Who's In It: Isabelle Fuhrmann, Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga
The Basics: Recently adopted Russian orphan Esther is poised, articulate, artistic, unfailingly polite and a homicidal maniac. And honestly I don't see the problem. She only brutalizes or hammers to death the people who want to harm her or get in the way of living her life freely and happily. To think that our culture has pathologized merciless, murdery ambition and elevated sweet dull mediocrity to the point where we scold people for being go-getters is really disheartening. You know what Ayn Rand would say to this kid? That's right: "Go Esther!"
What's The Deal: 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. Because this is some trash. Some really amazing, thoroughly entertaining, laugh-out-loud trash that doesn't deserve the drubbing it's preemptively getting from adoption advocacy groups. The adopted members of my own family are going to have a blast watching this because it takes all the snotty comments or snubs ever delivered to an adopted child, packages them as a few deserve-to-be-maimed schoolchildren and then has the nerve to actually punish them. It also punishes several innocent, well-meaning bystanders, too. But you can't have everything.
Step Aside, All Other Child Actors, Here's Isabelle Fuhrmann: This kid will not be recognized for her diabolically hilarious portrayal by major award giving institutions. And that sucks. But she steals every scene and carries the entire film, slicing her way through the craziness like she's made of equal parts Adamantium and Nomi Malone. Every entrance, every glance, every spooky moment where she just pops up behind her next victim, every perfectly timed horrible retort before sealing someone's doom, is the excellent equivalent of pouring gasoline and flicking a lit match on the memory of every bad seed, good son, British kid named Damien and child of the corn you've ever watched.
Don't Walk Out Before The Part Comes Where She Tries To Seduce a Grown-Up! Because it's so creepy and gross you won't believe a major studio released it. And I know that's a spoiler, but it kind of makes you want to check it out now, doesn't it?
Bring The Kids? If you do then someone needs to call Child Protective Services on you.