Orphan (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Orphan (2009)



Critic 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.

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 events begins to unfold, leading Kate to believe that there's something wrong with Esther-this seemingly angelic little girl is not what she appears to be. Concerned for the safety of her family, Kate tries to get John and others to see past Esther's sweet facade. But her warnings go unheeded until it may be too late--for everyone.more
Rating: R (for disturbing violent content, some sexuality and language)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: David Leslie Johnson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 27, 2009
Box Office: $41.5M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Peter Sarsgaard
as John Coleman
Vera Farmiga
as Kate Coleman
Jimmy Bennett
as Daniel Coleman
CCH Pounder
as Sister Abigail
Aryana Engineer
as Max Coleman
Karel Roden
as Dr. Varava
Margo Martindale
as Dr. Browning
Rosemary Dunsmore
as Grandma Barbara
Brendan Wall
as Detective
Genelle Williams
as Sister Judith
Mustafa Abdelkarim
as Daniel's Friend
Landon Norris
as Daniel's Friend
Julien Elia
as Hospital Receptionis...
Leni Parker
as Delivery Room Nurse
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Orphan

Critic Reviews for Orphan

All Critics (148) | Top Critics (34)

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

Directed crisply and with a palpable air of mid-'70s paranoia thriller.

Full Review… | August 28, 2015

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
Georgia Straight

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

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

Orphan Quotes

– Submitted by Sam G (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Ceara R (3 years ago)
– Submitted by William D (3 years ago)
– Submitted by April W (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Orphan on our Movie forum!