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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Exorcism of Emily Rose More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One f the most interesting films of 2005.

7/10
Author: David Slicer (davidslicer69@yahoo.com) from Amherst, Massachusetts
27 December 2005

The belief in evil is effectedly shown to us in "The Exorcism of Emily Rose".This is a psychological thriller that makes us question the existence of what is good or what is bad."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" may appear to be about a girl who is possessed by forces of evil.That maybe for us to decide.Was the girl actually possessed or just insane? Scott Derrickson,the director of this film,approaches the viewer with a story that is very involving and with a cast that is amazingly put together.The story is as is.A priest(Tom Wilkinson)is being investigated for the death of a young girl whom he says was possessed.There are two sides to this film and those two sides are presented to us in such away that we are asked questions that are challenging to answer.I always believed that Emily was possessed.But that's me.The person next to me watching the film could think otherwise."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" isn't so much about demonic possession.It's about what we believe.Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson both give Oscar nominated deserving performances that strengthens the quality of this film.It's a good film and should not be looked upon as a film of horror because it is not.It is more psychological.Alright,I suppose you can also call it a horror film."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is a suspenseful film as it is a film that is very interesting.If you want to see a film about a girl possessed by demonic forces,watch "The Exorcist".That film directly approaches the topic of demonic possession while this film approaches its beliefs.One last thing.Jennifer Carpenter was wonderful in this film and even though the Academy may not nominate her for her performance,she should be.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Poorly constructed tale of human ignorance

6/10
Author: siderite from Romania
9 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, the movie was not completely bad. The atmosphere was OK, the actors played well, but everything was either too dry or too dramatized. First of all, after you have seen the movie and you think about the entire story, nothing makes sense. Why would demons possess, then kill a person? Isn't it easier to push her to a life of crime and trashy sex then wait patiently to come in Hell to you? And if you make such a show of possessing someone, why bother to attack the priest, the lawyer and the witness that want to tell everyone what you did? Then the possessed meets Virgin Mary who gives her the choice of dying or staying to show the world that the spiritual world exists. So she chooses to stay and suffer, but dies the next day!

Also the courtroom debate was hilarious. It's like a lawyer gets the worst possible case and she invents reasons for the acquittal of her charge, and that succeeds, with a small proof that the system works and a little show of frustration from the prosecution so we know that it was actually a victory.

I was humming "dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb" through the entire movie. I can hardly wait for the South Park interpretation of this movie.

Effects: hardly any. Gore: Close to zero. There is a "horrible" picture of the dead girl that we see only little glimpses of. Story: dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Acting: OK. Casting: terrible. Setting: what is with the red neon lights? Was this shot in Amsterdam or something?

Now about the actual subject of the film. I was amazed to see someone from Belgium talking about a similar case in their country during the release of this movie. I am from Romania and it happened here, too, in the same time! Was it a pandemic possession spurred by this Bin Laden of demons shown in the film? No, it was utter ignorance and neglect. The girl actually died of thirst and lack of air, as she was tied up to a post and gagged with a dirty rag.

Isn't it funny that the possessed are always girls? Young girls or small children at best. And always the old wise priest ties them down and "cures" them.

On the other hand, when a person chooses to believe in possessions as well as her entire family, and she agrees to interventions like this, how can you hold the priest responsible? You can't do that unless you consider all religion, not just sectarian religion, a scam and an attack on human dignity and intellect. So, while I think that would be a great idea, I don't think it will happen really soon.

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb...

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great Story. Memorable Scenes.

Author: Onethought from Glastonbury, UK.
1 December 2005

This definitely not to be missed in my personal opinion. Simply because of the simplicity of the story as well as the honesty with which the story is told.

It is not a cheap horror flick. But it has enough to make you feel fear. Be very afraid not to spend £5 to see this movie. Well worth it. There are other movies out there that claim to be horror but does not quite tell any story you can take home. Well with Emily you take home a story, and the fear and the chills are just added freebies. Emily Rose is a beautiful girl. Something's happened to Emily Rose, this film analyzes it in a dualistic approach. Fresh way to view a rather old tale of exorcism.

