In this decidedly amoral thriller, Vera Farmiga gives a jittery, complex performance as Kate, a high-strung Connecticut mother of two who has a breakdown after losing her third child in labor. Despite the fact that she is a recovering alcoholic who has been sober for less than a year, and despite the fact that she nearly let her son drown when she was drunk, Kate and her rich architect husband (Peter Sarsgaard) easily win permission to adopt a replacement child. Enter nine-year-old Esther (well-played by 11-year-old Isabelle Fuhrman), a Russian-born beauty whose sweet exterior hides devilish intent. Soon, Esther is doing away with her perceived enemies, a process that includes death-by-hammer and death-by-carving-knife. If director... More >>>