THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE (PG-13, 115 minutes)
Treading the border between spirituality and scientific fact, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" looks at demonic possession and priestly exorcism in the modern world. Based on a purportedly real incident, it does this largely as a courtroom drama with flashbacks in a far less graphic way than the neck-swiveling style of "The Exorcist" (R, 1973). Even so, all the rain, thunder, nervous camera work and harsh lighting lend a grim and lugubrious tone that earns more unintentional laughs -- and yawns -- than the filmmakers must have intended. Some teenagers may be drawn to the mystical subject, but others prone to nightmares should probably skip "Emily Rose." It contains hallucinatory images of human faces morphing into demonic ones, violent seizures, a leap through a glass window, a scene in which invisible demons seem to invade Emily in her dorm room and another in which she eats cockroaches. The film shows a pedestrian killed by a car and contains mild profanity, drinking and smoking. The fine cast cannot be faulted. Jennifer Carpenter plays Emily, a girl from a pious Catholic farm family, who sinks into depression at college, certain she is possessed. Tom Wilkinson plays the priest who tries to exorcise her demon and later insists on telling Emily's story in court. Laura Linney plays his agnostic (of course) attorney.
THE MAN (PG-13, 84 minutes)
This sporadically humorous, but also really crude, anti-buddy comedy veers cynically close to R territory, despite its PG-13 rating, with a steady stream of profanity and instances of strong violence. Eugene Levy plays Andy, a nebbishy Wisconsin dental supply salesman, in Detroit for a convention. Unfortunately for him, a criminal weapons dealer mistakenly IDs him as a big-time buyer -- "the man." Federal agent Derrick Vann (Samuel L. Jackson) forces Andy to keep up the charade for the sake of a sting operation. Only Levy's Andy lends a trace of sweetness and originality to the film's thin, formulaic premise. High schoolers (this is iffy fare for middle schoolers) may get a laugh out of watching the nerdy family man and cynical law officer interact. Along with profanity, which includes much scatological slang and several uses of the F-word, the film features a point-blank shooting, other gunplay, photos of a gunshot victim, nasty beatings by Vann of a snitch, homophobic sexual innuendo and gross flatulence gags.