The Exorcist
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Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the little boy in the 1949 incident into a little girl named Regan, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair. Suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior, Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn, although Blatty reportedly based the character on his next-door neighbor Shirley MacLaine). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I loved it."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"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."
‑ Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine
"The Exorcist not only tops the horror genre but transcends it, resulting in a profound experience where moviemaking horror, thrillingly dramatic storytelling and deeply felt spirituality of the Catholic kind make for pivotal viewing."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"The Exorcist is what it purports to be, no less than one of the best horror films, one of the best films, of all time."
‑ J.C. Maçek III, PopMatters
"Essential viewing for anyone who loves cinema. If you can endure it..."
‑ , Total Film
"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."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The Exorcist is not an unintelligently put-together film, which makes one all the more impatient with it."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"a brilliantly constructed, chilling tale of demonic possession and medical torture"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Friedkin's Exorcist holds up remarkably well."
‑ John G. Nettles, PopMatters
"succeeds best in developing its characters"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Some movies aren't just movies. They're closer to voodoo -- they channel currents larger and more powerful than themselves."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"If movies are, among other things, opportunities for escapism, then The Exorcist is one of the most powerful ever made."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A finely crafted thriller that benefits immensely from William Friedkin's controlled direction, William Peter Blatty's thematically fruitful script, Owen Roizman's imaginative camerawork and Dick Smith's startling makeup designs."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"This notorious battle between good and evil, nominated for eight Oscars when it was originally released in 1973, is both a hysteric scream and an intentional as well as unintentional hoot."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"There's something new to be discovered in every viewing of The Exorcist."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
More reviews for The Exorcist on Rotten Tomatoes

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