User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 142

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  1. Nov 15, 2011
    5
    Orphan is a decent, but it fails to live up to expectations and is overlong, but the end is good though.
  2. Jun 1, 2012
    8
    Depuis quelques temps, les Espagnols deviennent incontournables dans le style de l'angoisse et de l'horreur (Les Autres, [REC], L'Orphelinat). Nouveau titre à ajouter dans cette collection : Esther ! Un film d'une redoutable efficacité et d'une perversité sans nom (au point que l'on croirait voir la fille d'Hannibal Lecter) qui tire partie de son ambiance, de son scénario (révélation finale inattendue, personnages approfondis, cohérences scénaristiques...) et de son casting (Vera Farmiga, naturelle, la jeune Isabelle Fuhrman, impressionnante et surtout angoissante). Autant le dire tout de suite, on ne s'en sort pas indemme ! Pour le prouver, cela faisait longtemps que je n'avais pas été aussi impressionné par un film du genre qui pourrait monter aussi haut dans le panthéon, presque au point de sa ranger du côté de L'Exorciste. Continuez comme ça, les Espagnols ! Vous vous démarquez des divertissements "abrutis" appelés films d'horreur américains ! Expand
  3. Feb 24, 2013
    8
    I was a bit hesitant to see this movie, because to me, the story seemed unbelievable. How evil could a 10 year old girl be, right? ...wrong! Esther is one crazy little I really didn't think I'd like this movie, but I loved it. Isabelle Fuhrman is amazing in this film. If the performance wasn't in the context of a messed up girl in a horror movie, she would have gotten academy notice, she was THAT good. Jimmy Bennett was also really good playing her adoptive brother, he even did his own stunts. Every time I see this kid he gets better and better, and I think you'll be seeing his name in films for the next fifty years. The parents don't really have a major role in the film, but they were equally as good. The cast was great, the lead was amazing, the story was solid, and there is a hell of a twist at the end, that in and of itself makes this film worth watching. Expand
  4. 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, 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? ... Expand
  5. Feb 2, 2013
    7
    A family of four is torn apart after adopting a seemingly sweet and intelligent Russian girl. Her mysterious past catches up with them as a series of accidents befall the family members and anyone else that crosses Esther's path. ORPHAN was a big hit upon its release in 2009, despite its many setbacks that keep it from becoming a classic in the killer kids genre. The character of Esther is written and played far too menacingly for her to remain unnoticed. There is no ambiguity in her actions, as she is clearly portrayed as being evil from the very start. As a result, much of the film relies on the shock of her actions rather than the build up or suspense leading up to them. It does, however, manage to maintain the mystery behind her shady background long enough to give the audience one final surprise! Esther's adopted parents are easily the most frustrating parents in recent Horror. Her crackpot mother is irritating and irresponsible, while her idiot father stands completely oblivious to her evil ways in light of the horrible tragedies that are affecting his family. They gain no sympathy or support as a result. If films were graded solely on their twist endings, ORPHAN would rate at the top of its class, but the carelessness of the writing cannot be overcome by the clean cinematography or Isabelle Fuhrman's creepy performance as Esther. -Carl Manes
    I Like Horror Movies
    Expand
  6. May 24, 2012
    7
    I recently rented this movie and saw it for the first time. Orphan is a new take on an old horror genre - the evil child movie. But the twist at the end is probably what makes the movie even more disturbing when you watch the movie again. The bits of dialogue in the film, while not particularly memorable, seem to have a more sinister take in the second viewing. The acting in the film was especially good. Isabelle Fuhrman's acting was particularly notable without saying, but it would be folly to overlook the convincing performances of the rest of the cast. The story itself was good at it's core, but it fell flat at major points, such as pacing and introducing character development at wrong moments. The latter part of that sentence is especially important, as it seemed that the filmmakers wanted to introduce new flaws in the protagonist to excuse the actions of the antagonist late in the film. On another note, the movie worked too hard to have a disruptive character (the Orphan) integrate into a disrupted family, almost as if she had some sort of hand in the problems that plagued the family before showing up to wreak havoc. In a horror movie, one-dimensional characters aren't a problem, but when there's too much depth to potential victims you have trouble following. Lastly, as mentioned before, the pacing of the film poor and slow. For some reason, "Suspense" was defined as utilizing camera shots and cheap jump shots to establish an atmosphere of "on edge" horror. While it might work for some films, I can't understand why it was used throughout this entire movie, particularly when the antagonist hasn't even shown up. It began to get old and predictable to a point that when the real horror began, you could tell that the filmmakers weren't even that interested in it anymore. The film gets this rating for trying to be original and bringing in a strong troupe of performers who did well with what they had to work with. But the story could have been a little less complex, maybe camped up. Expand
  7. 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 recommend this movie!!
  8. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    Best Film Ever !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! Expand
  9. Sep 9, 2012
    9
    Disturbing, well acted horror/suspense film that delivers on all levels, with a shocking twist ending that left me reeling. The chase scene goes on a bit too far, but otherwise this is gem of a scare movie.
  10. Apr 29, 2013
    8
    Orphan is a really great thriller, not involving ghosts, aliens, possessed girl/boy, monsters, no...this movie is a story that can happen, although the twist is kind of not real, but I don't know, on the other hand I know that orphan is scary because it is about a child who kills, who knows what children can do these days?
  11. Mar 24, 2013
    9
    Isabelle Fuhrman gives a stunning performance in this blood-chilling film.
  12. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    It's fun, it's twisted, and I definitely want to see it again. Esther's character was played to a tee, and it all comes together in the end. While the scary, manipulative kid movie is certainly cliche, it manages to pull it off in a refreshing way.
