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Orphan Review Critics


Dave White Profile

In the sequel she battles Freddy AND Jason. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Orphan isn't scary -- it's garish and plodding.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's a cut above most spooky-kid movies, with a twist that sets it apart.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Bad Seed-style horror movie is gory and ludicrous.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a review of the movie shown in theaters and not the unrated version with an alternate ending available on DVD. Parents also need to know that this gory horror movie centers on extremely violent, sexual acts carried out by a 9-year-old girl. While the film's ultimate twist negates some of the queasy, sleazy feeling that comes from watching this kind of material, the bulk of the movie revolves around the shock value of seeing a child doing horrible things. Plus, there's lots of swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as smoking, drinking, and sexual scenes between adults.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Is it more or less realistic than what you've seen in other thrillers/horror movies? How does that affect its impact?

  • How do you feel about the fact that a child is the one committing the movie's most horrible acts?

  • Does the movie's twist let the filmmakers off the hook for some of the more extreme moments?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The film's serious take on themes of adoption and loss are wholly undermined by the "killer child" plot; the film gives itself an out (in a twist too ludicrous to reveal), but much of it trades on a creepy, "taboo" images and concepts involving the 9-year-old at center of the action.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: While the main characters' desire to adopt in the wake of a miscarriage at first presents a model of compassion and love, the film's gory, horrific violence soon wipes it away with a red tide of blood. Esther, the child they adopt, is pure evil, with no redeeming characteristics.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extreme violence, much of it involving children. A young girl hurls a peer out of a play set, smothers another child to death, and points a loaded gun point blank at a third. She also kills adults via hammer beating, stabbing, and shooting. Perils include fire, vehicular endangerment, crashing through a frozen pond, fistfights, and more. A character is kicked in the head, hard, and the shot lingers on his/her breaking neck. Discussions of beatings and murders. Extensive blood, including violent surgical imagery. A character breaks his/her own arm to feign abuse.

  • sex false4

    Sex: A young child dresses and acts in a deliberately sexual, provocative manner, although her advances are rebuffed. A married couple engages in sexual acts in bed and in the kitchen; adults are seen stripped down to their underwear. A group of pre-teen boys looks at a pornographic magazine (nudity is shown). Sex is discussed with a younger child.

  • language false4

    Language: Extensive strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "prick," "crap," "a--hole," "oh my God," and more. "Retard" is frequently used as an epithet, and "Jesus freak" is used once.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Characters play the video game Guitar Hero; other brands shown on screen include Perfect Ten magazine and Lexus.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Extensive discussion of how one main character has had a problematic relationship with alcohol in the past, plus depictions of her being tempted to drink again. Another main character smokes cigarettes and gets drunk drinking an entire bottle of wine; viewers see some events from his woozy, boozy perspective.