Box art for The Exorcist

The Exorcist

drama, horror, thrillers


An innocent girl is evilly possessed -- and a doubting priest becomes her last hope. Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn in the two-time Academy Award(R) winner that shocked the world.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    88%
  • Audience Score
    87%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
5 out of 5

Trendsetting shocker about a possessed child.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a mature horror film, not aimed at (or paced for) kids. No rock-music soundtracks or look-out-the-killer-is-behind-you scares, but rather an awful sense of corruption as demonic possession takes over an adolescent girl like a loathsome progressive disease. The infamous makeup effects of projectile vomiting and blood, blaspheming, and gutturally obscene language were meant to disturb the viewer as nothing before seen in movies, and they still convey solid shocks.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's religious and scientific overtones. Does Father Karras regain his religious faith in the finale, and how does he become almost Christlike? What do you think about the novel's suggestion that this might not be a "real" demon but rather some terrible but explicable mental disorder?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    88%
    reviews counted: 10
    see all The Exorcist reviews
  • Audience

    87%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: It's good stuff but, basically, The Exorcist is a museum piece, something to be enjoyed for its historical value, its datedness and its almost quaint shock value.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Monday, October 8, 2012

Fresh: I loved it.

- Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune, Friday, January 18, 2013

Fresh: There is nothing dated about The Exorcist, which remains an effective excursion into demonic possession more than a quarter of a century after it was first unveiled to the public.

- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Friday, September 21, 2007

Audience Reviews

5 stars

"The Exorcist" is a true American horror classic. One of, if not, the best example of the horror genre in American, nothing released since has really come close to topping it. Restrained, true, acting; disturbing visuals, an unsettling atmosphere and a story that is both truly scary and emotionally compelling and resonant; "The Exorcist" seems as modern now as it did when it was released in 1973.

- stevenecarrier, Friday, October 8, 2010

4 stars

Is it just me or is the Exorcist not as scary as its made out to be? Yes it is a great movie, it has it's horrifying moments i.e. the descending the staircase, but at times it teters close to the edge of the ridiculous. Great horror film yes, one of the scariest films of all time, not really. One critic aptly described the Exorcist as Religious pornography and I agree, as great as it is. Realistic psychological thrillers are always more scary than the supernatural ghosts and demons. I guess it call comes down to what you believe.

- smith44, Thursday, August 5, 2010

4 stars

A-

- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Thursday, June 24, 2010