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Since Exorcist, there's maybe one or two movies of this subject that have been good...half decent...and this is one of them.
poicop31 January 2011
Sometimes you read reviews, but want to see the film so bad, you go, and because your expectations are so low. You enjoy the movie. Reviews seems to be on the good side, with earlier reviews being very bad.

This is a good movie. The acting is good. The directing is good. Unfortunately some people are bothered by the lead in the movie. But that's his job. And he did his job well. He was picked for a good reason. I would only be guessing why. But those/the director/writer who created this movie did a good job. The feel of this film, the length. I had a good time.

I would give this film a decent 7 out of 10. It does not rely on gore to scare you, or major special effects, or 3D. No doubt Anthony Hopkins is great in this film.

I enjoyed it. You get what you paid for. Your not going to get The Exorcist. But in the HORROR film library, if you ask me, 80 - 85% of them all are garbage, or slasher, gore, which I do not consider a "Horror Movie."

Well done everyone involved. It will not win awards. But so far it's a decent film that I will remember as one of the good ones from 2011.

Lastly....anyone talking during the movie...were silenced.
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The Rite saves the dying exorcism sub-genres
yawar hameed21 May 2011
After losing faith in the exorcism sub-genres and my sister telling me how average this movie was, i didn't expect much from The Rite. Honestly, the only reason i watched it was because of Anthony Hopkins, and i am glad i did. This movie has everything that fans want in an exorcism movie. Some people may find it a bit slow paced but the movie does not steer off course, every minute is relevant to the storyline.

Even in his 70's, Mr Hopkins did just what was expected from him. He gave a powerful performance which scared the living hell out of me and played his most convincing role since Hannibal Lector but surprisingly so did someone else, someone who i had never heard of. Yes, i am talking about Colin O'Donoghue, who managed to stay in the light and make a great connection with his co-stars. Every character in the movie was fully utilized specially that of Alice Braga.

I find that many people fail to see the spark in this film, and the only reason i can think of is that people these days are too fond of gore which this movie lacks. Surely, The Rite is not for the "Doubters" but for the people who believe and have interest in this subject.

After decades of miserable exorcism movies, finally we got us a winner. Can i dare say that this movie is better than The Exorcist?, No i cant but this is definitely the "Second Best" ..

Now i can confidently say that "you were wrong big sister".

With solid performances, amazing cinematography and mind blowing sound effects, i give it a 9/10.
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Inspired by true events story that is interesting but not exciting
hyprsleepy31 January 2011
While I was always waiting to see what happened next and interested in how the good guys would overcome the challenges they faced I felt completely detached from the main character, Michael Kovak. I don't need to like the main character but I still need to connect. Unfortunately, Michael was very emotionally inaccessible and therefore I never really cared for him.

On a positive note, Anthony Hopkins had a very good performance and the little field trips that he took the "doubter" on were some of the best parts of the movie. I loved how Kovak hung on to his doubt even when faced with an example of the possessed knowing the unknowable. The pacing was slow and gradually ratcheted up the tension as it went along. For some this may be boring but I was comfortable with it as it made the events unfolding feel natural instead of forced or rushed.

Overall, it was an alright movie that could have been great but just wasn't.
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Survival of Exorcism sub-genre with the phenomenon acting by a giant actor
petit7631 January 2011
The Rite looked like it would be a mixed bag right from the start. The film seemed to suffer the same fate many other films before it fell victim to and that's giving away too much of the storyline in the trailers. On top of that, it was a film that revolved around exorcism which is a subject that usually leads to disappointing results. Expectations would lead one to believe that The Rite would have enough momentum to reel you in only to drop the ball during its finale similar to last year's The Last Exorcism (except hopefully without the appearance of a neon red, glow in the dark fetus). Luckily, the film has a few surprises up its sleeve.

The cinematography in the film is probably the first thing you'll notice visually. The opening of the film makes things like dripping embalming fluid, a swing set on a playground, and an overturned shopping cart seem more interesting than they really are. Rain is an element used fairly often in the film to usually signify when something has gone wrong or is about to. Whether the camera is placed up high to make it seem like you're looking down on the cast from the heavens or down low as if you're looking up at them from the depths of the earth, the rain sequences in the film are definitely some of the most memorable due to the camera work.

This is probably a pretty obvious statement, but the film is worth seeing for Anthony Hopkins alone. It's not that Colin O'Donoghue does poorly since he certainly has a strong screen presence and does a fantastic job carrying the film, but Hopkins just manages to trump that while stealing every scene he's in and rightfully so. Father Lucas Trevant is the strongest and creepiest role Hopkins has played since Hannibal Lecter and his best role overall in years. It's just amazing seeing a man in his seventies give a performance that's this physical and this absorbing. Speaking of distinguished actors, it was nice seeing Rutger Hauer as well even if it was just for a small role.

The dream sequences and hallucinations in the film may have been my hands down favorite. I've always been a fan of the surreal, the imaginative, the creative, and the things that don't seem to make sense at first but gain meaning as the film or story progresses. I never thought I'd find myself intrigued with the actions of a mule or that frogs could have an even deeper meaning than what you're probably expecting, but The Rite accomplishes this very well.