I particularly like the Laura Linney's character. All in all the cast is very very good. The movie has a time detached feel to it. You might think you were watching a movie made in 1980 or '90 or anytime! i would like to Jennifer Carpenter again in another movie(where she hopefully wont need any exorcism). You will not forget her in this movie. Worth watching.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A story well told, leaving much 'food for thought'.

10/10
Author: janinamousley from Australia
18 November 2005

If one is a Christian, one cannot deny the existence of Satan. During Christ's own earthly ministry, 2,000 years ago, He drove out demons from those possessed by them and gave His authority to His Apostles to do the same. This same ministry has been passed on to their successors through the Catholic Church. We Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is true God, as well as true Man, and He did not lie about Satan or trivialize his influence. Nothing Jesus Christ did or instructed His Apostles to do was irrelevant or unimportant. So it is no surprise that the priest in the film treats demonic possession very seriously, discerns it carefully, and then performs the rite of exorcism, as do other priests in the Catholic Church, who have been given this authority. Though this action is in response to Christ's command, it is not an easy thing for anyone involved. The film shows the seriousness of the matter, the terror experienced by the person possessed, the natural fear and concern of the priest, the family and any other witnesses. One is asked to judge for oneself whether such a thing really occurred or does occur, as we listen to the eyewitnesses, and like the jury called in the court we cannot help but consider whether the priest was negligent and the young woman misdiagnosed. We are all faced with the question.... whether this really happened. Yet we are told that this is a true story, and it is very simply, but well told. If we believe it, it confirms that even in our modern times, Jesus Christ's ministry of exorcism is needed and available to us in 2005 and His love for us, and for Emily, transcends what appears to be human defeat. See this film, whether you are a Christian or not.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not the way you would expect it to be, but just as good

8/10
Author: lorenzoadd from Romania
12 November 2005

This is not the first movie where Laura Linney is a lawyer involved in a trial concerning the Church and members of it. Yes it might not be as good as Primal Fear, but maybe it is , maybe it's much better or just as good. The one thing you should know is that, in my opinion, this movie is worth watching. You can find in "The exorcism of Emily Rose" good directing, wonderful acting and a decent screenplay. Besides, Laura Linney looks terrific....I think she looks better and better each day. Anyway, to conclude, this is a good Sunday evening movie, so if you get the chance, take your time and watch it.It's worth it! PS:Don't look for Richard Gere here, you won't find him

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Maybe would be an above-average movie of the week

6/10
Author: Surecure from Canada
28 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Exorcism of Emily Rose features strong performances from the two female leads -- Jennifer Carpenter and Laura Linney -- and effective direction, but offers little more. The script contains far too many holes to be completely forgiven and does contain some rather disappointing performances from several of the supporting cast. Even Tom Wilkinson (whom I am a fan of) delivers a performance that is hit and miss: he provides strength to many scenes but also detracts from others.

The two largest problems with the film reside in a weak script. Firstly, the prosecutor is introduced as a religious man, though this element is completely unused in the film. It was an excellent angle to add to the film and would have elevated the drama, but instead it is used as a throwaway addition.

The second largest problem comes from the introduction of a doctor who witnessed the exorcism. While the film builds itself up as an attempt to offer both sides as equals and allow the audience to think it through for themselves, the deck is artificially stacked in favour of the religious side by entering a source to completely discredit the scientific side in the audience's mind in such a way that it will not change the outcome of the trial. It almost seems like the writer has approach avoidance on keeping a completely balanced view.

While the film does achieve an excellent feeling of unease and suspense, it ultimately fails to live up to the promise made in being such a unique perspective on religious suspense with a strong cast. While it is indeed a unique film and possesses strong performances, it fizzles out and does not make itself to be more than just movie of the week quality.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Possibilities: The Struggle Between Science and Faith

10/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
24 December 2005

The timing of this film could not be more propitious as the courts struggle with Darwinism, Creationism, and separation of church and state, creating embittered conversations about fact versus faith. The fact that this film adaptation of an actual event results in a work of such touching tenderness is due to the imagination and artistry of writer Paul Harris Boardman and co-writer and director Scott Derrickson, as well as a fine cast of some of our best actors. This is not a horror flick: this is a thinking person's film that has the courage to discuss the possibilities of things on one can explain.

