Orphan 2009

Critics score:
55 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Lyons, At the Movies: Painfully predictable. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: There's a surprise ending, followed by several bonus endings, and we're not giving anything away in noting that the film's titular adoptee has more lives than Chucky. Read more

Kathleen Murphy, MSN Movies: While the third-act surprise twist of Orphan must have looked wicked-good on paper, on screen ... not so much. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Overlong and overwrought, Orphan stays faithful to every cliche of the genre. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: If director Jaume Collet-Serra set out to make a parody of horror-film cliches, he succeeded brilliantly. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Orphan works because it's a film that knows exactly what it wants to be -- creepy as all get out -- and does everything possible to achieve that goal. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Director Jaume Collet-Serra moves Orphan along efficiently, doling out a 'boo!' shot every few minutes with mechanical professionalism. Read more

Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: The film rests on Furhman's shoulders, and she's up to the task. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: To really get under your skin, a bad-seed horror movie needs a demon child whose dastardliness sneaks up on you. There's nothing too subtle, however, about Esther. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Director Jaume Collet-Serra, working from a devilishly clever script by David Leslie Johnson, maintains steady suspense while mercifully mixing in some moments of dark humor. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: I didn't mind wasting two hours watching the truly ferocious Furhman teach Max how to play Russian roulette and snickering when Kate thinks to Google "children who kill." Read more

Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times: 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. Read more

Newsday: A thoroughly enjoyable demon-spawn movie in the tradition of The Bad Seed (1956) and The Other (1972). Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: What could be an interesting horror film just turns ... horrible. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: The scares are often the generic, push-off-the-slide variety and Orphan doesn't add much to the genre except, disturbingly, a fetishistic bent that's creepy in the wrong way. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Although reasonably, cheesily suspenseful, the movie takes a long time to get going. Its tagline, 'There's something wrong with Esther,' turns out to be a masterpiece of understatement. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: It feels too slow and moody for the Halloween crowd and too absurd and silly for more discriminating horror fans. Read more

Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer: One of the best entries in the cute-as-a-button-psycho-demon-child-from-hell subgenre. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It would be harder to find a more dark and joyless thriller on the market than this one. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Here is a shamelessly effective horror film based on the most diabolical of movie malefactors, a child. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: So sloppy, so lowdown, so shameless and so entertaining, Orphan provides everything you might expect in a psycho-child thriller, but with such excess and exuberance that it still has the power to surprise. Read more

Kevin C. Johnson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 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. Read more

Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail: [Orphan] never exploits the dramatic possibilities, despite the efforts of its excellent cast and gorgeous production values. Read more

Greg Quill, Toronto Star: The best thing about Orphan, is the way it plays with the genre's overused staples and its sophisticated audience's expectations. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Read more

David Fear, Time Out: Read more

Nigel Floyd, Time Out: This wickedly entertaining, if slightly over-stretched, variation on the familiar 'evil child' scenario displays an unusually complex grasp of twisted psychology. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's a cut above most spooky-kid movies, with a twist that sets it apart. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Teasingly enjoyable rubbish through the first hour, Orphan becomes genuine trash during its protracted second half. Read more

Chuck Wilson, Village Voice: Decidedly amoral. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Surely writers David Leslie Johnson and Alex Mace deserve their own circle of hell for thinking up the story, which moves with breathtaking cynicism from disturbing to grotesque to perverse to ludicrous. Read more