Parents' Guide to

Exorcist: The Beginning

By Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Brutal. Not for kids.

Movie R 2004 90 minutes
Exorcist: The Beginning Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 13+

Nothing good to say.

None of the films in the Exorcist series are good. I did not find a single moment in any of the films scary, but just pushes the word "unbearable" to the brink. It really is not strong enough word to describe this terrible, terrible film. It is a disaster that deserves no praise from anybody. 1 star is very generous, and it is a great pity that Common Sense Media does not allow you to give out zero star ratings. The script is lazy and childish, so bad that the Devil himself must have written it to punish us, and the immense amount of gore does not make the film any more entertaining. God, it's awful. By the time you're halfway through this film, you'll wish you were in hell. It's better to be there than on Earth watching this.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 14+

Exorcist: The Beginning

Not a bad movie at all really. Not as good as the older ones of course, but still worth watching.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (6):

A contrived plot, lame CGI effects and needless, over-the-top gore make EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING an unbearable movie to watch. Flashbacks to Merrin's past are heavy-handed (for example, a slow-motion cut of a little girl dropping her toy puppy in the snow when she comes across a dead body) -- and using the horror of the Holocaust here seems offensive.

The final showdown has a nice head-turning homage to the famous first film (though the effects look fake), and there are some interesting plot points (a young priest tells Merrin that the Vatican suspects the dig site is where Lucifer fell to Earth after being thrown from Heaven). But ultimately viewers will be disappointed that any compelling details are buried by the film's focus on cheap jumps and blood baths.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 19, 2004
  • On DVD or streaming: March 1, 2005
  • Cast: James D'Arcy, Remy Sweeney
  • Director: Renny Harlin
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violence and gore, disturbing images and rituals, and for language
  • Last updated: March 19, 2023

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