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4.3 out of 5 stars 606 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Orphan (DVD)

Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga star as a couple who adopt a 9-year-old girl after losing their own baby ... then slowly discover their new daughter is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be. The tragic loss of their unborn child has devastated Kate (Vera Farmiga--The Departed) and John (Peter Sarsgaard--Rendition, Kinsey), 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, they decide to adopt another child. At the local orphanage, both John and Kate find themselves drawn to a young girl named Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) ... but Esther is not what she appears to be. Kate desperately tries to get John and others to see past Esther's sweet facade. Now, as her warnings go unheeded until it may be too late -- for everyone.


Special Features

Deleted Scenes/Alternate Ending

Product Details

  • Actors: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman, CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett
  • Directors: Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, Subtitled, Dubbed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (606 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0021L8UPS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,790 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Orphan" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hibbard on November 22, 2009
Format: DVD
When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought "Oh God, another one of those movies." But I was surprised that after I'd gone and seen it, I'd actually thoroughly enjoyed it.

Isabelle Fuhrman is the "orphan"; that is, 9-year-old Esther who seems a little strange and morbid despite the adopted parents instance attraction to her. When violent events began taking place that are connected to Esther, the parents began to suspect that there is more to the little girl than appears.

Fuhrman definitely was the right choice for the role of Esther; she has an attractive face and her youth doesn't strain her acting abilities which were very convincing. I won't lie though; the movie was very grisly, and even I had to turn away from the screen a few times. Even the twist ending really shocked me, and I'm not easily shocked. I really think that despite how it looks, give it a shot, because it wasn't a bad little movie. It was well acted, well thought out, and seriously creepy.
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"There's something wrong with Esther," say the ads for "Orphan," and indeed, there is. I could just end the review with that, as it does pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the main character, an adopted girl who promises heaven and delivers hell. But then I'd miss out on the opportunity to tell you about all the other great things it has to offer. This is a truly great horror movie, ambitious enough to be frightening and absorbing, confident enough to toy with the conventions we know all too well, mature enough to rely on the talents of actors instead of the sex appeal of teenagers. Its greatest achievement is transcending the cliché that is the precocious yet evil child, and while I'd like to elaborate on that, I'm afraid the nature of the plot doesn't allow for such details. Regardless, what happens is most likely not what you think will happen, which is to say that you'll actually be surprised.

Esther is played by Isabelle Furhman, a twelve-year-old playing a nine-year-old, although age doesn't count much here. She speaks with a flawless Russian accent and masterfully runs the emotional gamut between sweet and sadistic. Esther is a consummate manipulator, able to advertise herself as the nicest girl you'd ever want to raise as your own before switching gears and making those who stand in her way suffer. We first see her sitting all alone in the classroom of an orphanage, painting a colorful and happy picture that tells a story. Her dress is nice, if a little old fashioned, and the ribbons she has tied around her neck and wrists make her look like a princess. When she smiles, it's not the toothy perfection of a mouthwash commercial but a real girl's smile--so cute and innocent and loveable.
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Format: DVD
Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, and CCH Pounder give excellent performances, but it's the kiddies who steal the show in "Orphan."

Farmiga and Sarsgaard star as Kate and John Coleman, a successful and loving (or so it seems at first) couple with two children and the desire to adopt another when Kate's third child is stillborn. They believe that they've found the perfect child in Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman), a nine-year-old Russian orphan who is sugary sweet, highly intelligent, and very artistic.

Once Esther arrives at the Coleman home, she is immediately met with resistance by the Coleman's son, Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), and takes their deaf daughter, Max (Aryana Engineer) under her protective wing. She is also teased at school for her dresses and the Bible she carries with her.

Slowly the viewer sees sweet Esther turn into a very dark and sinister little girl. Not only does she seek out revenge on those who pick at her, but she begins to manipulate Max and force her to help out with her dirty work.

Esther also opens old wounds from Kate and John's past and drives a wedge between them. Kate becomes suspicious of Esther and seeks out more information on her newly adopted daughter. The head mistress of the orphanage, Sister Abigail (CCH Pounder), tries to help Kate and becomes a target for Esther as well.

As Esther's dark past is revealed, her actions become more wicked and, in some cases, fatal. It is at this point that the film begins to rely on well-worn cliches that have been trod out in a number of other films about evil children, particularly "The Good Son" and "The Omen.
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Format: DVD
I saw this film when it opened on July 24, 2009. Mixed reviews from fans and critics were the usual flair upon its release, but something struck me about this movie. The film went on to gross $37 million at the box-office despite the thrashing it took from critics, but everyone couldn't help but notice the Oscar-nomination worthy performance of its 12-year-old star Isabelle Fuhrman. I just viewed the film on DVD for the first time since its theaterical run and I'm still seeing just how riveting and engaging this movie really is.

"Orphan" is NOT a horror film. It's more along the lines of a SUSPENSE THRILLER. When I think of horror films, I think of sex-crazed teenagers being sliced up one-by-one by a machete-wielding maniac (Jason Voorhies, Freddy Krueger, Micheal Myers, etc.). The only real weapons wielded here is just a hammer, a knife, and a .38-caliber pistol. You think scary when it comes to horror films and "Orphan" isn't scary. Has some frightful moments, yes, but scary? Wishful thinking!

Set in the winter-bound parts of Conneticut & Canada, the story centers on the Coleman family: Kate (Vera Farmiga), a Yale University music teacher recovering from alcoholism and bouts of depression after having a stillborn from her third pregnancy; John (Peter Sarsgaard), an architech whose nice guy persona overshadows his increasing issues with Kate that led to past affairs; Max (Aryana Engineer), their deaf 5-year-old daughter who communicates through sign language and their oldest son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), who feels bitterly neglected & increasingly isolated from his parents. As a way of coping with the loss of their would-be 2nd daughter, Jessica, and to amend their existence as a family, Kate & John make a fateful decision to adopt a young girl at the local orphanage.
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