User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 229
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  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 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 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. Expand
  2. 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 aI 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
  3. 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!!
  4. 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 toOrphan 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
  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 isA 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 filmI 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. Collapse
  7. Mar 24, 2013
    9
    Isabelle Fuhrman gives a stunning performance in this blood-chilling film.
  8. 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!
  9. Sol
    Sep 6, 2009
    6
    I guess, this film belongs in the middle - it's not a masterpiece, it's not some useless piece of trash... around it lovers and haters alike, each praising or attacking it for all of its stereotypes... Generally, I liked it, there are sudden twists that made me sit intense all along during the projection. I'll never understand others from the audience usually enjoying snacksI guess, this film belongs in the middle - it's not a masterpiece, it's not some useless piece of trash... around it lovers and haters alike, each praising or attacking it for all of its stereotypes... Generally, I liked it, there are sudden twists that made me sit intense all along during the projection. I'll never understand others from the audience usually enjoying snacks when sitting and watching films like 'Orphan'. Isabelle is brilliant but too exposed in her character role, and yes, like many say - you immediately dislike her... not necessarily because of her stereotypical child-like princess charms, but simply because people like this (whether kids or adults) when insisting on being adored and 'your best friends' have a disturbing side to their persona... Amazing how obviously wrong something about Esther is, while naive loving couple oversees the girl's overarticulatedness as something of a virtue. I like the idea of exposing how sinister a manipulator a child can be - confronting adults in their ever-present sense of affection no matter how extreme child's actions might get. There is an explanation for everything - however, psychopathic beaviour is too perverse a game mother nature provided for the human race. Expand
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, sheI 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. Aug 29, 2014
    9
    I watched Orphan countless times, and I feel like watching it every now and then. It happens that I have just seen it for the hundredth time, so I felt like I should shoutout my favorite film of all time to you people. Without being biased, Orphan does have some issues it is not a perfect film, but I see it as a masterpiece.

    Biased Rating 100%
    True Rating 91%
  16. 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!
  17. grazib
    Jul 25, 2009
    8
    Super fun! agree with NPR Nathan Lee The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy. but that was fun, i had a great time and everyone else in the theatre.
  18. BillP.
    Jul 26, 2009
    9
    Great great flick....scariest and thrilliest movie NOT involving monsters or aliens......scariest thing I've seen since first The Hills Have Eyes......the twist at the end makes the whole movie worth while and then you want to go abck and see again to pick up on the clues. Saarsgard kinda drole but his wife Kate puts up an amazing role and 11 year actress Isabelle is amazing as Great great flick....scariest and thrilliest movie NOT involving monsters or aliens......scariest thing I've seen since first The Hills Have Eyes......the twist at the end makes the whole movie worth while and then you want to go abck and see again to pick up on the clues. Saarsgard kinda drole but his wife Kate puts up an amazing role and 11 year actress Isabelle is amazing as Esther.....I totally dug it and the shooting was amazing and I thought wife's role amazing drinking problem and all. Expand
  19. 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.
  20. 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 sonDepuis 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
  21. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    Best Film Ever !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!!Best Film Ever !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! !!!!! 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  22. 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.
  23. TammyC
    Aug 30, 2009
    8
    Very good movie , had a good twist in the movie, worth going to see.
  24. AaronN
    Aug 6, 2009
    6
    It certainly isnt anywhere original but it strays from the trend of "girl/boy has flashbacks of an evil or alternate world" plot that alot of the horror flicks in the past few years had been revolving around. The only things this movie could greatly offer is sheer confusion throughout the development.
  25. AlfredH
    Aug 8, 2009
    7
    It left me wishing the ending was completely different. This could have been the movie which left you being terrified of young children for the rest of your life. Instead I was left wondering why the captain from The Shield suddenly became a nun and couldn't take a midget.
  26. LukeD
    Aug 10, 2009
    7
    The ending didn't go the way I wanted, but sadly the way I expected. Too many clichés but well executed. IMHO they did not go nearly as far as many a sick and twisted mind could have taken the film (and I'm not talking about the gore). This was probably to get past the censors and the more reactionary sections of the press and the film is the worse for it. Perhaps the The ending didn't go the way I wanted, but sadly the way I expected. Too many clichés but well executed. IMHO they did not go nearly as far as many a sick and twisted mind could have taken the film (and I'm not talking about the gore). This was probably to get past the censors and the more reactionary sections of the press and the film is the worse for it. Perhaps the uncut version will rectify this. Expand
  27. DerekG
    Aug 3, 2009
    9
    Some of it is fairly predictable, and the scoring is absolutely terrible. HOWEVER, I am giving it a 9 because the family's backstory is really well-written and the twist is great. What really shines in this film, though, is the performances, which are stellar from all the major players, particularly Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman. P.S. - People need to get over their "creepy Some of it is fairly predictable, and the scoring is absolutely terrible. HOWEVER, I am giving it a 9 because the family's backstory is really well-written and the twist is great. What really shines in this film, though, is the performances, which are stellar from all the major players, particularly Vera Farmiga and Isabelle Fuhrman. P.S. - People need to get over their "creepy fetish" issues with this movie. I can almost guarantee you that's why it's getting so many negative reviews. Expand
  28. JoeM
    Aug 3, 2009
    9
    I went to see Orphan despite the Horrible reviews most critics were giving it & was appalled at myself for almost listening to these knuckleheads. A movie this entertaining & well acted should not get zero's & 20's or whatever these ridiculously jaded critics are giving it. It was thrilling,well acted & btw i will continue to believe the only critic that matters, Roger Ebert I went to see Orphan despite the Horrible reviews most critics were giving it & was appalled at myself for almost listening to these knuckleheads. A movie this entertaining & well acted should not get zero's & 20's or whatever these ridiculously jaded critics are giving it. It was thrilling,well acted & btw i will continue to believe the only critic that matters, Roger Ebert thank you for being the critic most in touch with the movie going audience. Expand
  29. NickR
    Aug 5, 2009
    3
    I would have recast this movie with Tracy Gold and Ian Ziering as the parents, Meredith Baxter-Berney as the grandmother, and Eric Roberts as the exposition guy late in the film. And if those clues weren't enough, I'm saying it would be more at home airing on Lifetime. I only give it a three because it's absolutely hilarious. Watch this movie at a theater with the loudest I would have recast this movie with Tracy Gold and Ian Ziering as the parents, Meredith Baxter-Berney as the grandmother, and Eric Roberts as the exposition guy late in the film. And if those clues weren't enough, I'm saying it would be more at home airing on Lifetime. I only give it a three because it's absolutely hilarious. Watch this movie at a theater with the loudest crowd you can find. You'll have a great time. Expand
  30. HarryPapas
    Oct 5, 2009
    1
    Predictable from the outset with a failed "twist" ending (a 9 year old could predict it if they used some common sense...or even a 33 year old ;) all the clues are there), devoid of any suspense throughout, full of cliches, plot holes and poor dialogue, painfully overlong. The acting is decent though often unintentionally comedic (the weird Russian...well actually Estonian accent addsPredictable from the outset with a failed "twist" ending (a 9 year old could predict it if they used some common sense...or even a 33 year old ;) all the clues are there), devoid of any suspense throughout, full of cliches, plot holes and poor dialogue, painfully overlong. The acting is decent though often unintentionally comedic (the weird Russian...well actually Estonian accent adds insult to injury). On the plus side, it almost succeeds as a character study and is good technically (if we choose to ignore the poor score which again is comedic) Overall a hugely disappointing film which attempts to convey itself as disturbing, "clever" and original but is frustratingly silly and misleading. And while ultimately it succeeds in being disturbing it does this in all the wrong ways. Only to be enjoyed as a parody. Expand
  31. WilliamY
    Jul 26, 2009
    9
    Jimmy J, you have no respect for the movie establishment. ----SPOILER---- You have to give the movie credit before the twist ending (after contacting the institute) ----END SPOILER---- I just saw the movie yesterday with my girlfriend and one of my best friends and honestly, I loved it. I would have to definitley give it more props than ALL of the main-stream "horror" movies nowadays. Jimmy J, you have no respect for the movie establishment. ----SPOILER---- You have to give the movie credit before the twist ending (after contacting the institute) ----END SPOILER---- I just saw the movie yesterday with my girlfriend and one of my best friends and honestly, I loved it. I would have to definitley give it more props than ALL of the main-stream "horror" movies nowadays. Friday the Thirteenth SUCKED, it was porn and gore and I predicted half ot it. (Which is decently easy through use of camera shots, background music and timing throughout the movie) The newest Halloween (again) sucked, now mind you I'm a fan of all the old ones. But really Orphan gave me a thrill ride, I was literally on the edge of my seat for some of the movie. The shock factor (especially from "children") throughout various parts of the movie really got me. Perhaps it was just because they were children that I was more concerned, felt it was more demented and twisted than any other movie out there. I must say, the twist was a little cheesy and unrealistic, however the movie would have been perfectly fine without it. (except explaining the fact that a nine year old had the intelligence to plan half this stuff). Washington post review didn't offer anything against the movie, only called it bad names... that is BS. Expand
  32. kgm.
    Jul 26, 2009
    3
    Isabelle Fuhrman as
  33. BryanT
    Jul 29, 2009
    2
    I think I would have enjoyed this film more if "The Good Son" hadn't been made. The plot was good, but I felt the execution was poor. I'm sure there are many people who would enjoy this movie. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. BOTTOM LINE: I wouldn't walk out, but I can't recommend anyone should see it, either.
  34. AngelV
    Aug 23, 2009
    10
    This movie has some magic in it,ive watch it three times and still loving it.
  35. 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 startsOrphan 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
  36. 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'sWhy 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
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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, butI 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
  41. 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.
  42. 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...
  43. Jun 6, 2014
    5
    "I loved it!!!" -Dr. Sigmund Freud.

    Ha ha, but no seriously, this film was not that believable. Nor was it particularly scary, it was more irritating than anything else. I suppose it's a thriller, but the plot progression relies on ALL the characters lacking any common sense whatsoever. Such a story device does not make a for good film in my opinion. As a male, the film was hard
    "I loved it!!!" -Dr. Sigmund Freud.

    Ha ha, but no seriously, this film was not that believable. Nor was it particularly scary, it was more irritating than anything else. I suppose it's a thriller, but the plot progression relies on ALL the characters lacking any common sense whatsoever. Such a story device does not make a for good film in my opinion.

    As a male, the film was hard to get into. The husband's role was more of a prop than a realistic fleshed-out character. Focusing more in the relationship between John and Esther would have been interesting.
    Expand
  44. IlozZ
    Aug 14, 2009
    7
    Dressed in Old World frilly finery, speaking with a European accent that would make Bela Lugosi blush, and harboring a dark secret that makes her a dicey addition to the Coleman family, Esther's talent with a claw hammer and penchant for surreptitious mayhem is a solid B-movie thrill ride not seen in a while. The twist-ending will also make anyone currently seeking adoption Dressed in Old World frilly finery, speaking with a European accent that would make Bela Lugosi blush, and harboring a dark secret that makes her a dicey addition to the Coleman family, Esther's talent with a claw hammer and penchant for surreptitious mayhem is a solid B-movie thrill ride not seen in a while. The twist-ending will also make anyone currently seeking adoption double-check that paperwork again and again. Expand
