The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (PG)

Film

Comedy

Time Out rating:

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Time Out says

Tue Dec 17 2013

Ben Stiller directs and stars in this heavy-handed but warm-hearted film of the 1939 James Thurber story that gave the world a nickname for men who daydream about acts of heroism. Stiller’s Mitty is a photo researcher at Life magazine who escapes his humdrum existence by imagining himself in swashbuckling situations – giving Stiller a fantastic excuse for breathtaking locations, show-off effects and Kristen Wiig as the secret object of his affections. When Mitty is faced with redundancy, he turns his dreams into reality, travelling the globe to find a lost negative for the magazine’s final cover.

And so Mitty’s far-fetched dreams come true – and the underlying you-can-do-it message is laid on pretty thick. The film is at its best when played as goofy comedy (there’s a great Benjamin Button-style moment when we see Stiller as an elderly baby). The later, country-hopping scenes feel like flicking through an old copy of National Geographic only to find Sean Penn (playing the mysterious photographer who snapped the missing shot) lurking in its pages as the paragon of outsider authenticity. Cloying at times – but always good-natured.

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Release details

Rated:

PG

UK release:

Thu Dec 26, 2013

Duration:

114 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ben Stiller

Cast:

Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn

Screenwriter:

Steve Conrad

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|32
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Arnold Musisi

The film is brilliantly cast and exceptionally shot and what Stiller does so well is he gets away from the comedic characters that have been ever-present in his career and he brings to life someone we can believe in and someone we see every day; there is a bit of Walter Mitty in all of us. He is a man that has been marginalised by all around and left behind, quite ironically by life itself. Mitty is plagued by missed opportunities and battles through life like most of us do. What should be a sad story turns into one of discovery, overcoming and victory and Stiller does an excellent job making Walter an inspiration on screen. For me, this is what great filmmaking is all about; executing a motion picture that lingers under your skin long after the credits have rolled. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty does exactly that.

robert

A well made film, with some good acting (well, Sean Penn in a brief cameo moment), but very dull. Not a good way to start 2014, but hopefully films can only get better. Definite thumbs down for this one.

villardi

I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I expected to. Having seen some really average Ben Stiller films, this one was more imaginative and quirky with good supporting cast and a story line that keeps you interested. Nothing heavy or too profound but smart and very watchable.

bruce C

A pleasant, light-hearted but undemanding remake of a classic film. It might even mean 'he/she is a real Walter Mitty' sneaks back into everyday vocabulary!

Seraphina Edelmann

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, directed and starring Ben Stiller, is a fantastical journey into the mind of a day-dreamer. Walter, a shy and timid man, is an ordinary ‘Joe’ living an average, rather mundane life as a photographic researcher at Life magazine. Hidden in a dimly lit basement, he spends his days compiling and editing the work of renowned photographers who have travelled the world visiting incredible, exotic locations while undertaking remarkable achievements for the sake of their art. Walter meanwhile squanders his days zoning in and out of his boring existence into a fantastical dream world which is filled with action, romance and heroism. Mitty’s dreams become a reality when he is faced with the task of finding a missing negative for the magazine’s final cover. His globe trotting adventure sees him travel to some incredible places which are beautifully shot luxuriating in some glorious scenery accompanied by an outstanding laid back soundtrack. The film is a heart-warming story with plenty of laugh out loud moments and sentimental messages to encourage you to become who you really want to be and to live your dream. While some may see that as corny, the reason it works is because Mitty is a character you can relate to and believe in.

marion main

I can barely remember the original film with Danny Kaye though remember it being a favourite of my mum. I was keen to see this remake and how ben Stiller would fare as both director and main character. Overall I was not impressed and would have enjoyed it more if the story had been more believable, The scenery was magnificent and the acting good, particularly Sean Penn's small part. Shame - it could have been so much better.

paula rorie

A great movie.. full of funny moments..Ben Stiller plays a great part and brings his great quality and style to the movie.. a real gem.

Eleanor

Lovely, lively and enlightening! The film looks amazing, Ben Stiller is adorable, as is the ending. Totally made me want to go travelling and see the world!

