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The Rite

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Mikael Håfström

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About the Movie

"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: 165
  • Fresh: 35
  • Rotten: 130
  • Average Rating: 4.2/10

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. – Marc Fennell, Triple J, Mar 14, 2011

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. – Charlie Lyne, Ultra Culture, Mar 14, 2011

Rotten: The Rite is about as scary as watching two kittens fight over possession of a scrunched up piece of paper. – Jim Schembri, The Canberra Times (Australia), Mar 12, 2011

Rotten: The filmmakers have gone with a stock-standard mould that offers nothing new. If there was a surprise... it was just how boring these characters were. – Matthew Toomey, ABC Radio Brisbane, Mar 10, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Loved it!

This is a fantastic movie that will keep you on edge throughout the whole film. Great movie and Ill be purchasing this on itunes as soon as it is available. I guess you just got to ignore the critics and judge it for yourself.

i love this movie

this was a great film anthony hopkins was at his best since the siilence of the lambs another great film . the rite truely followed the possison and the story behind it. i love this movie and i'm thrilled itunes has it i'm so happy right now. thank you itunes

...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.

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The Rite
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2011

Customer Ratings