The movie stars Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jack MacGowran, and Linda Blair.
Deep Focus Review has a lengthy article which includes this: "The film opened to largely positive reviews, many declaring it a benchmark of horror filmmaking. Its detractors voiced their negative assessments even louder, however, as the potent subject matter seemed to enrage certain sensibilities" and concludes,
How else but through the film’s profound spirituality—achieved via the combination of shocking visuals, the dismissal of other explanations (i.e. medical or psychiatric), and the terrifying reality of the horrors of evil—does one explain such extreme responses over the years? The Exorcist continues to affect audiences, transcending what it means to be “a horror film” through its unparalleled construction, and the balance of visceral imagery designating the resonant emotional and spiritual questions therein. Other filmmakers have attempted to out-do Friedkin’s work, but the horror genre almost never allows for the degree of insight or good intentions that is accomplished through such graphic content. The Exorcist realizes a unique stability between image and substance that audiences cannot disregard, and which has established the picture as an indisputable classic of its genre.Rolling Stone gives it 4 out of 4 stars. Empire Online concludes, "Fans should see it again, first-timers should believe the hype. Non-believers should suffer eternal damnation." Roger Ebert gives it 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 86%.