Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 22
  2. Negative: 11 out of 22
  1. The devil is back in Exorcist: The Beginning, and he is more disgusting than ever. Not more scary, just really yucky, in a kind of maggots-on-a-pizza-slice way.
  2. Congratulations, Renny Harlin. You've successfully exorcised all the horror out of The Exorcist.
  3. The scariest thing about this film is how desperate the makers are to earn a scream.
  4. 30
    There's no pea soup, but sketchy effects, cheap jolts, swirling cameras, and buckets of blood surround Exorcist: The Beginning with the potent aroma of cheese.
  5. The risible dialogue, the bulging eyeballs, the heaving bosoms, the digitally rendered hyenas and squirming maggots, the movie fails to achieve the status of the instant camp classic. That's partly because the vibe of the film is too torpid.
  6. 25
    The acting is serviceable at best, the direction unfocused - and the special effects and makeup cheesy-looking. This is surely the most dreary-looking film ever shot by the great Vittorio Storaro ("Apocalypse Now").
  7. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    It’s terrible enough to torture the damned.
  8. 20
    Pokey, blood-spattered, cheap-scare-larded prequel.
  9. 20
    The serious Catholic themes that made the original film genuinely disturbing have been flattened out into a cartoonish backstory.
  10. 12
    This prequel has something to appall everybody.
  11. 11
    Sloppy, confusing, and dull as a dented crucifix.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 30
  2. Negative: 12 out of 30
  1. Aug 19, 2011
    I watched this today with my boyfriend and during the movie I predicted what would happen, and I was right every time. It was just too predictable and like other movies. Don't really see exactly how this is the beginning, and the movie stunk too much to watch it again to understand. :/ Plus, the DVD features were extra boring. Full Review »
  2. AlecB.
    Jun 25, 2007
    i actually really enjoyed this movie a lot.. . but it didn't really show how it all began now. Basically it was just a body count movie with tons of violence and gore and scary images. There wasn't even a exorcism in the movie except that cheap one at the end. Full Review »
  3. MarcD.
    Oct 27, 2006
    Lacks focus and any true sense of pace. It steers clear of the psychological themes and horror from the original, instead hoping to evoke some reactions by throwing as much ugly effects at us as possible. Unfortunately, fear doesn't work that way. Full Review »