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The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Based on a true story. Isn’t it always? Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) is a college freshman who dies while a priest (Tom Wilkinson) performs an exorcism. Now the good father is being tried for homicide. Laura Linney plays his lawyer, an agnostic. Campbell Scott plays the prosecutor, a man of faith. Oh, the irony. Oh, how good actors can trap themselves in drivel. Director and co-writer Scott Derrickson thinks he’s not ripping off the 1973 Exorcist, presumably because his effects are too tacky to work up a scare or a convincing case for possession. At one point, Scott raises an objection. “On what grounds?” asks the judge. “How about silliness, your honor?” Amen to that.

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