The Devil and Father Amorth

Critics Consensus

The Devil and Father Amorth sets out to interrogate age-old questions of faith, but fails to find enough compelling answers -- or reasons for viewers to watch.



Total Count: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 86
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Years after he changed the landscape of American filmmaking with 1973's THE EXORCIST, director, co-writer and legendary storyteller William Friedkin moves from fiction to fact with his new documentary, THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH. What began as a brief conversation between Friedkin and Father Gabrielle Amorth - the head Exorcist for the Diocese of Rome for over 30 years - as two professionals who knew of each other's work soon transformed into an once-in-a- lifetime opportunity, as Amorth agreed Friedkin could film an exorcism ceremony. It would be the ninth exorcism for a painfully afflicted woman, Cristina (a pseudonym), who had already been under Father Amorth's care - and it would be filmed by Friedkin alone, with no other crew allowed, no light other than the natural light in the room and a small digital camera-and-mic unit that could capture the ritual and its revelations. Combining the startling and singular footage from Cristina's exorcism with interviews from priests and psychologists, neurosurgeons and non-believers, Friedkin guides us on a journey into the twilight world between the boundaries of what we know and what we don't with a singular and startling guide in the form of the urbane, charming and self-deprecatingly funny Father Amorth, a man who laughs in the face of the Devil both figuratively and literally. Combining Friedkin's past memories and present observations with archival footage and new interviews - as well as also presenting what may be the only real exorcism ceremony captured on film - THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMORTH is a startling and surprising story of the religion, the ritual and the real-world victims involved in possession and exorcism.


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Critic Reviews for The Devil and Father Amorth

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (22)

  • The Devil and Father Amorth starts to feel slippery, as Friedkin uses the sliver offered by psychologists and neurologists as a pry bar to crack open space for the supernatural.

    May 23, 2018 | Full Review…

    Andrew Whalen

    Top Critic
  • The Devil and Father Amorth feels at once bloated and slight, like a DVD supplement puffed up to feature length.

    Apr 20, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Despite Friedkin's pedigree, it seems to have been made by someone who's never seen a movie before.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Full Review…

    Andrew Lapin

    Top Critic
  • Regardless of whether you were raised in the church and believe in God and the devil, there's a chilling air of taboo voyeurism in all of this.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • If this documentary celebrates a crackpot, Mr. Friedkin is his match. The director's blabbermouth tendencies and wry manner make him an enjoyable M.C.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Full Review…
  • This would be an interesting subject to explore at length, with a host who didn't seem to be padding an opportunity for self-promotion with the trappings of science.

    Apr 19, 2018 | Full Review…

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