Thankfully, The Rite delivers an exorcism film that is actually worth seeing. It'll probably be forgotten about in a year filled with so many blockbuster film releases, but considering that January and February are usually filled with such monstrous duds at the box office The Rite manages to surpass expectations. While the film does seem rather reminiscent of The Last Exorcism and borrows the atmosphere from the Heath Ledger film The Order, The Rite is actually a better experience overall. With an engrossing performance by Anthony Hopkins along with a fairly strong cast all around, its fantastic cinematography, surreal dream sequences, and a satisfying conclusion that doesn't hint at a sequel, The Rite is actually a surprisingly decent film all around. Evren Buyruk
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Compelling Drama of the Invisible World
marysjoys26 May 2011
Review of "The Rite" DVD Rated PG-13 114 minutes By Leticia Velasquez Catholic Media Review

Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) has always been "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (Isaiah 53:3) The only son of a Chicago funeral director, Itsvan Kovak (Rutger Haer) Michael lived literally down the hall from death his entire life. Unlike most young men who never experience death close hand, Michael is steeped in it, preparing bodies for burial with his father. As a young boy, Michael is coaxed by his father into helping prepare the corpse of his mother, by gently blowing on the red fingernail polish his father applies as he lovingly prepared her body, while whispering endearments into her ear. The image is forever seared into his memory, tainting his adulthood with a lack of faith and a sense of detachment.

When time came to make a decision about his profession in life, Michael knew well that his options were limited, as he told a friend, "in my family; you either become an undertaker or a priest". Michael chose the priesthood, not out of sense of mission, but as a way out of his bleak existence and a means to pay for college. After he is ordained as a deacon, Michael's guilt over deceiving his superior about his intentions impels him to write Fr Matthew (Toby Jones) about his decision to leave the seminary. He admits he has no faith and feels he has no vocation to the priesthood.

But fate intervenes before Fr Matthew can act. The two men are involved in a car accident where a young woman is fatally wounded and Fr Matthew looks on stunned silence as Michael blesses the victim reluctantly yet tenderly as she dies. He is impressed by this and convinces Michael to delay leaving the seminary until after he has taken a two month course in Rome. A course in exorcism; "you're an undertaker, so you're not squeamish" he adds with a gleam in his eye.

Not at all squeamish, Michael plays the role of devil's advocate in his exorcism class in Rome, challenging his instructor over whether the possessed are suffering from psychosis, and is nonplussed over a sudden power outage when the demon Baal is mentioned. In order to help Michael overcome his doubts about the existence of Satan, his professor, Fr Xavier (Ciaran Hinds) sends him to observe veteran exorcist Fr Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). Michael is joined in his doubts by Italian journalist Angeline (Alice Braga) who wants him to share his experiences at Fr Lucas side for the purposes of an article. These two young cynics are about to engage in a life and death struggle which will evoke deep- seated fears and upend their world view

An eccentric Welshman, Fr Lucas lives a lonely existence in an obscure corner of Rome, occupying an ancient villa whose courtyard is overrun by cats. Fr Lucas takes Michael's cynicism in stride, and advises Michael not to engage in conversation with the demon who possesses the pregnant teen who has come with her sister for her regular exorcism session. Michael is so captivated by her predicament that he finds himself drawn into a life and death struggle with the devil whose very existence he denies.

Although the movie trailer plays like a high-tech adaptation of "The Exorcist", to which exorcism films will inevitably be compared, there is more spiritual and emotional depth to director Mikael Hafstrom's work than Blatty's. "The Rite" more closely resembles the cinematic subtlety and theological accuracy of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", according to Fr. Gary Thomas, the priest from the book on which the film is based. Michael is a sympathetic character and the film's dramatic exposition of the tragic origins of his faith crisis help the audience sympathize with him as he confronts demons both within and without his tortured soul. Even eccentric Father Lucas, played compellingly by Hopkins is more vivid than the ghostly older priest in "The Exorcist", yet the pairing of priests to defeat Satan is a familiar theme. Fr Lucas even makes a sarcastic reference to "The Exorcist" telling Michael, "You'll see no spinning heads and pea soup here!" What will enliven Catholic viewers is the authenticity of the phenomena of the exorcisms and the splendor of the priesthood when contrasted against the darkness of pure evil. Special effects enhance but do not overpower this compelling thriller and magnificent architecture of Rome augments the timelessness of the story.

For the many fans of the book by AP journalist Matt Baglio, on which the film is loosely based, screenwriter Michael Petroni has respected the basic story while raising the emotional stakes to great dramatic effect when combined with excellent cinematography and the masterful presence of Anthony Hopkins. Priests who watched the film in the theater with me had a positive reaction but pointed the following theological errors; as a deacon, Michael could not give absolution as he appears to do in the case of the dying woman, and that an inexperienced priest with emotional wounds and of questionable faith would never be chosen to become an exorcist. Too many weaknesses for Satan to exploit, they explained. The manifestations of possession (vomiting nails and frogs, unearthly voices, superhuman strength and knowledge of inner weaknesses) are absolutely accurate, according to Fr Gary Thomas, the real priest from Baglio's book, who had a less dramatic change of heart about the existence of Satan. When I asked him in an interview whether he believed that the devil was a being he responded, "I believed when I met him".

