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"THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE"
(2005) (Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate *Heavy Extreme None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Moderate Extreme None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None Minor Moderate Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Horror: A hotshot defense attorney sets out to defend a priest who's on trial for the exorcism-related death of a girl he claims was possessed by demons.
PLOT:
Erin Bruner (LAURA LINNEY) is a hotshot defense attorney who's a rising star in the law firm run by her boss Karl Gunderson (COLM FEORE). Her latest case and one that might make her a senior partner, however, will be her toughest test yet. Since her firm represents the Archdiocese, they've been asked to defend Father Richard Moore (TOM WILKINSON) who's incarcerated on charges of negligent homicide regarding the death of Emily Rose (JENNIFER CARPENTER).

It seems that the 19-year-old college student, her family and Father Moore believed she was possessed by demons, thus leading to the latter performing an exorcism on her. It didn't work, and having rejected all medical treatment, the girl eventually died. Despite offers of a plea bargain, Father Moore refuses to admit any guilt, instead saying that he only wants to tell Emily's story and explain what really happened.

Pitted against tough assistant district attorney Ethan Thomas (CAMPBELL SCOTT), his piles of medical evidence and his dismissal of their claims of demonic possession, Erin sets out to defend her client with the help of various witnesses. They include Erin's classmate Jason (JOSHUA CLOSE), anthropologist Dr. Adani (SHOHREH AGHDASHLOO) and medical doctor Graham Cartwright (DUNCAN FRAZER) who witnessed the attempted exorcism. As supernatural events seemingly begin to occur in her presence, Erin does what she can to prove Father Moore's innocence.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into horror films, courtroom dramas and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, they might, but that's probably otherwise limited to teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material, including intense/frightening sequences and disturbing images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • LAURA LINNEY plays a rising defense attorney who hopes her latest case will make her a senior partner in her law firm. She must pull out all the stops while trying to defend Father Moore, all while beginning to believe she's experiencing supernatural occurrences. She drinks and shows some worry about her former client having murdered someone after she worked to free him of previous similar charges.
  • TOM WILKINSON plays the priest who believed Emily was possessed by demons and did everything in his power to help the girl. Once on trial, he refuses to admit any guilt and only wants to tell her story.
  • JENNIFER CARPENTER plays the 19-year-old girl who was either possessed by demons or suffered from a combination of epilepsy and some form of psychosis.
  • CAMPBELL SCOTT plays the assistant district attorney who tries the case and does his best to discredit Moore and his legal defense.
  • DUNCAN FRAZER plays a doctor who witnessed the attempted exorcism and reluctantly comes forward as a witness.
  • COLM FEORE plays Erin's opportunistic boss who eventually turns on her when things go bad with the court case.
  • JOSHUA CLOSE plays a college student who tried to help Emily when her troubles began.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama/horror film that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "s" word, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Violence consists of a person being struck and killed by a car, a possessed or disturbed woman striking her father in that state, some animals briefly attacking humans and what seems to be an invisible entity pinning and apparently assaulting a young woman on her bed.

    A little bit of blood is present as are repeated views of a postmortem photo of a dead woman's bad-looking face. Such scenes, all of the demonic possession material and various haunted house type scenes (where people slowly and cautiously walk around in the dark) may be unsettling, suspenseful or downright scary to viewers, particularly younger kids and those with low tolerance levels for such material. Other thematic material is present, as are some tense family moments (including the aftermath of the death of a teenage child).

