User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 99 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 99
  2. Negative: 15 out of 99
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  1. ChristopherW.
    Jan 16, 2007
    4
    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 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! Expand
  2. TylerC.
    Feb 14, 2006
    0
    Laura Linney said in the commentry " movies are movies and they are entertaining and they should be entertaining." To me this is a way for her to say that it is ok to lie about a certain story as long as it is entertaining. There is no Emily Rose. There is, however, a story about Anneliesel Michel, which this horrible movie was based on, and believe me, is a far cry away from the truth.
  3. MarkB.
    Sep 20, 2005
    3
    Since this dog-days box office smash does double duty as a demonic possession thriller AND would-be hot-button courtroom drama, it allows cowriter/director Scott Derrickson the admittedly unique if dubious distinction of having done TWO of the worst directing jobs of 2005! His handling of the trial scenes, in which attorneys Laura Linney and Campbell Scott face off over whether or not Since this dog-days box office smash does double duty as a demonic possession thriller AND would-be hot-button courtroom drama, it allows cowriter/director Scott Derrickson the admittedly unique if dubious distinction of having done TWO of the worst directing jobs of 2005! His handling of the trial scenes, in which attorneys Laura Linney and Campbell Scott face off over whether or not catholic priest Tom Wilkinson was negligent in ordering the failed exorcism of (and denying medicine to) a sweet, earnest but devil-infested girl (Jennifer Carpenter) who was eventually killed by whoever or whatever took over her body, is as lazy and perfunctory as a garden-variety 1975 ABC-TV Movie of the Week at best...which still makes it preferable to his fraudulent and endless use of P. T. Barnum-like gimmicks in the allegedly scary flashback sequences. At least legendary schlockmeister/showman William Castle was ambitious enough in his day to jerry-rig entire movie theaters showing his stuff; whenever Derrickson wants to get an unearned rise out of his audience, he simply turns the sound up to 11, and running faucets, doorknobs and Fluffy the cat become objects of phony terror. (I mean, if the mere presence of loud, sudden noises is normally indicative that the minions of darkness are present, then shouldn't anyone living down the street from a bowling alley call Ghostbusters?) I've always found William Friedkin's film that started all this, The Exorcist, to be one of the most ridiculously overrated horror films of all time largely because it doesn't really immerse its audience in the situation beyond the blasphemous grossouts; whenever I've viewed it in theaters, many of the viewers only paid attention during the sensationalistic pea-soup-vomit/ use-a-crucifix-for-a-nonworshipful-purpose / kick-the-priest-in-a-place- that-ensures-he'll-never-be-a-father-should-he-change- his-mind-about-his-calling sequences; during the talky scenes, they often talk too. The Exorcism of Emily Rose has the exact opposite problem; the trial, as uninterestingly as it's filmed, at least brings up a few potentially provocative questions: how responsible is a man of God in a Christian country when his actions, sincerely believed to be God's will, go disastrously wrong? When do medicine and religion get to work hand and hand and when must they of necessity be at odds with one another? Can an agnostic believe in the possibility of good and evil supernatural forces and still be an agnostic? Does revealing the preence and methods of the Devil truly glorify God or put undue emphasis on His enemy? Sadly, every time Derrickson threatens to deal with one or more of these questions, he nervously reverts to the trite, third-rate boogedy-boogedy-boogedy once again. He also fails his wonderful actors, who are certainly capable of rich, multishaded characterizations, but you couldn't prove it here; smug, supercilious Scott, gruff-but-principled Wilkinson, and doubtful-but-compassionate Linney are all drawn with the thickest of crayons. Ultimately, it's Jennifer Carpenter in the title role who suffers the most, however; her endless possession scenes are technically skillful to be sure, but only once do we get a brief glimpse of what Emily was like before being taken over, and as a result Derrickson robs both Carpenter of the chance to prove that she's an actress of any more range than Linda Blair, and us of the opportunity to truly experience her tragedy since we don't get a real chance to know what she could've been. Actually Derrickson's approach reminded me not so much of The Exorcist as of another notorious 1970s box office hit, the el cheapo psuedodocumentary In Search of Noah's Ark, which packed movie houses (for a week, anyway) by promising to reveal where the ark was hidden, then completely copping out. The Exorcism of Emily Rose's $30 million opening weekend gross seems to indicate that Sony Pictures has the same ability to pack in the herds as Sunn Classic once did, but my question is, how did they also con so many distinguished Academy award nominees to also sign on for this exploitative drivel? Expand
  4. allyl
    Jan 4, 2006
    0
    Completely illogical and sappy. the dumbest defense of a client in all legal history.