  13. Nov 21, 2010
    10
    very good child horror movie, with very good plot twist. The acting was sub-par but the girl how played ester should get a oscar. This movie will keep you on the edge of your seats throught out.
  14. Nov 22, 2010
    6
    Orphan first brings viewers a distraught mother who has been sober for a little less than a year and wants to adopt a child, mostly of the fact of a recent miscarraige. From a film standpoint, it seems her decision is swift. She immediately wants to know about this girl who seems to have immigrated from an orphanage in Russia. But things turn ugly when only the mother of the family starts to notice strange behaviors from Esther, and because of her past issues with alcohol and a tense relationship with her husband, nobody seems to take interest in the events. Esther soon becomes the silent danger that will have you on the edge of your seat by the final scene. What seems to be the most suprising while I was watching was the graceful but strangely sudden turning point halfway in. The first half centers on the status of the family, creating a subtle and simple platform once Esther enters there modern home. Gore is grousome, and plot is simple. Some horror fans could be displeased though. Expand
  15. Feb 19, 2011
    6
    Why does it seem like most movies are just recycled and revamped? Why does it seem like when your watching a movie you think to yourself, haven't I been here before? Deja Vu? Why is it that in most suspense films there's always that one person in the film that doesn't believe the hero, when he/she says that evil, true deep evil is lurking? They always banish them as "Crazy". Maybe that's what supplies the suspense. Sometimes I wish that they would gather all those movies where the heroes was never believed and make sequels on how stupid those disbelieving S.O.B. 's look after the truth is revealed. Like a sequel to Dragonfly when Kathy Bates dismissed Kevin Costner as being "Crazy" when he tells her he's being haunted by his dead wife, Oh, how idiotic she must've felt when he steps off the Plane with his dead wife's new born child. Hey, If Hollywood can spew out crappy movie ideas then so can I!!!!! Don't get me wrong, Orphan is a good movie, I loved it, it's just I'm tired of the same old suspense tricks they use over and over again!!!! Expand
  16. Aug 23, 2011
    5
    Not a particularly brilliant movie but kudos for using an original idea and for using the psychological route rather than pure horror. Worth a look if you're a fan of the genre, otherwise you're probably going to hate it.
  17. Jan 22, 2014
    9
    "Orphan" is one of the most shocking movies of the past decade. It starts so relaxed and slowly taking shape infernal cruelty of Esther. Without any doubt, Isabel Fuhrman makes a gorgeous performance, perhaps one of the most terrible villains who have been in the paper recently. Expectant at its best, leaves you on edge in the last frame.
  18. May 23, 2011
    5
    Orphan manages to build great tension in such a thin premise while showcasing well the talents of the young cast - especially Isabelle Muhrman (a nightmarish incarnation of child creeps from the past) and Aryana Engineer. To sum it all up, though, it's an undercooked and tired thriller.
  19. Oct 16, 2011
    6
    A terrifying and convincing performance from Isabelle Fuhram and its good premise is ruined when "Orphan" fells into the commonplace and prosaic plot so often found on this kind of film.
  20. Jul 8, 2013
    9
    Orphan is a 2009 horror-thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. After suffering a miscarriage Kate Coleman decide to adopt Esther, a child in an orphanage who can hit for its sweetness. At home, however, accidents happen that Esther seems responsible. The film manages to convey tension and anxiety to the viewer thanks to strong scenes and incredible Isabelle Fuhrman which proves to be a great actress. Good directing and also good music. The only flaw is the ending that seems to been done in a hurry. Expand
  21. Jun 6, 2012
    8
    This Has A Really God Plot And Acting!
    A Real 8! One Of The Best Writen Horror Movies Of All Time!
  22. Apr 20, 2013
    3
    I would've never thought that this movie would degenerate so much. Most of its second half is just immensely stupid and unbearably preposterous. While the beginning is suspenseful and seems to build up a good horror movie with a snowballing amount of frightening scenes, it just totally falls apart at the end. I could have lived with some of the absurd stuff happening in Orphan before, but at some point it was just enough. It decayed in illogical, dumbly disturbing action that wasn't enjoyable in any possible way. This is pretty disappointing regarding the way the movie started and continued during the first hour: it kept you interested about Esther, the screenplay introduced us better to the other parts of the family as well, the scenes that were supposed to scare you scared me. Everything like it should be in a good psychological horror. But when the grotesque truth about Esther is finally revealed, I was sitting there like “This is why I usually don't like horror movies.” It was a very unpleasant experience, not only because the extremely disturbing things the orphan girl is doing in this movie, but also because it leaves you sitting there, pondering about why you've ever took this movie seriously. Okay, Isabelle Fuhrmann did a surprising job as Esther although I didn't enjoy her that much since the screenplay wasn't really good and Vera Fermiga was a good lead, mostly. However, this ending just makes you angry because it totally destroys a movie that could've been good, but ends up being an imbecile disaster. Seriously, this ending was one of the worst I've seen in movie history. Expand
  23. Feb 24, 2013
    5
    Pretty good movie, I liked it and enjoyed it. However, I hated the main character so much it really kept me from really liking it...however that might have been the point. Overall I'd say it's worth a watch.
  24. May 14, 2013
    9
    One of the scariest movies I have ever seen!
    It is completely real, no ghosts or supernatural things.
    After Esther's secret is revealed, the movie turns into a nervous and bloody shocker!
    The movie is definitely underrated!
  25. Jun 11, 2013
    7
    A thriller movie that will keep you until the end and the end is really good. It has action and some scary scenes I liked the girl and Vera Farmiga. It was better than other thriller-horror movies that are coming out these days...
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
  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. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    40
    Teasingly enjoyable rubbish through the first hour, Orphan becomes genuine trash during its protracted second half.