The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: REVIEW

Stop Dreaming. Start Living. 

If “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was a woman, I would marry her.

Inspiring, beautiful, quirky and clever, “Mitty” makes me laugh and makes me cry. It challenges me to look at the world differently, helps me appreciate life more, and gives me hope for the future. 

Is it perfect? Maybe not.
But hey, that’s marriage.

Ben Stiller directs, and stars in, this incredible reimagining of James Thurber’s short story of a hapless day-dreamer. Escaping the monotony of his daily life, Walter Mitty often fades into his fantasy worlds of romance, action, and adventure.

Neither “noteworthy nor mentionable,” Walter lives an anonymous existence as a photo editor at LIFE Magazine, spending his days taking risks in his imagination instead of taking any risks in real life. When a missing negative intended for the magazine’s final cover goes missing, Walter Mitty reluctantly takes action, embarking on a globe-hopping journey that quickly becomes a far greater adventure than any he ever could have imagined.

Ambitious and grand in scope, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is one of the most unique, heartfelt, crowd-pleasing movies of the year. Yes, it’s artsy, reflective, and sentimental. But it’s equally as humorous, entertaining, and fun.

Ben Stiller has proven himself capable of tackling drama not only in front of, but also behind the camera as well. “Mitty” is visually stunning, one of the most gorgeous films I have seen in years. And the music is vibrant, energetic, and amazing as well. Prepare yourself for a new favorite film soundtrack.

Never boring, “Mitty” takes viewers on a breathtaking adventure full of spectacle, wonder, and whimsy. More cynical viewers may find it annoying, but there is no denying the powerful, quirky, beautiful storytelling at play here. Ben Stiller’s modern masterpiece celebrates the power of imagination, while also reminding us that imagination is only as good as the actions it inspires us to.

+ Incredible cinematography: Best of the Year
+ Wonderful, original, soundtrack
Simultaneously reflective and humorous
+ Great to see Ben Stiller pull off a dramatic role
+ Powerful and subtle message that’s never preachy
+ Amazing all-around visual experience

More cynical viewers may not connect with the film’s sentimentality


The motto of LIFE Magazine reads, “to see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind the walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of Life.” So, also, is the motto behind The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It may be too sentimental or artsy for some viewers, but Ben Stiller has crafted a modern masterpiece in this moving story about taking risks and living life to the fullest. Walter Mitty artfully balances reflective moments with the humorous, awes with its incredible scenery, and delights with its wonderful soundtrack. This inspiring adventure about the life of Walter Mitty, the colorful characters he meets in exotic lands, his hopes, his dreams, his failures, and his triumphs, will appeal to the dreamer in everyone.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is rated PG for “language and action violence.” The movie should be fine for any older kids and up!

© Matt Tory, 2013. 

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