- Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds, Colin O'Donoghue
- Summary: Inspired by true events, The Rite follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak, who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While in Rome, he meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas, who introduces him to the darker side of his faith. The Rite is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the devil's reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth. (Warner Bros.)… Expand
- Director: Mikael Håfström
- Genre(s): Drama, Thriller, Horror
- More Details and Credits »
9I don't understand why the critics hate this movie...it's very exciting. It is actually better than the Grandaddy of all such movie, The Exorcist. This movie takes the idea of demons residing in people seriously, framing it in a story about a non-believer and a believer. There are quite a few scary moments, and the exorcisms are rather realistic...no turning around of heads, and no pea soup.… Expand
Although the exorcism sub-genre has been nearly worn to a frazzle, it is always refreshing when the film industry develops an original idea rather than churning out sequels and remakes. The Rite is sufficiently original in this regard; though overly reliant on cliches, stereotypes and the usual faith-versus-evil boilerplate, the film manages to keep you engaged mostly through the sheer talent of Sir Anthony Hopkins.
At its core The Rite is the story of a young man tortured by uncertainty and indecision, walking the line between faith and skepticism. He is the archetypal faith-questioning falling-from-grace antihero we have seen waltzing through any number of religious dramas; yet for a character of such supposed moral complexity, our young seminarian is disappointingly static. This poor development is illuminated in contrast by the talent and experience of Hopkins. His portrayal of the unorthodox and tortured mentor simply dominates. In fact, once the movie reaches its pedestrian climax, you may find yourself wondering why the hero and the equally forgettable love interest/damsel are even in the room. Hopkins probably could have turned a more enthralling scene via monologue with his inner demons.
Even so, The Rite is watchable. There are some things it does right: the veiled debate between supernatural and psychology that subsists throughout, for instance, is handled delicately and subtly enough as to enrich rather than distract. This possession-versus-mental-illness dynamic establishes a palpable sense of dread and unhinged suspense (despite some cheap jump scares and one unfortunate cat scare). Rather than preach or spoon-feed emotion and sentiment, the film leaves most of the judgments and evaluations for the viewer (that is, until the resolution wraps everything into a nice neat package). And, despite prominently featuring the Catholic faith, the church is neither endorsed nor denigrated but rather skillfully employed as a neutral backdrop to establish setting and tone.
Classic cinema it is not, but overall, The Rite is a decent supernatural horror drama that won't leave you feeling like you've wasted two hours. Hopkins turns a solid but not brilliant performance, and you may be left scratching your head as to how he became attached to this project.… Expand