Father Moore (a brilliant Tom Wilkinson) is a priest being tried for negligent homicide in the death of a young college student Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter), a parishioner who sought his help feeling she was possessed by demons. The archdiocese hires pragmatic, agnostic lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney in another superlative role) to defend Father Moore. The prosecuting attorney is strongly religious Methodist Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott in an atypical role well realized). The film is basically a courtroom drama: the polar sides being scientific (medical) facts versus spiritually based possibilities and the writing for both lawyers is bitingly incisive. Mixed into the testimony and preparation for the trial are flashbacks to the events leading up to Emily's death, including the gradual possession of Emily's body by six demons and her reaction to the possession, and the exorcism performed by Father Moore. The priest does not fear jail or loss of clerical collar: his only concern is that he be able to tell Emily's shared story, a story that raises more questions in everybody's minds than providing legal results of the trial.

Laura Linney is extraordinary as the agnostic hardened lawyer whose very being is shaken by the case which she tries. The nuances of her character are so well conveyed that we come to understand the un-understandable as she sees it. Likewise Tom Wilkinson and Campbell Scott shine, as do all of the minor characters. The cinematography of Tom Stern is among the most artful of the year and the musical score by Christopher Young is intensely atmospheric. This is not yet another in the endless line of horror flicks, though the Para scientific manifestations of demon possession are graphically enacted (not my cup of tea but necessary for the story). This is a much more important story than that and one that would be helpful in aiding understanding if both agnostics/pragmatists and spiritual people watched and listened. Grady Harp

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Finally, a grown up, modern horror drama movie about Exorcism.

10/10
Author: Odd Magne (oddsnake@hotmail.com) from Southern Sweden
12 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Still ruling on the throne as the best Exorcism movie ever, The Exorcist has now finally gotten a rival that will be remembered for a long time. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a haunting movie that shakes the very foundations of our beliefs, and forces us to ask the very same questions that the jury in the movie is faced with.

Based on a true story, The Exorcism of Emily Rose takes place in modern time, when a girl has died after being subjected to Exorcism by Father Moore. Moore is put on trial, charged with neglecting Emily's medical need, forcing his view that Exorcism was the only way to cure her. The lawyer Erin Bruner gets on the case to defend the Priest, and along the way she'll start to face her own demons, question her faith and fight for something she's not sure about.

The star of the show is Emily Rose. As her normal self, she's a sweet girl, but just like Regan in The Exorcist, she masters the sides of good and evil as she turns over to the dark side once the possessions begin. Her face distorts, her body twists into unbelievable positions, she becomes incredibly violent and dangerous. While her looks are never as gruesome as Regan in The Exorcist, they're much more real, which serves the movie well.

The movie presents us with situations, unexplainable, yet backed up with enough visual proof to convince us that what were seeing, was an actual possession, while it then proceeds to question our decision with lots of reasons and explanations for why it's impossible, and backs it up with scientific explanations to confirm this. Yet, it leaves both camps open, although it slightly tilts over into the "Possessed" side. Not so much that it becomes biased towards one side, but probably in order to create reasonable arguments that she was possessed, since arguably, the medical and scientific side is very powerful and believable in the movie. If the visual signs of her possessions hadn't been so dominant in the movie, it would have been much harder to create the wanted effect on the audience. Yet for all her behavior and changes, she still remains human, her voice, eyes, body movement and so on are still explained in a scientific way, making it possible to say "She was not possessed" based on the movie. Personally, I like to think that she was possessed, but the movie does such a great job of making both sides convincing that I'd accept both possibilities.

