessness.

    Jason McBride — Globe and Mail

  • This is a small picture that explodes the boundaries of what size really means. Sometimes it's the smallest gesture that makes you feel most alive.

    Stephanie Zacharek — Salon.com

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