  45. KCJ.
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    First and foremost why in the world would getting splashed in the face with there fuel source cause him to mutate into one of them. Even if i mutated him y would the mutation take their form. yes yes i know its alien but it is unfair to just try an explain everything a away with that simple fact. its like answering every question with by saying god did it. lets just chalk it up to bad First and foremost why in the world would getting splashed in the face with there fuel source cause him to mutate into one of them. Even if i mutated him y would the mutation take their form. yes yes i know its alien but it is unfair to just try an explain everything a away with that simple fact. its like answering every question with by saying god did it. lets just chalk it up to bad writing. It Really did not make any since that the alien was looking for cans of their fuel on earth that means they had to have brought it with them when they left the ship and just discarded it y would they do this!!! Cause i think it would have been a lot easier to just look for it while they were on the ship. Second off there were many things in the movie that was not explained why could the understand each other so well but neither side could speak a single word of the others language. Third Why is there a super high tech ship with aliens that are dumber as dumb as a pack of wild dog and acted as such. even if they were just workers and they had a superior race then why would they give them a ship and deadly guns. Forth how did they become stranded when the only thing keeping the ship from leaving was the fact on one was on it. i mean why would he detach that control room from the bigger ship stranding them there. I just think this story line was just haphazardly thrown together for a quick buck after they canceled HALO and based on this movie im am elated Peter Jackson and the other guy did not make HALO they would have messed it up beyond belief Because when it does come out it will be about the prequel book by Eric Nylund like it always should have been. Expand
  46. HannahM
    Aug 18, 2009
    10
    I saw this movie and found it absolutely thrilling. The storyline was fanstastic and the whole thing was very well put together. At first you know that Esther [The Orphan] is going to be the villian in the story, but she acts so sweet and nice that you think "Is this sweet young child really going to be the villain?! She can't be'. The things Esther do are so sick and twisted, I saw this movie and found it absolutely thrilling. The storyline was fanstastic and the whole thing was very well put together. At first you know that Esther [The Orphan] is going to be the villian in the story, but she acts so sweet and nice that you think "Is this sweet young child really going to be the villain?! She can't be'. The things Esther do are so sick and twisted, but it really adds fear to the film. The scene that reallys gets to me is the scene where Esther picks the flowers that her adopted mother had been growing around her misscaried babys grave and gives them to her mum as a 'present' [when she knows that in actual fact her mother will be so upset]. The ending is not how you would expect it to be, it leaves you on absolute pins. It is just as much disturbing as it is scary like When Esther [ 9 years old ] tries to seduce her adopted father. You may think but why know, but will soon find out. Oh Yeah, and don't take ANY kid with you okay? Expand
  47. StephenF
    Aug 29, 2009
    9
    Ann Hornaday gave the movie a 0 and Cliff Doerksen says 0, sounds like childish non professional reviewers hating on a movie. Its offensive and abusive to see how they devastated something new and original yet a superior plot twist, i gotta say the twist can barely be wondered if you connect all details but if not it can strike with force, its really horrifying. Overall if deeply analyzed Ann Hornaday gave the movie a 0 and Cliff Doerksen says 0, sounds like childish non professional reviewers hating on a movie. Its offensive and abusive to see how they devastated something new and original yet a superior plot twist, i gotta say the twist can barely be wondered if you connect all details but if not it can strike with force, its really horrifying. Overall if deeply analyzed orphan is one of the best movies of 2009 in the genre putting tension of the family material which was surprisingly effective for then giving the audience a risky but mind blowing twist, it was skillfully achieved,great acting performances and even if it falls in the mean children category the story is nothing short of original. Expand
  48. JimmyJamieson
    Jul 24, 2009
    1
    not scary. WHY CAN"T ANYTHING BE SCARY THESE DAYS??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fell asleep halfway through and before it ended, I decided to start throwing popcorn at screen and put on my own dancing act in front of the screen and eventually got banned from the theater... True Story Btw. Bottomline, this movie SUCKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! Big TIme
