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Orphan (2009)


Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 147
Fresh: 81
Rotten: 66

Critics Consensus: While it has moments of dark humor and the requisite scares, Orphan fails to build on its interesting premise and degenerates into a formulaic, sleazy horror/thriller.

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 15
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: While it has moments of dark humor and the requisite scares, Orphan fails to build on its interesting premise and degenerates into a formulaic, sleazy horror/thriller.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 870,902


Movie Info

The tragic loss of their unborn child has devastated Kate and John, taking a toll on both their marriage and Kate's fragile psyche as she is plagued by nightmares and haunted by demons from her past. Struggling to regain some semblance of normalcy in their lives, the couple decides to adopt another child. At the local orphanage, both John and Kate find themselves strangely drawn to a young girl named Esther. Almost as soon as they welcome Esther into their home, however, an alarming series of … More

R (for disturbing violent content, some sexuality and language)
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
David Leslie Johnson
In Theaters:
Oct 27, 2009
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Orphan

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (66) | DVD (16)

Decidedly amoral.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

Director Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax) endows this ugly mess with a slew of unintentional laughs, but not enough to repay the 123-minute time suck.

Full Review… | August 20, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

This wickedly entertaining, if slightly over-stretched, variation on the familiar 'evil child' scenario displays an unusually complex grasp of twisted psychology.

Full Review… | August 7, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

It would be harder to find a more dark and joyless thriller on the market than this one.

Full Review… | July 29, 2009
Top Critic

It's bloody, you should be warned, but in the end it is worth it.

Full Review… | July 27, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Painfully predictable.

Full Review… | July 27, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Dump a murderous psycho brat with a corny Russian accent into that troubled mix and you've got a real horror show on your hands. But not a good one.

Full Review… | February 15, 2013

Weak adult characters and lame ending aside, Orphan succeeds more often than not, mainly thanks to Fuhrman's performance and Collet-Serra's direction. It's not a fantastic thriller but it's not bad and often far better than it probably should be.

Full Review… | April 25, 2011

If we could all stop for a moment and think about how excellent and uplifting garbage can be, America would rally around this movie like the treasure it is.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

The movie is, as these things go, enjoyably trashy.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010

As interesting as Collet-Serra's story is, there's simply nothing here that you won't find in other better evil children films in the library...

Full Review… | December 4, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Alas, in the end, it's not nasty enough.

Full Review… | December 1, 2009
Film Freak Central

Bad Seed-style horror movie is gory and ludicrous.

Full Review… | October 26, 2009
Common Sense Media

Orphan is not very good. At 90 minutes, it might have been amazing. At nearly two hours, it's tedious.

Full Review… | October 25, 2009

This is the rare fright flick that is actually grounded in some genuine human emotion.

Full Review… | October 24, 2009
Aisle Seat

For the most part, Esther is an entertaining and solid addition to the Evil Child canon.

Full Review… | October 22, 2009
Film Threat

...more concerned with producing cheap thrills and melodramatic effects than creating any sense of mystery or suspense.

Full Review… | October 20, 2009
Movie Metropolis

David Johnson's script plays fair with red herrings before a devilish denouement with all the torque of a good twist. Esther doesn't just want to topple the Colemans' house of cards. She wants to torch it, and "Orphan" is gruesome, gripping material.

Full Review… | September 19, 2009

A difficult child that horror-loving parents will find hard to adopt as one of their own.

Full Review… | September 11, 2009
SFX Magazine

Something isn't quite working in the intended way when the audience's primary reaction for two-plus (!) hours is raucous laughter.

Full Review… | August 31, 2009

Orphan is as much a high-tension, frightening thriller as it is a straight-up horror flick, at least it is until it devolves into outright silliness in the final act.

Full Review… | August 28, 2009
Washington Times

a carefully staged deconstruction of our assumptions about horrorshows about preternaturally manipulative and malevolent children

Full Review… | August 25, 2009
Q Network Film Desk

"A superior entertainment."

Full Review… | August 23, 2009
Quick Stop Entertainment

Collet-Serra's film succeeds in being genuinely creepy, is commendably well acted by all concerned, and contains the best twist since The Crying Game.

Full Review… | August 21, 2009
The Australian

Audience Reviews for Orphan

I hope I didn't have any brain damage from watching this awful piece of crap that goes for every single ridiculous cliché of horror movies: from stupid scares even when there is nothing to be afraid of to the most irritating idiocy of nobody ever believing the main character.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The evil child coming to a household that has it's own demons from the past to deal with is such a well known movie trope, that it's hard to imagine a film having much too add to the genre. And this one doesn't really. The tension builds slowly and you actually feel bad for the well acted child antagonist for a while. As things get more bloody, the film becomes less believable, but at least the twist adds some very fresh spice to the mix and doesn't have to rely on any supernatural element. The showdown is exciting even if a little unbelievable. Overall pretty entertaining and while never particularly scary the film has its moments of tension.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

I specifically sought out Orphan due to its high ratings on flixster. Did I see the same film? This is one of the worst written pieces of crap I've ever seen. The twist ending was ok but the rest of story was truly awful. If it is a horror it fails for not being scary and if it's a thriller it fails for not being thrilling. I couldn't care less by the end whether anyone lived or died although I think I would have preferred that everyone had died. It's a cliched, rehash of every other colour by numbers formulaic 'horror' movie but with added bad editing (towards the end the Mum and deaf daughter are with the police who have just arrived by car. The next scene they're alone and battling the Orphan once more and the police can be seen arriving in their cars in the distance. Again). If you want to scare people in this way you have to add realism, they fell at the first hurdle when they simply waltzed into a convent and picked a girl to adopted within seconds like it's that easy to adopt. A good horror/thriller should have you on the edge of your seat and looking through your fingers with anticipation of what is about to happen, Orphan had me shouting at the TV and made me want to throw it out the window. Honestly people, this is a crap film!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Orphan Quotes

It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own.
– Submitted by Sam G (3 months ago)
I'll cut your hairless little prick off before you even figure out what it's for.
– Submitted by Ceara R (24 months ago)
Thats the story of that's the glory of love.
– Submitted by William D (2 years ago)
I know. They fuck.
– Submitted by April W (2 years ago)
Please, don't let me die, Mommy.
Kate Coleman:
I'm not your fucking mommy!
– Submitted by Mike Y (3 years ago)
I think people should always try to take the bad things that happen to them in their lives, and turn them into something good. Don't you?
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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