Parents' Guide to

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

A priest is on trial following a deadly exorcism.

Movie PG-13 2005 113 minutes
The Exorcism of Emily Rose Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 7+


Not much blood, I watched it when I was 7 and I'm 10 now. But it will always stay as one of my favorites! To me, It's 5 stars.
age 14+

Chilling and intense! Poor Emily!

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a very good movie dealing with a young woman in college who gets exorcized by several demons without any explanation. When she's discovered and helped by Father Richard Moore, he's suddenly accused of her death and is on trial. He's backed up and defended by a lawyer named Erin who's skeptical about his spiritual beliefs at first (that demons do exist) but after strange paranormal activity starts happening to her, she begins to understand his position and helps him to win the case. Knowing that this was true makes the movie so much more frightening! It's dark, eerie, depressing and very sad! Jennifer Carpenter's acting as Emily Rose is amazing! Violence is pretty strong mainly when Emily is possessed, she often goes crazy. There is scary demon-like voices coming out of her. Emily also gets stuck in weird violent looking body positions after being possessed. A violent car crash that kills a man. Some gore including a bloody photo of Emily's corps used in the court room. Language is not bad. No sexual content. Some mild bar scenes. Not for people who get easily scared, the title of the movie alone is a warning. Safe for 15+ teens.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (23 ):

Despite its title and pile-up of such spectacular images, Exorcism is actually less about the exorcism than about how to interpret what happens to Emily. While the movie plainly shows her possessed, doubts arise in legal, social, and "scientific" explanations (is she anorexic, psychotic, in need of medication?). Cutting among the courtroom scenes (the wondrous Shohreh Aghdashloo makes a brief appearance as a scientist who defends the exorcism), Erin's own lonely encounters with demons (or sinister shadows and noises at her home, at least), and Emily's rapidly escalating symptoms (including speaking in multiple voices, eating bugs, starving, and abusing herself and others physically), the film makes Father Moore's case, that even if you don't believe (like Erin), demons exist. And they'll plague you just to make that point.

Demonstrating their existence appears to be Father Moore's focus as well. He insists, against Erin's advice, that he testify. "What matters most is that I tell Emily's story," he says, having heard her version of a vision whereby she learns her suffering and example are God's will. While the Archdiocese and scientific and legal communities are trying to explain the event, Emily's "story" is that the explanation is a function of faith. She's chosen. The most compelling question arising from Scott (Hellraiser: Inferno) Derrickson's revisitation of the story has to do with audience and timing. Why now? What's at stake for current audiences, not only in Emily's ordeal, but in the arguments around it? And what sort of refitting makes it suitable for a PG-13 rating, aside from the omission of Linda Blair's green-pea soup vomit and Mercedes McCambridge's obscenities in the William Friedkin version?

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 9, 2005
  • On DVD or streaming: December 20, 2005
  • Cast: Campbell Scott , Laura Linney , Tom Wilkinson
  • Director: Scott Derrickson
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 113 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: thematic material, including intense/frightening sequences and disturbing images
  • Last updated: October 3, 2023

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