(1973)

Critic Reviews

82

Metascore

Based on 20 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Rarely do movies affect us so deeply. The first time I saw Cries and Whispers, I found myself shrinking down in my seat, somehow trying to escape from the implications of Bergman’s story. The Exorcist also has that effect--but we’re not escaping from Friedkin’s implications, we’re shrinking back from the direct emotional experience he’s attacking us with. This movie doesn’t rest on the screen; it’s a frontal assault.
100
This jolting tale of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the devil, her desperate movie actress mother and the two priests called in to exorcise the demon, actually seems a deeper movie now -- more intense, less formulaic or shallow. Yet it's also retained all its original hypnotic narrative grip. [2000 re-release]
100
There's something elemental about The Exorcist, even with the new hopeful ending that betrays the bleak original. [2000 re-release]
91
Here, in paranoid, bad acid trip form, is the real birth of girl power. [2000 re-release]
88
Director William Friedkin, (“The French Connection” and this year’s “Rules of Engagement”) has always been a provocateur, a master of the shock. But his very lack of subtlety is both the strength and weakness of The Exorcist in the 21st century. [2000 re-release]
80
Just as some of the footage deepens what is already there, additions in final reel, though closer to Blatty’s wishes, restate the obvious or add a feel-good patina which pushes the film closer to our own audience-pleasing period than the more daring early ’70s. [2000 re-release]
80
A museum piece, something to be enjoyed for its historical value. [2000 re-release]
75
New York Daily News
The Exorcist is still shocking, but mostly because of its graphic, anti-religious language. [2000 re-release]
50
In both its original 1973 version and its expanded 2000 edition, this hugely popular horror yarn is less a cleverly spun story than a disjointed collection of shockeroos, surrounding a few ghoulishly effective moments with overcooked plot twists and in-your-face vulgarity. [2000 re-release]
40
11 minutes longer than the original, and 11 minutes worse. [2000 re-release]

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