**/**** Image A Sound A+ Extras B-
starring Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Guy Pearce, Bruce Greenwood
screenplay by Steven Gaghan
directed by William Friedkin
by Bill Chambers In an absurd bit of pop irony, director William Friedkin's biggest smash post-The Exorcist is...The Exorcist. His 1973 horror masterpiece just returned theatres as you've never seen it before--meaning it has been radically altered to fit the George Lucas model of re-release. Starting from scratch today, I doubt Friedkin could have made something half as trenchant as even this tailored-to-the-Nineties version of The Exorcist; for all its unnecessary underscore and pandering CGI, the film retains a purity of emotion he's rarely pursued--or hit upon--since. With Rules of Engagement, which bows on DVD this month, Friedkin seems jazzed by a good cast and implosive subject matter, but at the end of the day I'd be hard-pressed to call it anything but hollow.