    Some bad attitudes are present, while the main character spends a lot of her off-time drinking, while others also consume alcoholic beverages. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are near strobe effects during an attempted exorcism in the past.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are various bits of jumpy camerawork from time to time in the movie, while a camera mounted on Father Moore's chest (in one scene and aimed back at him) provides a very shaky and bumpy trip down a stairwell.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Erin has a drink in front of her in a bar where others also drink. She and her boss then order more.
  • Erin has a martini in a bar where others drink and offers to buy Ethan one, but he declines the offer.
  • Erin has some wine.
  • A school doctor testifies that he thought Emily's condition was caused by drugs, possibly hallucinogenic in nature.
  • Erin has a drink.
  • Erin's boss asks if she's drunk. She says not yet, but that she's working on it (after seeing a key witness be killed by a car). She pours some liquor into a coffee mug.
  • Erin has a drink in front of her in a bar where others drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • At various points in the film, we see various views of one postmortem photo of Emily's bad-looking face (bruised and somewhat demonic in nature).
  • Father Moore wakes sees blood running from some stained glass.
  • Emily's palms are bloody (in a stigmata fashion) in a flashback.
  • We see an imagined flashback of Emily grabbing some barbwire with her hands (and a single drop of blood comes down from that) to suggest how she got her stigmata type wounds.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Depending on one's point of view, it could be said that the demons that possessed Emily had bad attitudes as did those, such as Ethan, who later laughs that off, while others will see Father Moore as being the one with the bad attitude for allowing Emily to die while under his care and claiming he did nothing wrong.
  • For those concerned with such matters, we hear that Erin is agnostic.
  • Erin hears news that her former client (that she got off from murder charges) murdered someone.
  • Ethan has a bit of a condescending attitude toward Father Moore, Erin and others related to their case during the trial.
  • Erin's boss suddenly has a bad attitude toward her and threatens her future with the law firm.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Jump Scenes" may also be unsettling or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We briefly hear stereotypical possession sounds coming from a farm.
  • A timepiece suddenly stops at 3 am.
  • At various points in the film, we see various views of one postmortem photo of Emily's bad-looking face (bruised and somewhat demonic in nature).
  • We see a flashback to Emily waking up at 3 am in her college dorm to the smell of a fire. She then goes out into the dimly lit hallway and slowly makes her way through it (as suspenseful music plays on the soundtrack). A sudden sound scares her and she then sees a door opening and closing by itself (she pulls it shut and it stops). She then returns to her room and gets into bed (still in the dark) when her pencil holder starts moving across some furniture and then falls to the floor. Her bedspread is then pulled off her by an invisible force that then leaves dent marks on either side of her in the bed to which it then pins her. She panics in what somewhat looks like an invisible rape or some other type of personal assault by that invisible force.
  • We see a flashback to Emily's eyes rolling back in her head and then her convulsing on the floor (from demons or epilepsy).
  • As Erin passes by a dark jail cell, voices seem to emanate from it, but no one is there. Father Moore then warns her about the dark forces and to be careful, adding that demons exist whether she believes in them or not.
  • Emily sees a demonic face form in a thunderstorm cloud.
  • An invisible force drags Emily across a hospital floor.
  • In one sequence at college, Emily see a demonic face form in the window of her classroom; a boy's eyes suddenly turning black and leaking profuse amounts of what looks like ink; a car passes by outside in the rain and the person's face inside it is all distorted; the faces of two people passing by under an umbrella also suddenly look distorted; as do those of two older women in a church where Emily races for refuge.
  • We see Emily bent over backwards in an almost impossible physical distortion and her face looks all distorted as well.
  • There's a sudden sound in Erin's bathroom. She gets up to investigate (after her clock has stopped at 3 am) and slowly makes her way through her house, with one lone light then going out. The front door then suddenly opens and light pours in, scaring her (all as scary music plays on the soundtrack).
  • Father Moore hears voices and sees shadows in his place, prompting him to recite religious sayings to battle the evil that's apparently present.
  • We see a flashback to Emily in the cafeteria where standard sounds and noises are driving her crazy.
  • Jason finds Emily frozen on the floor in a contorted pose, with her eyes blankly staring up. When he gets close to her, her mouth suddenly opens and sounds come out.
  • We see a flashback to Emily's sister going to see her in Emily's farmhouse bedroom. She finds her sister crouching on the floor, eating bugs. Both end up screaming, Emily starts bouncing in a weird fashion, scraping the wall with her fingernails, yanking at her hair, uncontrollably convulsing and then going into a catatonic-type frozen stance. Her father and Father Moore then try to control her. Emily then speaks in Latin and strikes Father Moore on the face.
  • Erin tells the story of unexpectedly finding a locket that just so happens to have her complete initials on it.
