Metascore
42

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 25
  2. Negative: 7 out of 25
Watch On
  1. 88
    You want a good horror film about a child from hell, you got one. Do not, under any circumstances, take children to see it. Take my word on this.
  2. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    75
    Orphan, with a perverse plot twist at the end, will keep you on tenterhooks from its nightmarish opening scene to its chilling last frame.
  3. A two-hour nervous breakdown.
  4. During a summer with the usual transforming robots and young wizards, this chilly flick is a bit of a break, and there are worse options than letting this Orphan in the door.
  5. Furhman plays pure evil with such supreme calmness that only her eyes shine with madness. Indeed, all of the child actors are superb, especially the expressive Engineer.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    The best part of Orphan is the outstandingly lunatic plot twist that kicks in just as you're checking your watch and hoping they'll wrap things up. This development - I'd love to tell you, but you wouldn't believe me - boosts the movie into overdrive for a final 20 minutes of happy, disreputable mayhem.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    It's a cut above most spooky-kid movies, with a twist that sets it apart.
  8. Reviewed by: Jessica Baxter
    60
    For the most part, Esther is an entertaining and solid addition to the Evil Child canon. There may be something wrong with Esther, but there's nothing terribly wrong with Orphan.
  9. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    60
    The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy.
  10. Assuming your psycho-pigtailed-killer memories extend back as far as "The Bad Seed," Maxwell Anderson's play filmed by director Mervyn LeRoy in 1956, Orphan may remind you of the icon made famous by Patty McCormack.
  11. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    50
    Clocking in at more than two hours, the movie teeters between psychological horror and violent blood-letting and, as such, probably won't completely satisfy fans in either camp.
  12. Orphan descends into a formulaic bloodbath that barely registers a pulse.
  13. The movie pads the good stuff out with a bunch of mediocre mainstream-thriller junk. It takes too long to get started, it pulls some key punches, its dialogue is deeply uninteresting, it relies way too heavily on endless jump-scares and its finale is pure slasher-flick formula.
  14. 50
    Bottom line: This Orphan is an atmospheric and occasionally vicious little git and an above-average entry into the "cuddly hellspawn" genre, overlong at two-plus hours, but nowhere near as excruciatingly overdone as others of its ilk (Devil Times Five, I'm talking to you).
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Teasingly enjoyable rubbish through the first hour, Orphan becomes genuine trash during its protracted second half.
  16. There’s something creepy, and not pleasurably so, about watching children pantomime so much malice and fear.
  17. Orphan doesn't add much to the genre except, disturbingly, a fetishistic bent that's creepy in the wrong way.
  18. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    40
    Predictable and been-there, seen-that, but entertaining nevertheless at times.
  19. 38
    The film mangles its twist and fails to deliver an interesting coup de grace or a sharp line of dialogue.
  20. 38
    Orphan is being marketed as a horror movie, but that's misdirection. It's more of a standard thriller in the "evil amongst us" mode, about a group of people who inadvertently admit a psychopath into their midst.
  21. 33
    If director Jaume Collet-Serra (House Of Wax) set out to make a parody of horror-film clichés, he succeeded brilliantly.
  22. Orphan isn't scary -- it's garish and plodding.
  23. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    30
    Silly, overlong, and bloody as hell, Orphan is likely to turn a sweet profit, money that Leo (DiCaprio), the renowned do-gooder, should spend with shame.
  24. 0
    Depraved, worthless piece of filth.
  25. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    0
    Screenwriters David Johnson and Alex Mace deliver one of the stupidest "twist endings" in the history of storytelling.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 224 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 55
  2. Negative: 7 out of 55
  1. DoctorT.
    Jul 24, 2009
    8
    As a film critic myself, I get annoyed when people say "Oh film critics don't give horror movies a chance" Then I look at this page and As a film critic myself, I get annoyed when people say "Oh film critics don't give horror movies a chance" Then I look at this page and despair. Orphan is a terrific entry to the scary-child genre of horror. Featuring a well-modulated build to a delightfully absurd denouement, the picture is a tad overlong, but never anything less than a hoot. It is worth seeing -- if for nothing else -- for a superb juvenile performance by Isabelle Fuhrman. I fear my colleagues need to undergo some genre re-education. Full Review »
  2. Jul 14, 2012
    10
    I loved this movie. I was on the edge of my seat. The ending was amazing. The story was good. A great thriller! i would definitely recommendI loved this movie. I was on the edge of my seat. The ending was amazing. The story was good. A great thriller! i would definitely recommend this movie!! Full Review »
  3. Jan 26, 2012
    8
    I agree with those who say that is a good because it is. It is engaging, smart, sharp and at time frightening. There are some issues, andI agree with those who say that is a good because it is. It is engaging, smart, sharp and at time frightening. There are some issues, and perhaps there could have been some improvements. The argument, however, it is smart, and it is difficult to get bored because things are always happening. In fact, I disagree, with those who say is trashy, and although some scenes are crude, it is not a torture-porn. To me it is something in between horror and thriller. A good mix, because it makes the plot smar. I think you have to give it a chance...forget about the critics, go with an open mind and decide yourself, it may not be your 'cup of tea', or it might...but give it a go! what is there to lose? ... Full Review »