Movie Review: Orphan (2009)

Synopsis: After losing their unborn baby, Kate and John decide to adopt a sister for their son and daughter and find the perfect fit with a 9-year-old orphan from Russia, Esther. However, when Esther is accused of hurting another child and the nun who oversaw her adoption is murdered, Kate begins to suspect something is off about her adoptive daughter but, while she fears for her family's safety, both her husband and therapist believe it is all in her head.

Who's in it? The movie stars Vera FarmigaPeter SarsgaardIsabelle FuhrmanCCH Pounder and Jimmy Bennett.

Review: My wife checked this movie out from the library because multiple people had recommended it to her. It was the first time I had heard about it but, after watching it with her last night, I had to admit it was a lot better than I was expecting it to be.

I think the thing I liked most about this movie was the mystery surrounding Esther (Fuhrman). There was a lot her adoptive parents (Sarsgaard and Farmiga) didn't know about her, including where she was originally from. And, while her violent tendencies suggested some sort of history of abuse, her artistic abilities, skill at the piano, etc. suggested there was a lot more to that story.

I am also going to confess, I didn't expect the ending, even though the movie provided plenty of clues. Heck, I even wondered why she was going out of her way to avoid going to the dentist.

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way it did a good job building up the suspense. I especially loved the playground scene, which showed things from the victim's perspective and did a great job showing her fear.

Probably my only complaint about this movie was I wasn't a huge fan of Kate and John. As I told my wife, they didn't seem like they were the kind of people who should have been allowed to adopt in the first place since they obviously were having marital problems prior to Esther joining their family. In fact, my wife and I really disliked John to the point we were hoping Esther (or Kate) would kill him.

Final Opinion: This was a good thriller that exceeded my expectations. I'm still undecided about watching the upcoming prequel but enjoyed every minute of this film.

My Grade: A


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