OK for kids 12+
Inspiring seize-the-day tale with some peril and flirting.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring and directed by Ben Stiller, may be based on James Thurber's short story, but it's very different from it and the original 1947 movie. It's a tween- and teen-friendly tale full of hope, with a can-do, go-big-or-go-home message that's backed by sensational special effects. Expect some swearing, including "hell" and "s--t," and some jarring scenes of conflict, though no graphic violence.
Families can talk about the messages in the movie. What makes Walter finally take action? Does the movie try to inspire you to do something? What holds people back from pursuing their dreams?
Talk about the workplace needling that goes on at Walter's office once the downsizing is announced. Is this bullying? How does Walter handle it, and why does the bully get away with it for a while?
If you've read the short story, how does the movie compare? What are some of the challenges of turning a book or story into a movie?
The good stuff
Messages: You are your worst barrier. Get out of your own way.
Role models: Walter Mitty is tired of being too careful. So when an opportunity arises that allows him to push past his limitations and help the magazine he has loved for so long, and possibly impress the woman he likes in the process, he finally goes for it.
What to watch for
Violence: A man jumps into a building, crashing through the window, and the entire structure explodes soon after from a gas leak. A man threatens another at a bar, breaking a beer bottle and threatening his opponent with the shards. A man attacks a guy with a briefcase. A shark attacks a man, its jaws snapping.
Sex: Some flirting and an unrequited crush is part of the story.
Language: Some swearing, including "bull," "suck," "hell," "d--k" and "s--t."
Consumerism: The film is set in the Time and Life Building in NYC, which are the headquarters of Life Magazine, so there are plenty of mentions of the publication. Also: Dell, Papa John's, Sony, Cinnabon, Careerbuilder.com, Facebook, Instagram, Heinekin, Zero attache case. It's also practically an ad for e-Harmony, which is mentioned numerous times.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking at a bar; one man is totally inebriated and pilots a helicopter.
Fan Reviews provided by
Surprise, the movie is actually cute! by tropical839
Ben Stiller plays this role straight. I was skeptical he could pull it off and for the first 20 minutes I was on the fence about the movie. By the last 20 minutes I was fully enjoying the cuteness of the movie. The story line turns out to be sweet without saccharine after taste and I left the movie in a great mood. Looking for something cute? Go see it!
Very delightful by mckaig.donald
Ben Stiler does a great job in the leading role walking us through the movie. As for the movie itself, like most day dreams it's funny sad and wierd all at the same time and it probably would have fallen flat if it wasn't for Ben Stiler and some of the one liners in the movie. I thought it was very enjoyable though some might have thought it slow and dragging. I would recommend it as a nice way to spend a night out.
Joe by jcbond2
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was a fantastic movie that would be a good watch for adults or children.
I loved the cinematography?there was beautiful scenery.
It won't go down as the greatest movie ever, but it felt good (just like the trailer makes you expect it to).
Enjoyable by dabbytoo
The movie started a little slow for me, as I didn't care for the day-dreaming scenes. As the plot of the movie began to develop I enjoyed it a great deal.
Best film to date in 2013. Pure uplifting and enjoyable entertainment of all that is good and what can be accomplished. by Subby
Best film to date in 2013. Pure uplifting and enjoyable entertainment of all that is good and what can be accomplished.
For once a movie that is not based on Sex, Murder, Violence, Drugs and braking the law.
An absolute must see. I will be going back to see again with my wife who could not attend.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by jmattan
Really liked it. Kept thinking about the scale of the scenery and the accompanying soundtrack as we were very entertained by this movie.
Only thing we didn't like: Sean Penn's acting. The good news is he only acts for about 5 minutes of the film.
Eat, Pray, Love 2: This Time It's a Dude by thetadeltatau
I mocked this movie for months everytime I saw a preview. It looked like a scene for scene remake of Eat Pray Love but with Ben Stiller cast in the lead. That being said, I went to see it on a whim one day, and while the movies do bear some similarities, Mitty is clearly the superior movie, and is not so much derivative as simply in the same genre. The movie contains some awesome visuals, but also challenges the viewer to accept the basic sameness of all of humanity while simultaneously telling a sort of "coming of age" story about a man shackled by his own dreams and expectations about himself. I highly recommend it.
BRING BACK DANNY KAYE by messemom
The cinematography was the only good thing about this movie
The movie totally lost the feeling of the Thurber short story and the original movie
After waiting for months to see it I was very disappointed
Inspirational for All by tump26
After hearing high acclaim from friends, I found the movie to be uplifting and the cinematography to be amazing. The 2 hours flew by. Great outing for the family.
My only irk was there were a couple of spots where you didn't know what was reality vs. not. It got confusing.
Delightful! Saw it 3 times by yvonne697
Creative, Funny, Poignant, Beautifully Crafted.... So fun and inspiring. Hats off to Ben Stiller! I have never posted a review, but felt compelled for the first time as I am floored by the luke warm response to this film by the critics. What a refreshing change from all the doom and gloom and negative messages that often seem to monopolize current film making. I recommend this film to EVERYONE I know.