Roger Ebert gives it 3 stars. It gets a 36% from the top critics at Rotten Tomatoes, but the general audience likes it much better. The New York Times calls it "propaganda disguised as entertainment." Slant Magazine gives it 1 1/2 stars out of a possible 4, saying the film
pits spirituality against secularism in a court of law, defending each side with such righteous, calculated equal-opportunity you know some suit at Sony is applauding himself for coming up with a concept that would wrangle fans of The Passion of the Christ and everyone else in the world into the same room and possibly get them talking—except there's nothing to discuss here except for how little room the filmmakers allow for subjective thought.BBC's review describes it as "A classy "boo!" movie for those who like their horror polite." Variety likes it and calls it "an unusually intelligent genre item that manages to mix full-bore horror with courtroom drama." Entertainment Weekly isn't a fan, but isn't specific. Moria gives it a single star and says it's "a thorough disappointment." DVD Talk says it's
an intelligent and thought provoking film that hits the right blend of drama, intrigue, intelligent debate, and genuine scaresand
The Exorcism Of Emily Rose proves to be a very clever film that delivers some scares but more importantly makes you think about your own faith and your own beliefs.Rolling Stone objects to the silliness, using a quote from the movie. TimeOut calls it "silly and insulting". Slate.com didn't like it and has a snarky review.