The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Movie Review

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a terrifying exorcism mystery, searching for the truth for a trial.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Poster

Director: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman (Screenplay)

Starring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore

Plot: A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Exorcism of Emily Rose starts as ambitious lawyer Erin Bruner (Linney) gets the case. Defending Father Moore (Wilkinson) who performed the exorcism of Emily (Carpenter). leading to her mysterious death.

The court trial starts with prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Scott) showing the horrific outcome of the exorcism. With the trial underway, the story of what happened to Emily is slowly revealed.

Thoughts on The Exorcism of Emily Rose


Erin Bruner is the lawyer assigned to defend Father Moore. She claims she is doesn’t believe in any of the religious side of things. This is reason, she took the case. She is using this case to advance her own career. Holding herself in the courtroom. She finds herself suffering the unexplained around her home.

Father Moore is the priest that performed the exorcism, locked up awaiting trial. He knows he did the right thing for the young woman. Waiting to tell his side to the story. He warns Erin of the dangers that might come her way in this case.

Emily Rose is the teenage college student that finds herself with an unexplained problem. The medical people claim it to be a treatable illness. Father Moore sees the evil possessing her body. Emily does through a string of horrific experiences as the possession gets worse.

The supporting cast includes the prosecutor lawyer looking for a quick conviction. Family and friends who were around Emily during the struggles she was going through. The doctors who each give a different medical story about what could have happened.


Laura Linney in the leading role is brilliant. Channelling her courtroom dominance she has in ‘Primal Fear’. Tom Wilkinson as the priest is perfect casting, with his calm delivery of every single line. Jennifer Carpenter is the star of the show here. Giving an incredible physical performance.


The story follows the courtroom case following the death of a teenager following an exorcism. Courtroom investigation into the incident brings a compelling side to the story. We look at both a potential medical or supernatural solutions causing the incidents. This side to the story makes this standout from the rest of the exorcism stories, the ones we see too often. The ones that are focusing on scares over the compelling story behind it. We do get an outcome that leaves the truth unknown. Which only plays into the world of the unknown.


The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a horror mystery that dives into the legal court case behind an exorcism death. We do get to see both the horror side and the mystery side to the potential truth. Running certain scenes back twice, with both potentials being shown. When we get into the horror side of things, we get some horrific injuries that Emily goes through. Where this movie could stand out more, is by the fact we move locations with the possession following.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Rating

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