  49. ChadS.
    Jul 24, 2009
    7
    Is it a gratuitous scare, or not a gratuitous scare: at the outset of "Orphan", where that venerable horror cliche, the menace in the medicine cabinet mirror who, during the cabinet's brief interim of non-use, materializes seemingly from thin air, when the looker reunites with the looking glass, and sees four eyes instead of two? We're pretty sure that John Coleman(Peter Is it a gratuitous scare, or not a gratuitous scare: at the outset of "Orphan", where that venerable horror cliche, the menace in the medicine cabinet mirror who, during the cabinet's brief interim of non-use, materializes seemingly from thin air, when the looker reunites with the looking glass, and sees four eyes instead of two? We're pretty sure that John Coleman(Peter Saarsgard) isn't an axe murderer, but "Orphan" suggests a malicious side to the father of three, by his sudden appearance in the bathroom alongside Kate Coleman(Vera Farmiga). Esther(Isabelle Fuhrman) is still at the orphanage, and yet the horror tropes start without her. Why? In another scene, booming sounds, indicative of a haunted house, turns out to be Kate's hearing impaired daughter throwing a ball against the garage wall. Is Max(Aryana Engineer) trying to tell the piano player something, possibly something about daddy? When Esther joins the family, there's a sharp increase in alarming incidents, yet the patriarch sees no correlation between the girl's arrival with the, in short order: playground mishap, the murder, AND the fire(a possible reference to Andrei Tarkovsky's "The Sacrifice"). His painfully slow realization to Esther's true nature is a fixture of the "a-stranger-is-in-our-midst" horror/thriller subgenre, but "Orphan" provides a psychological rationale to his seeming obtuseness. It's no accident that there's thin ice(a frozen pond) outside their house. Like Tarkovsky, the filmmaker uses water as a metaphor. "Orphan" goes in a wildly unexpected direction that does more than update Mervyn LeRoy's "The Bad Seed"(based on the novel by William March), it suggests "Lolita" written by Neil Jordan circa 1992, which would explain why John's allegiance to Esther remains strong beyond all reason. Expand
  50. AnonymousMC
    Jul 25, 2009
    10
    Okay, let's get something straight... this is not supposed to be a scary film. It was intended to be an intense thriller!!! This is a movie where every scene is more powerful, has more energy, and is more brilliant as scene by scene passes until the final twist which is down right superb. If you say that you figured it out half way through or knew what was going to happen, then youOkay, let's get something straight... this is not supposed to be a scary film. It was intended to be an intense thriller!!! This is a movie where every scene is more powerful, has more energy, and is more brilliant as scene by scene passes until the final twist which is down right superb. If you say that you figured it out half way through or knew what was going to happen, then you are lying!!! The best scene is in the bathroom and is easily the most intense part of the film which was full of energy and at that moment are hooked as to what is really wrong with this girl? Can't wait to buy this film. By far, the best child goes bad movie ever!!! Finally, something that is worth seeing and worth spending money on. Kudos to an amazing tour de force of spectacular film making. Expand
  51. JimT
    Jul 31, 2009
    8
    A Solid 8. In my opinion, this girl deserves some recognition. She was awesome as the evil little girl. That accent made it even creepier. The movie started out with a bang, and did lull a bit for 15 minutes, but thats just story development I suppose. I left the theatre creeped out to the max, and it was plenty scary in my opinion. The type of movie that makes you feel like its child A Solid 8. In my opinion, this girl deserves some recognition. She was awesome as the evil little girl. That accent made it even creepier. The movie started out with a bang, and did lull a bit for 15 minutes, but thats just story development I suppose. I left the theatre creeped out to the max, and it was plenty scary in my opinion. The type of movie that makes you feel like its child abuse just to make the kids go through making it.... I think all these 3 and 1 ratings are just do gooders that can't accept a filthy trashy movie, which this approaches. But I liked it! Expand
  52. Jan 16, 2015
    8
    Um excelente suspense,se você quer terror não é um bom filme. Vera Farmiga é incrível como a única inteligente da família e Isabelle Fuhrman é terrivelmente incrível como a terrível Esther. Bom suspense de ação
  53. run
    Oct 8, 2014
    7
    This film is an intense psychological thriller, which although is no Shawshank Redemption, it is fun to watch. Orphan has an interesting concept which ultimately is built up too much leading to a less surprising twist, but surprisingly this does not affect the film too badly. Also, Vera Farmiga's performance is truly compelling in this film, and the child actors are unusually less annoyingThis film is an intense psychological thriller, which although is no Shawshank Redemption, it is fun to watch. Orphan has an interesting concept which ultimately is built up too much leading to a less surprising twist, but surprisingly this does not affect the film too badly. Also, Vera Farmiga's performance is truly compelling in this film, and the child actors are unusually less annoying than one would expect. The little girl who plays Farmiga's on-screen deaf daughter Maxine is heartwarming to watch, and brings a great aspect to Orphan itself. However, Peter Sarsgard's performance is lacking in this film, which is partially due to his lack of character development in the script, which depicts his character as a little too unintelligent for the rich architect he portrays. Expand
  54. Mar 15, 2015
    3
    (going to watch again)

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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.