  5. ChristyB
    Jan 11, 2006
    2
    It had a few scenes that made me jump, which is important in a horror movie, but the movie wasn't any good. I was very disappointed.
  6. ZiftK.
    Mar 12, 2006
    1
    trash, avoid at all cost. The only reason this movie got a 1 was because it made me laugh a few times. The pathetic scenes of "acting" is just pathetic. Watch at your own risk.
  7. Aug 19, 2010
    1
    This movie was terrible. In name of my Lord Jesus Christ, this movie should be banned. Everyone knows that demonic possession is an issue that causes a lot of pain and a lot of suffering to a lot of families in de United States only. I think that the director of this movie should be stoned to death... I'm just sayin'-
  8. JimG.
    Sep 10, 2005
    4
    I really wanted this movie to be scary. I wanted to return home at night and feel i had to turn on all the lights and keep my back to the wall. Alas, it was more of a comedy than a horror flick. Some great talent (Linney, Wilkinson, even Carpenter) did the best they could, but instead of letting us share in the potentially terrifying uncertainty supposed to develop in the mind of defense I really wanted this movie to be scary. I wanted to return home at night and feel i had to turn on all the lights and keep my back to the wall. Alas, it was more of a comedy than a horror flick. Some great talent (Linney, Wilkinson, even Carpenter) did the best they could, but instead of letting us share in the potentially terrifying uncertainty supposed to develop in the mind of defense attorney Erin Bruner (Linney) we are left to little screams of "boo!" at predictable places along the way. The "real life" story gets lost in a fictitous world where dormitories and jails are incredibly poorly lit (how convenient) and where on character scared in the dark bothers to turn on a single light. Instead of considering the plausabilities, as Bruner does in her closing arguments, the team that put this yawn together resorts to parlor tricks. What could have been a psychological thriller primarily because of its tie to a true story ends up a boring laughable cliche of a movie. Expand
  9. MarcoM.
    Jan 1, 2006
    4
    Not what I was hoping for. The plot is very predictable and this "horror" was not scary for one second. The film lacks originality nothing new that hasnt been seen in other exorcism movies. I'm giving it a "4" because it isnt 100% bad it does have it's moments.
  10. ChadS.
    Sep 18, 2005
    4
    If Erin Bruner(Laura Linney) wants to make senior partner at the firm, why would she take on a case that could potentially make her the laughingstock of her profession? At a cocktail party, you can imagine other lawyers whispering to each other, "That's the lawyer who believes in demonic possessions." When Erin plays the tape recording of Emily's exorcism, we cut away from the If Erin Bruner(Laura Linney) wants to make senior partner at the firm, why would she take on a case that could potentially make her the laughingstock of her profession? At a cocktail party, you can imagine other lawyers whispering to each other, "That's the lawyer who believes in demonic possessions." When Erin plays the tape recording of Emily's exorcism, we cut away from the courtroom and see the event being played out for ourselves. For some unknown reason, there are no reaction shots of the people in that courtroom. Emily's howls are a lot scarier as audio on a tape recorder than seeing Jennifer Carpenter make Runaway Bride eyes. We need to see the jury being convinced of Father Moore's innocence or guilt. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" mainly doesn't work because we're so distanced from the titular character we're supposed to care about. This film wants to be "Snow Falling on Cedars" directed by Dario Argento. Expand
  11. LaloP.
    Sep 23, 2005
    4
    This film should have been called THE TRIAL OF THE PRIEST. There is nothing scary about this film other than having to pay to see it.
  12. KM
    Dec 13, 2005
    0
    This movie stinks on just about every way shape and form. slow stupid full of nonsense. dont waste your time.
  13. KyleM
    Dec 16, 2005
    0
    Bad just bad. nothing good about this movie. just plain old boring and dumb.
  14. Aug 30, 2013
    2
    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.
  15. Sep 2, 2014
    2
    "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is half courtroom drama and half exorcism film, and it fails on both levels. It is neither an intriguing courtroom drama or a scary possession film. It's poorly acted and shot and extremely boring. I don't recommend it at all.
Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 32
  2. Negative: 7 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    80
    Some genuine shocks punctuate The Exorcism of Emily Rose, an unusually intelligent genre item that manages to mix full-bore horror with courtroom drama.
  2. Derrickson's flick can sour your stomach with piety, which is a shame -- its moments of jolt wattage rate with many J-horrors.
  3. 50
    Part courtroom drama, part otherworldly shocker, the film basically restages the Scopes Monkey Trial and comes out once more against Mr. Darrow, and it's got the spine-twisting, tongues-speaking, devil-channeling hellion to prove it.