Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 32
  2. Negative: 7 out of 32
  1. The dullest exorcist movie ever made.
  2. 38
    Unfortunately, nothing in it rings with the faintest tinkle of truth.
  3. 30
    Derrickson's staid direction, coupled with Wilkinson’s sad-sack priest and a general air of dreariness make for a courtroom thriller that’s somewhat less apocalyptic than the "L.A. Law" episode involving the death of Benny's mom.
  4. It has but one thing going for it: a cast filled with Oscar nominees.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The acting in this movie is unusually bad--atrocious, even.
  6. 25
    Oh, how good actors can trap themselves in drivel.
  7. 25
    The fun of these movies is that Linney often seems too refined for such greasy junk, but there she is anyway, hamming it down as it were.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 51
  2. Negative: 9 out of 51
  1. ChristopherW.
    Jan 16, 2007
    As much as I had hoped this story would captivate me, I simply never found the film adequately engaging. Most of the plot is conveyed through flashbacks that are distressingly deviant in tone and purpose from the present day scenes set in a courtroom. If the audience is meant to question the forces of evil that may exist in the world or is asked to feel sympathy and compassion for Emily's fate, we are never given a real sense of why any of this really matters. I fully dismiss all supernatural explanations, but I am still intrigued by the notion that there are people who don't. Emily Rose ultimately fails to meaningfully connect to its audience because the screenplay is never quite sure what it wants to do. Is it fright film? Is it allegory? Is it a tale of mental illness? Is it a tale of demonic possession? Is it a courtroom battle between reason and faith? Maybe the film is all of these things. Unfortunately all of these ambiguous angles eventually steal each other's thunder. The film is too cluttered with ideas, but the performances are no less than adequate. In any case, Emily Rose is a mixed bag. Proceed with caution! Full Review »
  2. DonP.
    Sep 12, 2005
    This film was far better than the reviews made it out to be - I agree with the Chronicle's review "a thinking man's horror film". I'm a huge Laura Linney fan and thought she was fabulous. I was sucked in, and much more scared and shook up than I am by stupid grotesque slasher movies. This film avoids cheap exploitations to try to convey what actually happened, and I find that to be more unsettling. Go see it. It's interesting that the users' ratings are so much higher than the critics'. Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    Perhaps best presented under the title, "Law & Order: Exorcism Victims Unit", would the film have attracted praise for being nothing more than what was to have been expected (utter boredom in a festering court melodrama of drivel.) Devoid of interesting characters, and featuring the most lacking of cinematography, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is actually The Exorcism of Your Time. Full Review »