The Exorcist

Movie review by Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Exorcist Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 16+

Trendsetting shocker about a possessed child.

R 1973 132 minutes

Parents say

age 15+

Based on 61 reviews

Kids say

age 14+

Based on 158 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 17+

A horror classic, but keep it away from kids!

Any parent should keep this movie away from kids. It may be a classic, but it’s a mature classic. This movie is very complex when it comes to religion, but also incredibly scary to some people to this day. When I saw it, I found it shocking after seeing it and thinking about how both the story and the horror develop slowly, bit by bit, which makes it more scary to many audiences. Regan’s look gets worse and worse throughout the film, but what’s more scary is the sound. The demons inside Regan sound scary and Regan even talks to one of the ministers in his mother’s voice, who died during the film. This is one of the incidents that makes it not for the faint of heart. What makes it scary most of all, though, are the scenes involving Regan possessed and lying in her bed not moving or saying anything. The audience members don’t know what she’s going to do next: just talk quietly, make noises, or go on a loud rant. However, it is dated, being from 1973, and therefore may not be exceptionally scary to today’s audiences. The film is very well-made, especially for a early ‘70s film, but it is not for everyone, and it is not like any other film I have ever seen, not only because of its mature and complex themes and the fact that it took a lot of time to get scary and to the story, but also because it is extremely unpredictable.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
age 18+


This title has:

Too much swearing

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Rosemary's Baby Poster Image

    Rosemary's Baby

    Keep children away from this scary classic.

    age 16+
  • Poltergeist Poster Image


    One of the all-time great haunted house movies.

    age 13+
  • Insidious Poster Image


    Exceptionally scary flick is too intense for younger teens.

    age 15+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate