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"The Rite" is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the Devil's reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth. Inspired by true events, the film follows seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue), who is sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts about the controversial practice and even his own faith. Wearing his deep skepticism like armor, Michael challenges his superiors to look to psychiatry, rather than demons, in treating the possessed. Only when he's sent to apprentice with the unorthodox Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins)--a legendary priest who has performed thousands of exorcisms--does Michael's armor begin to fall. As he is drawn into a troubling case that seems to transcend even Father Lucas's skill, he begins to glimpse a phenomenon science can't explain or control...and an evil so violent and terrifying that it forces him to question everything he believes.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 159
- Fresh: 33
- Rotten: 126
- Average Rating: 4.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Anthony Hopkins playing someone evil? SHOCKING. He is rather good at this schtick, but the script is flabby and cliche ridden. The young lead looks distractingly like an emo Ken doll too.
Rotten: Exorcist fans will be bored, Hopkins devotees will be confused, and Colin O'Donoghue obsessives exist only in the mind of Colin O'Donoghue.
Rotten: The Rite is about as scary as watching two kittens fight over possession of a scrunched up piece of paper.
Rotten: This dreary affair is 'inspired by actual events', but it's a very low-wattage entry into the genre of the exorcist movie.
FOr the Critics
Any movie critic that has dubbed this film a "flop" has missed the concept. THis was not hollywood hype, it shows exorcism in a light rarely seen by outsiders. Although a few of the scenes may have been a little over exagerated, for the most part this film was spot on. Working with a Catholic priest and in the "deliverance Ministry", I have seen first hand, the demonic and how they oppress and influence. If you want to watch a true to life view of the world of an exorcist with a decent storyline, then definitely watch this film. Its as close to the real thing as you are going to get without having to go through a Real possession yourself. THese "newspaper" critics miss the point completely and because they favor themselves so highly, they believe what they decide is good or bad. They miss judge more often than not. Rent or buy this film, ITS definitely worth viewing.
...A movie with a message.
The thing I liked about "The Rite" is that it took a typical subject and did something a little different with it.
This is not "The Exorcist", it's not "Paranormal Activity", or "Emily Rose".
Does the Devil exist, or do people with mental issues just use him as an excuse to act crazy? And when they do, do religious people just see what they want to see instead of trying to get them psychological help? Those are the questions that the movie seems to address as the main character, Michael Kovak, has skepticism about the whole "Exorcism" thing and thinks it's all nonsense.
Michael Kovak is a priest-to-be. He doesn't believe in God or the Devil and doesn't even know why he tried becoming a priest. He was raised in a house that was also the town morgue.
So he has a pretty troubled past in that sense.
What follows is an internal battle for Michael as he involuntarily enters the world of exorcisms after a priest assigns him to the task. He meets with Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) who tries making a priest out of Michael. He challenges his beliefs and ultimately becomes his mentor in the subject of exorcisms, as well as the subject of religion as a whole.
The movie doesn't attempt to be scary, instead it seems to purposely be a pretty tamed flick that just wants to have its message heard. The exorcisms aren't gruesome either, and it doesn't do anything over-the-top to try getting cheap scares. It's just normal people sitting in chairs having deep voices and moving around. And even at one point after Michael witnesses his first exorcism he gives Father Lucas a funny face, not knowing what happened. Father Lucas says "What did you expect? Spinning heads and pea soup?".
That quote basically sums up the approach that the movie takes on this subject and seems to have a strong message about Michael not wanting to grasp religion, God, the Devil, or the fact that exorcisms are real. He believes that possessed people are just psychologically sick people.
If you go into the movie expecting a scare fest you'll be disappointed. Because it's not scary.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the movie, but it's not the best movie in the world. It wont be winning any oscars, but it's good for what it is and for what it's trying to be. It's fueled by characters and dialogue and manages to be consistently entertaining. It has good performances from the whole cast, and actually has a message-- which can't be said about other movies of this caliber. But it always feels like it's treading closely to the line of a really good movie, but for some reason decides to tip toe just outside of that line.
I'd give it:
3 and a Half stars.
Ignore the critics
Please ignore the critics. this movie is great. especially for catholics. its about a priest finding out if religion is fake or not. its not meant to be seen as a scary movie, but one that sets you on edge.