• R, 2 hr. 2 min.
  • Classics, Horror
  • Directed By:    William Friedkin
  • In Theaters:    Dec 26, 1973 Wide
  • On DVD:    Dec 1, 1998
  • Warner Bros. Pictures

The Exorcist Reviews

Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

The Exorcist, with its excellent cast, mounting intensity, and ingeniously constructed surprises, is still a commanding achievement.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

The movie that launched a new era in horror films, and which, for one generation, remains one of the scariest experiences of their lives.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

The Exorcist, like most memorable Hollywood movies, gains its power from the way it mixes opposites: new-style realism and sexual radicalism, old-style horror and religion.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

When I first saw The Exorcist, I saw only the literal side of the story. But as I watched it again, I began to view the movie as a dark fairy tale about a parent whose child is experiencing a painful trauma.

Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

Von Sydow, Blair and Mercedes McCambridge (the originally uncredited actress who dubbed Regan's gross mutterings) are flat-out terrific.

Chris Peachment
Time Out
Top Critic
October 15, 2014

Aall The Exorcist does is take its audience for a ride, spewing it out the other end, shaken up but none the wiser.

Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

I loved it.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
October 8, 2012

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.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
September 7, 2011

Some movies aren't just movies. They're closer to voodoo -- they channel currents larger and more powerful than themselves.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
August 24, 2008

Friedkin and Blatty seem to care nothing for their characters as people, only as victims-props to be abused, hurled about the room, beaten and, in one case, brutally murdered.

Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic
March 19, 2008

The Exorcist is not an unintelligently put-together film, which makes one all the more impatient with it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
September 21, 2007

If movies are, among other things, opportunities for escapism, then The Exorcist is one of the most powerful ever made.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
September 21, 2007

There's something elemental about The Exorcist.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
September 21, 2007

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Variety Staff
Variety
Top Critic
September 21, 2007

An expert telling of a supernatural horror story.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
September 21, 2007

This 1973 horror thriller is highly instructive as well as unnerving.