Exorcism of Emily Rose, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +1/2

When a coroner investigates the death of 19-year-old Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter), he discovers a battered body and evidence of a struggle. He also finds Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson), a Catholic priest who, together with Emily and her family, is convinced that Emily had been demon-possessed. Moore had cared for the girl by praying for her and performing an exorcism on her, but in the end, Emily’s affliction caused her to inflict lethal wounds on herself. Dismayed by the situation, the police immediately arrest Father Moore, charging him with negligent homicide. They claim that rather than performing “archaic and irrational” rites on Emily, Father Moore should have had her committed to a mental hospital, which could properly care for her obvious mental illness. Now Moore’s agnostic attorney, Erin Bruner (Laura Linney), must defend the priest and uncover the truth about the exorcism of Emily Rose.

Against the backdrop of Father Moore’s trial, the film asks a question about reality and how we interpret it. Was Emily possessed by demons or simply suffering from a severe mental illness? And how can a person tell the difference? Father Moore thinks he knows when he decides to attack Emily’s spiritual problems. While the prosecution looks for scientific explanations, the defense attempts to show that something evil and supernatural is taking place. And while the film is sympathetic toward the spiritual explanation of Emily’s condition, it also shows how easily events can be reinterpreted by people who have a specific bias or agenda. Though it is a powerful and interesting film, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is not for everyone since it has some very frightening scenes involving demonic images and sound effects that are sure to leave a lasting impression on some. In the end, Preview cautiously recommends this thought-provoking film, which was inspired by true events.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Screen Gems

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times – mild (hell 2); strong (SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Few (1) times – strong (s-word 1)

Profanity: Once – moderate (MG 1)

Violence: Many times – mild (woman has numerous convulsions and causes herself personal injuries); moderate (man is hit by a car and dies, several frightening scenes in which demons appear to be afflicting a woman and struggling within her, woman throws herself out of a window, objects appear to move supernaturally and threaten people, woman grabs barbwire fence and cuts herself, cats attack people); strong (images of a young lady who is severely bruised and battered by convulsions, young lady who is apparently demon-possessed struggles against her caregivers)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None – mild (woman’s boyfriend stays overnight in her bed to comfort her in the midst of a severe affliction but without any indication of sexuality involved)

Drugs: Few times – mild (woman drinks wine, many people shown drinking in two bar scenes)

Other: Numerous appropriate references to God and religious themes; depiction of a religious family; depiction of demon possession; discussion of whether the symptoms of demon possession might actually be severe mental illness; depiction of Roman Catholic rite of exorcism and other Roman Catholic ceremonies, traditions and rites

Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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