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
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by hardydp13
I went to the theater to see this with my mom and grandmother, and in all honesty, I was neither interested in seeing it, nor were my expectations very high.
I'm actually glad that my expectations were lower, because I think that helped me to enjoy the movie more. I would not say that I did not enjoy this film, because that isn't true. However, it probably would not be one that I would see again.
The movie did have an excellent message, though: Live your life.
I appreciated it for what it was, and though I wasn't a huge fan, I would recommend it to anyone who likes movies that are a little strange, as it revolves around Walter's daydreams for a decent portion of the movie.
Daydreamer by vabey
If daydreamer sequences don't bother you-you will enjoy this movie-
Life Magazine was a fixture in the lives of many- and the scenes in this movie are
great movie by jeekub
I like great stories. to me when I see a movie I don't want to see something that uses great special effects at the expense of great storyline. this movie blends the two perfectly. I left the movie theater loving the story of someone who finds themselves in letting go and doing. is that a little cliche "self help" or "get up and go"? maybe, but I still thought it was great, well worth the time and money spent to see it.
A Great Escape Movie by shartzerj
While not true to the book or the old B & W movie version, this is a charming escape movie. Spectacular scenery and great music add value to the experience.
This movie by Jackiewood787
It was great very well done! The story was very well written and the part where he read on the wallet about the meanning of life really made sense! This is a movie worth watching !
Powerful, Inspiring, and Intelligent by pstamato
This movie fully surprised me. Honestly, I would not have expected something of this quality to have come from Ben Stiller. The cast was brilliant at ballancing their humorous tendencies with occasional seriousness, and it serves the light hearted nature of the plot brilliantly. Walter Mitty is a great character with whom the viewer may identify themselves. The plot is at once simple and complex. I left this movie with a greater sense of life.
Inspirational by justinbowers4
This movie inspires me to live life to the fullest and make sure I actually experience it rather than going through the motions of what everyone expects my life to be.
Beautiful and Thoughtful by harringtoncindy
This movie was so beautifully filmed and so quietly thought provoking that it sort of surprised me! The acting was outstanding, and I left the theater with a smile on my face and feeling peaceful. Not sure I've ever left a movie with that emotion. I'd go see it again in a heartbeat! A very sweet and peaceful heartbeat!
INSPIRING by KristinaK
I LOVED this movie. It has breath-taking scenery and inspired me to stop sitting around day dreaming of all the amazing things I could do, and go out and experience what this world has to offer. Left this movie with a feeling of excitement and pure joy.
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.