Tina Henley

Absolutely loved The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a very warming film, and brilliantly directed by the man himself, the amazing Ben Stiller

Tina Henley

Absolutely loved The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a very warming film, and brilliantly directed by the man himself, the amazing Ben Stiller

Suzan Crawley

I absolutely loved this film. The photography was amazing along with the special effects. Iceland looked beautiful and the landscapes were breathtaking and the soundtrack was perfect. I remember the original with Danny Kaye so I was not sure what to expect but Ben Stiller, Kristen, Sean Penn and Shirley MacLaine turned this film into a beautiful piece of work. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a feel good movie. That man deserves an Oscar nomination.

Suzan Crawley

I absolutely loved this film. The photography was amazing along with the special effects. Iceland looked beautiful and the landscapes were breathtaking and the soundtrack was perfect. I remember the original with Danny Kaye so I was not sure what to expect but Ben Stiller, Kristen, Sean Penn and Shirley MacLaine turned this film into a beautiful piece of work. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a feel good movie. That man deserves an Oscar nomination.

Gav Duffy

A slightly unbalanced but nevertheless heart-warming movie that is clearly quite important to Ben Stiller - director and lead of the film. The mood changes back and forth between epic moments with shots of the Himalayas and erupting volcanoes, to more slapstick comedy with Stiller entering into a superhero action throw-down with his new boss. In the spirit of the latter, a particular highlight is when Stiller's character tells love interest Kristen Wiig how he has "that disease that Benjamin Button had" and his imagination plays out a life-long love story ending with Stiller as a "weird baby"! Four stars, a good one to watch over the Christmas break.

Petra

Amazing feel good movie. A real gem. Great watch for Christmas season!

Petra

Amazing feel good movie. A real gem. Great watch for Christmas season!

Hannah

Great feel good film. The storyline was interesting, with great acting and an awesome soundtrack.

Hannah

Great feel good film. The storyline was interesting, with great acting and an awesome soundtrack.

Cleo

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' is a wonderfully uplifting film that we thoroughly enjoyed. I'm not entirely convinced that the Forrest Gump comparisons really do it justice, as the main protagonist is less naive and more world-weary, allowing those of a similarly jaded outlook to engage with Mitty more broadly as an audience than Gump. Ben Stiller is a very likeable lead and the supporting cast are excellent entertainment - particularly an obnoxiously awful Adam Scott and an enjoyable Patton Oswalt with a dreadful sense of timing. Quirky, funny and beautifully shot, we left the cinema smiling - what more can you ask of a movie during the holiday season?

Karen Landi

As a die hard fan of Ben Stiller, i was really looking forward to seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as were my 2 younger companions who were 15 and 12 years The dream sequences (and later the" real" sequences) are pretty awesome - skate boarding is now something I may need to try at least once! There were a few laugh out load moments and a fewjump out of your seats moments, some poignant moments and frankly a few boring moments of Ben not quite pulling off the Blue steel look. Overall though, it was entertaining with some amazing effects - my younger companions loved it and chatted about the funny bits all the way home.

Stephen O'Toole

There were many things I liked about this film - beautifully shot in places and some funny moments to boot. However it is unmistakeably a Hollywood production, with a rushed ending and too much cheese for my liking. A decent picture which is unlikely to make a big splash.

Alan Fitter

Quite frankly it was a bit of a mess. It started out making full use of CGI and Mitty's daydreaming but then took a 360 degree turn that was so quick, I nearly got whiplash! The plot was full of holes that you could drive a truck through and it just never came together as a whole - not Ben Stiller's finest moment

Rita Mistry

I loved The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, its such an inspiring film. It made me want to change my life choices and live my life the way I want to live and not what is expected of me. It made me want to go and live my dreams. If you watch one film this year, watch The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty!

Rita Mistry

I loved The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, its such an inspiring film. It made me want to change my life choices and live my life the way I want to live and not what is expected of me. It made me want to go and live my dreams. If you watch one film this year, watch The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty!

Raj Jadeja

watchable, likable, beautiful, and easily digestible. I can imagine it becoming a favourite of many young children as well as cynical adults... Ben Stiller fans will enjoy it.. but good movie fans may have another view