Reviewer's grade: A-
Character actor Richard Jenkins has the spotlight all to himself in this realistic portrait of a man with nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there.
He plays a college professor who, on a trip to New York, discovers that a pair of illegal immigrants"Tarek (Haaz Sleiman, "American Dreamz") from Syria, and Zainab (Danai Gurira), a young woman from Senegal"are living in his apartment. The three, plus Tarek's mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass, "Munich"), form an at first uneasy friendship that increases in intensity when Tarek is detained by the Immigration Service and threatened with deportation.
The story is a powerful one and writer/director Tom McCarthy ("The Station Agent") takes you to surprising places more often than he follows the standard Hollywood map. Jenkins is so good you'll wonder why he has so often been relegated to secondary supporting roles. PG-13