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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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United States, United Kingdom · 2013
1h 54m
Director Ben Stiller
Starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Walter Mitty has been working for a magazine for sixteen years and lives a tedious life. In order to get by, he daydreams an awful lot. When both he and a colleague are about to lose their job, Walter takes action by embarking on an adventure more extraordinary than anything he ever imagined.

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The New Yorker by Anthony Lane

The result may be the oddest film of the season. It boasts an array of sublime backdrops and a yearning score, but the climate of feeling is anxious and inward, encapsulated in Stiller’s darting gaze, and the movie itself keeps glancing backward, at the lost and the obsolete.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Shows none of the edgy storytelling looniness present in Stiller's finest work. Instead, every element seems calculated to service an easygoing commercial product that plays up the sentimentality of the scenario while rendering it inoffensively bland.


Austin Chronicle by Kimberley Jones

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a very pretty production – pretty colors, pretty scenery, pretty bromides – and a busy one, too, which helps distract us from the sad fact that the movie is generous and humane but not all that interesting.


New York Post by Kyle Smith

The story of a guy who never goes anywhere or does anything. Until he goes everywhere and does everything, but he might as well have stayed home.


Slant Magazine by Nick Schager

Ben Stiller's aesthetics blend overly manicured imagery with soaring rock songs that underline every emotion, lest the film's corporate logo-driven message-making didn't get the point across clearly enough.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Rather than channeling James Thurber’s satirical tone, Stiller plays it mostly earnest, spinning what feels like a feature-length “Just Do It” ad.


The Playlist by Rodrigo Perez

Part escapist action-adventure, part would-be exhilarating quest of self-discovery, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty isn’t so much a mess because it wants to be everything at once, but because it employs hackneyed and mawkish methods to achieve a false sense of joyfulness.

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