  • We hear audio excerpts from Emily's exorcism (complete with spooky, demonic sounds, etc.).
  • Erin wakes up at 3 am to hear sounds in her place. She slowly makes her way through her home, all while hearing muffled screaming and other demonic sounds. She then discovers that they're coming from a tape recorder that's started playing an earlier recording of Emily's exorcism on its own.
  • Father Moore wakes up at 3 am, the lights are out and he slowly walks around in the dark. He then sees blood running from some stained glass, some sort of dark, cloudy figure spreading in a painting, as well as some sort of demonic figure in passing (we don't get a good look at it).
  • The tape recording of the exorcism plays in the courtroom and we then flashback to the start of the attempted exorcism where Emily is doing some guttural, demonic laughing and other such sounds. A cross on the wall downstairs suddenly flips over, hanging upside down. During the exorcism, Emily gets a hand free and hits her father, while various farm cats suddenly attack Father Moore, knocking him down. She then frees her other hand from the bed, runs and blasts out through the window (after previously yelling and trying to lunge at them while still tied by one hand). They then follow her into the barn where all sorts of rats, snakes and spiders start congregating. Something falls and hits Father Moore who uses a cross to burn Emily's neck upon contact with it. During this, alls sorts of yelling occurs as do camera jump cuts and various views of Emily's scary looking face and personality. A horse then rears up and knocks her dad to the ground, all as a thunderstorm rages on at night outside the barn.
  • A person is suddenly struck by a car and slams into the windshield (we hear that he died).
  • We hear that Emily has six demons in her body.
  • We see a flashback to Emily going outside at night in the fog and then having an out of body experience where she encounters the Virgin Mary.
  • We see an imagined flashback of Emily grabbing some barbwire with her hands (and a single drop of blood comes down from that) to suggest how she got her stigmata type wounds.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Somebody who knows their sh*t," "A shrewd son of a bitch," "You're really God's gunslinger," "It scared the hell out of me," "What the hell happened?" "Freak show," and "You've screwed it up beyond all repair."
  • It's possible the film could inspire some kids to act like they're possessed.
  • We see an imagined flashback of Emily grabbing some barbwire with her hands (and a single drop of blood comes down from that) to suggest how she got her stigmata type wounds.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A sudden sound might startle some viewers.
  • There's a sudden sound in Erin's bathroom.
  • Jason finds Emily frozen on the floor in a contorted pose, with her eyes blankly staring up. When he gets close to her, her mouth suddenly opens and sounds come out.
  • Pigeons suddenly take flight.
  • A person is suddenly struck by a car and slams into the windshield (we hear that he died).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous, suspenseful and scary music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "s" word, 3 hells, 1 S.O.B. and 1 use each of "God" and "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous person smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • As the movie begins, Emily is already dead (we hear from an unnatural death) and we briefly see her grieving family members at their farm house.
  • We hear that Erin was raised only by her mom.
  • We see Emily's father and later her sister looking distraught over how Emily is acting in their house.
  • At various points, we see Emily's family in the courtroom watching the proceedings about her death.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Demonic possession and the rite of exorcism.
  • Court cases, lawyers and the law.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Psychotic breaks from reality.
  • We hear that Erin is agnostic.
  • The fact that Father Moore only wants to tell Emily's story regarding what really happened and why.
  • We hear that Erin was raised only by her mom.
  • The fact that the family abandoned medical treatment in favor of religious treatment for Emily's condition.
  • We hear that Emily's mom didn't approve of Emily dating (although she was 19).
  • Erin hears news that her former client (that she got off from murder charges) murdered someone.
  • Father Moore states that the significance of 3 am is that it's the demonic witching time to mock the Holy Trinity.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see a flashback to Emily returning to her dorm room and getting into bed (still in the dark). Her bedspread is then pulled off her by an invisible force that then leaves dent marks on either side of her in the bed to which it then pins her. She panics in what somewhat looks like an invisible rape or some other type of personal assault by that invisible force.
  • An invisible force drags Emily across a hospital floor.
  • While possessed, Emily strikes Father Moore on the face.
  • During the exorcism, Emily gets a hand free and hits her father, while various farm cats suddenly attack Father Moore, knocking him down. She then frees her other hand from the bed, runs and blasts out through the window (after previously yelling and trying to lunge at them while still tied by one hand). They then follow her into the barn where something falls and hits Father Moore who uses a cross to burn Emily's neck upon contact with it. A horse then rears up and knocks her dad to the ground.
  • A person is suddenly struck by a car and slams into the windshield (we hear that he died).



  • Reviewed August 25, 2005 / Posted September 9, 2005

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