We present an efficient and reliable algorithm for determining the orientations of noisy images obtained fromprojections of a three-dimensional object. Based on the linear relationship among the common line vectors in one image plane, we construct a sparse matrix, and show that the coordinates of the common line vectors are the eigenvectors of the matrix with respect to the eigenvalue 1. The projection directions and in-plane rotation angles can be determined fromthese coordinates. A robust computation method of common lines in the real space using aweighted cross-correlation function is proposed to increase the robustness of the algorithm against the noise. A small number of good leading images, which have the maximal dissimilarity, are used to increase the reliability of orientations and improve the efficiency for determining the orientations of all the images. Numerical experiments show that the proposed algorithm is effective and efficient.