Much of the movie doesn't actually take place with Emily, rather it deals with the events in and out of the courtroom, in the trial. Some of these scenes drags a little bit, but not so much so they become boring. They still focus on Emily, the Pros and Cons of her treatment, the beliefs and denial of her possession and so on, keeping even these scenes interesting, and quite vital to the things that occur in Emily's scenes. They are also never used for cheap scares, the movie is far above such silly attempts to scare. It mostly keeps the scares in the scenes with Emily, making the courtroom scenes almost a relief at times, since it allows the viewer to reflect on the scenes that happened, and make up his own decisions based on the arguments and evidence further displayed in the courtroom. So, if viewed properly, the movie never really looses the grip, it just switches hands between scaring us, and giving us explanations of what happened.

A visually powerful movie, both in terms of Emily's tortured state of believed possession, and the overall photography, usage of color and closeups, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is not for the faint of heart. There's no gore or blood to speak of at all, and apart from a few visual effects as Emily's world of sanity is falling apart, there's very little CGI to detract from the feeling of reality. Yet, Emily does all the work, her body and face alone. Some of her expressions are so weird in a creepy and wicked way, that when considering she did most of all by her self, makes the whole thing downright nasty.

Yes, the movie is still fiction at heart, but it manages to paint a very chilling and real picture of an actual possession. There's no 360 degree head spinning, pea soup puking or heavy levitation here(Don't get me wrong, it worked in The Exorcist). Only a girl suffering from symptoms that can be either explained with science, or with the Supernatural, and not once does it try to state which of the sides are true, leaving it fully up to the viewer to decide. And even if she wasn't possessed, any illness that would cause her condition are so scary that they leaves us feeling helpless and scared in the end, no matter our personal belief. Easily the most grown up, modern Horror movie for years, that rivals The Exorcist. Where The Exorcist reigns supreme with visual power and sheer terror, The Exorcism of Emily Rose grabs us psychologically, and leaves us trembling with questions about our own lifelong beliefs about good and evil and if something like that could happen to us.

This is a movie that should be seen by all who watched The Exorcist, all horror fans, and even those who thinks that possessions, demons and exorcisms are just bogus. You can convince yourself that there's nothing supernatural about what she went through, the horror that still killed Emily Rose are so gruesome that it takes us all with her and changes us.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Shocks and a plot

8/10
Author: damienmuldoon from Ireland
26 November 2005

Any horror film that can manage to revolve itself around a court room drama is worth a look, and this one certainly is. Comparisons with "The Exorcist" will inevitably be made but this is a far more thought provoking film than the 1970s classic. For those wanting to see a gore fest, there are some ugly moments. But if you prefer a good story and real acting, then this film will not disappoint. Exactly the right balance between shocks and plot is struck and there are some genuinely scary moments also. Add to this, a legal battle and the politics of a big law firm, and you have a movie which attempts to keep all the balls in the air.

It is the horror plot and the plight of Emily Rose which engages the audience most though. Her story is told in a series of flashbacks that are never disjointed or abstract. Indeed, it is the realism of her tragic story that is the most frightening thing in the film. It may even make you curious to read up on the true case the film is based upon. Solid and unpretentious performances from Tom Wilkinson as the priest and Laura Linney as his lawyer enhance the realism of the plot and steer it well clear of spoof horror.

My only criticism would be that promising sub-plots end up going nowhere. Don't let this put you off though. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is that most rare of things. A good, contemporary horror film.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Falls Kind of Flat

Author: (dj_bassett) from Philadelphia
14 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was disappointed in this, as I like these kind of movies and was genuinely hoping that this one would be done well. Unfortunately, an attempt to tell a serious, thoughtful story about demonic possession, complete with some decent acting and a non-exploitative approach to the material, crashes on the rocky shores of some real implausibilities (the trial is a joke, for instance, and the parents behave like really clichéd rubes) and, what's worse, is not very scary. Interesting for those who are interested in these sorts of subjects, as it's evidently based on a true story, and I did appreciate it's serious approach and non-cynical attitude towards Christianity. But somehow just lacks a spark.

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