Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Orphanage Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

… a sort of mournful whodunit that you won't hate yourself for watching. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    74

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    You may see The Orphanage for what it is, an enjoyable contraption, without believing a bit of it.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Richard James Havis

    This Spanish supernatural thriller begins interestingly and finishes intriguingly. But what lies between drags because the film lacks a driving story line.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    In a season filled with dark-themed films, it stands out as an elegantly mounted, surprisingly humane but terrifying horror thriller well worth seeing.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    You're either in the mood to go along with the puzzle pieces or you're not. I'm not usually a puzzle-piece fan myself, not when it's clear that the filmmaker rigs the moves. But I couldn't help but fall for the repurposed real estate, and cheer for the lady strong enough to break through walls when she senses a child is waiting.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Deliberately aimed at viewers with developed attention spans. It lingers to create atmosphere, a sense of place, a sympathy with the characters, instead of rushing into cheap thrills.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Orphanage reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Decent old-school ghost story, Spanish-style.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though the R-rating is too harsh, brief but grotesque visuals let us know the filmmakers could do worse if they wanted to. Disturbing imagery includes a mutilated victim of a car collision and a deformed kid with a skull-like face. A suicide attempt figures in the ending. There is a theme of infanticide and dead children. Nothing is shown, but we get news of children causing a playmate's death, then being killed (by poison) themselves. An HIV-positive character is part of the plot, and it's pretty much given as a death sentence.

  • Families can talk about what parts of the movie are scariest, and does the (generally) non-gore approach work? Do you agree with Laura's choice at the end? How does this film stack up to other favorite movie ghost tales?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Even the lonely ghosts turn out not to be "evil" (though they seem to be vengeful, and capable of causing harm). One, who is hideously deformed, turns out to be not as monstrous as his appearance. There is a sense of motherly heroics and parental sacrifice in the leading lady -- despite the mortal danger. Simon's maintenance troubles and restlessness as an adopted child might not set a positive tone in some foster households.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: An old woman fatally mutilated after being struck by a car (tearing her jaws open grotesquely). A character's fingers caught in a slamming door, causing a fingernail to come off. A bloody leg injury. There is a theme of infanticide and dead children. Nothing is shown, but we get news of children causing a playmate's death, then being killed (by poison) themselves.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false2

    Language: The F-word uttered once (in the Spanish-language, English-subtitled version).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: An intentional drug overdose (not for recreational purposes).

Advertisement