Deliver Us from Evil

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Deliver Us from Evil Movie Poster Image
Demon-possession tale based on true story is pretty gory.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 118 minutes

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

A character struggles with inner demons -- and outer demons -- and learns that he doesn't want to live in a world of violence anymore. In the end, he decides to work in a more spiritual realm and spend more time with his family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ralph Sarchie is sometimes violent and a bit lost -- he neglects his family -- but he also stands up against difficult odds and finds the strength to make things right. A priest struggles with drug addiction, and though he relies on alcohol and cigarettes to get him through, he seems to have succeeded where drugs are concerned.


A woman has a bruised and bloodied face, suggesting that her husband has beaten her. Her young daughter also has a trickle of blood from her nose. The bluish body of a dead baby is shown, wrapped in cloth. A man punches bad guys in the face again and again. Several scenes of struggling and fighting, sometimes with knives. Lots of gory wounds, with gurgling and spurting blood; crazy, scary, demon-possessed people; and gross dead bodies. A crucified cat is shown. A woman tosses a baby into a ravine at the zoo. A little girl is shown to be terrified and possibly in danger. A subplot is about a child molester. Some brief Iraq war footage, with shooting and explosions. The cops draw their guns from time to time.


A woman tries to pick up a man in a bar ("you look good sweaty"). A husband and wife kiss in bed, and the woman's nipple is somewhat visible through her sleepwear. A character mentions his "favorite porn site."


"F--k" is used several times. "S--t" is also heard, as are "balls," "ass," "hell," "Christ," "goddamn," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation). A middle finger gesture is shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A priest is shown drinking whisky and smoking cigarettes on more than one occasion. He admits to a past as a drug addict (he mentions a "speedball needle stuck in my arm"), and though he's clean now, he says that the alcohol and cigarettes help get him through.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Deliver Us from Evil is a demon-possession horror movie that's not to be confused with the 2006 Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name. There's heavy, gory, bloody violence; disgusting corpses; struggling and fighting; guns and knives; children in peril; and scary demons. There's also a subplot about a child molester/murderer. Language is strong, including several uses of "f--k." A main character is a recovering drug addict who still drinks whisky and smokes cigarettes to get by. There are some brief, minor sexual situations. The movie is supposedly based on the true story of Bronx cop Ralph Sarchie, who published a book about his experiences, which may give older teens something to talk about.

User Reviews

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Teen, 16 years old Written byThatAwesomeReviewer January 9, 2017

Really good film!

It was really good...really good story lines so good that it will make your spine shiver! I really LOVED the part with the girl's possesed doll! It freaked... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bymovie loving teen July 2, 2014

The Best Exorcism Film since 1973's "The Exorcist".

I am a huge horror fan and this is the best I have seen I quite a while. Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez are great as a Bronx cop and priest team trying to stop a c... Continue reading

What's the story?

The story of DELIVER US FROM EVIL, which says it's based on true events, begins in Iraq in 2010, as three soldiers discover a sinister chamber. Then, in the present day, South Bronx cop Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana) and his partner (Joel McHale) investigate first a spousal abuse report and then an even stranger report wherein a woman threw her baby into a ravine at the zoo. The cops notice a hooded stranger there, and in surveillance footage, observe him performing some kind of weird ritual. Sarchie meets a priest, Mendoza (Edgar Ramirez), who knows the woman from the zoo and who seems to know what's actually going on. But when Sarchie's wife (Olivia Munn) and young daughter are kidnapped, he must reach down deep within himself to accept new realities that he never dared face before.

Is it any good?

Writer/director Scott Derrickson, who already has one exorcism movie under his belt (The Exorcism of Emily Rose), started off with some strong material here. Sarchie's story could have made a gripping, tense, and spooky police procedural, with a genuine sense of awe about what's possible in the universe. Instead, Derrickson delivers this, which has been twisted and forced to resemble a traditional horror movie. That is, it has a few dozen scenes in which something scary jumps out at the camera or some sudden noise startles us. Plus, it has lots of blood and gore. But anything genuinely scary is long gone.

Derrickson's rhythm and timing also seem off. He resorts to shaky-cam and confusing use of space whenever anything dynamic happens, and, though he drags the story on to 118 full minutes, it feels alternately rushed and draggy. The talented Munn has nothing to do here, though Bana and Ramirez have a few good scenes together. And Christopher Young's score is quite unsettling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Deliver Us from Evil's gory, bloody violence. How much was necessary to tell the story? Does it go too far?

  • How scary is the movie? Does it show anything deeply frightening, or were you more momentarily startled? Why?

  • What's the appeal of demon-possession and exorcism movies in the horror genre? What other ones have you seen? How do they compare?

  • The priest says that alcohol and cigarettes help him beat his drug addiction. How do you feel about that idea?

  • If the movie is based on a true story, how does it make you re-think the world around you, if at all?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

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