For older teens and up for frightening and macabre scenes, appropriate but vivid sexual innuendo (verbal references to incest and rape) and foul language. This film is best seen with parental supervision.
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Finally! An exorcism movie worth seeing.
andrew-a-floyd29 January 2011
Last night, I realized that I must be an exorcism movie fanatic, because Anthony Hopkins and whoever that other guy was reignited something in me.

I have seen every mainstream exorcism flick in, at least, the last ten years (Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Last Exorcism, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, and all of the exorcists for that matter). With the exception of some of The Exorcist series, the rest have basically been crap. This movie brought the exorcism sub-genre(?) back from the brink of death.

The Rite is believable, adequately dark, and yet it doesn't try too terribly hard. Its a bit slow, and it is enriched by having at least lay knowledge of Catholic dogma or at least general spirituality. The viewers patience, however, is not in vain. This movie pays dividends! Best thing about this movie: Anthony Hopkins and Demons.

Worst thing about this movie: A little slow.

Biggest Surprise: Michael. By film's end, this character is fully developed.

Go see it. Its worth paying to see... twice.
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Entertaining, Well-Acted/Photographed
ccthemovieman-114 June 2011
Here's a modern-day "exorcist movie" that is "without the head-turning and pea soup," as Father Lucas Trevant" (Anthony Hopkins) puts it early in the movie.

Without the gross stuff - although there are some scary and not-so-pleasant sights and scenes - it makes for a more intelligent look at the subject matter.

Hopkins, no surprise, is excellent in his role at the veteran cleric who has been through many exorcisms. His antagonist, so to speak, is a young seminary student who extremely skeptical. (In fact, in real life, a guy with that little belief in God would never be in a seminary.). Anyway, Colin O'Donoghue is good, too, in that role as "Michael Kovak." Set mostly in Florence, Italy, the photography is nice and the story flows smoothly, building in intensity as it goes.

It was very entertaining and is recommended.
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Atmospheric supernatural drama...
Dr_Sagan5 October 2014
This is a movie that deals with the "delicate" theme of exorcism (i.e. the practice of evicting a demon from a person they are believed to be possessed). I describe it as delicate because it seems very difficult to distinguish a person with a mental illness from someone who is possessed, IF such thing exists at all in real life.

In past times, demonic possession was a common belief to explain the abnormal behavior of a person. Even nowadays, when everything else has failed, and the science can't provide a solution, people in some parts of the world still believe in that and seek help to practices of mysticism like exorcisms.

In this movie exorcism is presented in conjunction with lost faith. It is inevitable that the non-believer has to see with his own eyes for his faith to be restored.

The atmosphere of the movie is eerie from the start. Even before the demons...present themselves! The reluctant hero and the universe that conspires so he can find his way to God, is presented in a solid way.

The cast is good. Anthony Hopkins is as excellent as ever. The music helps to establish the theme of the movie and Rome and the Vatican look majestic as ever, maybe the best set to place such a movie.

There are some grisly images but you want be scared because of them. The director bets on the atmosphere if not anything else.

Overall: Not a great movie, but not bad either. It won't help your faith to become stronger. For that look elsewhere.
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Strong Point: Anthony Hopkins
Ali Foroughi28 May 2011
I Really have No idea why most of people have reacted negatively towards this movie. I believe that The Rite was the best Exorcism Movie After the Original, The Exorcist. On the Other hand though the only thing keeping the movie interesting is in fact, Anthony Hopkins. He was NEVER let me down. he has this ability to go into the depth of the character and become HIM. I don't think anyone is as good as him in this matter.the way that he is so relaxed while playing Father Lucas is fantastic , you actually get the idea that he is a priest !! The Directing not as good as acting. Felt a bit slow in the middle. and some stuff just didn't make sense to me.But the sound editing and the visual effect was really good for a low-budget film. Beside the character of Anthony Hopkins (Father Lucas), the rest of them don't seem to have a depth and meaning to it. The reporter's character is just so plain that you sort of forget about her in the middle !! I had very low expectations when i was going to see it, but after it changed my mind. And the fact that it is based of True events makes it more interesting and realistic. So don't expect and entertaining and Full-Action film, you should expect a film that gets you thinking, because thats what it did to me. OverAll: 7.5/10
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Decent representation of exorcism.
drea_me_300030 January 2011
I read a lot of reviews that panned this movie. Personally I didn't think it was nearly as bad as people claimed it was. I found it interesting and a more true to life representation of what an exorcism is.

You didn't see heads spinning 360 degrees, projectile pea soup spitting, and lots of special effects. However, true exorcisms are not like what they show in the hyped up movies. This is more like what exorcisms are, and for believers, that's equally if not more frightening, because it's more real.

I will agree it is probably more frightening to believers and specifically Catholics than it would be to an Athiest hoping to see a Hollywood horror film.

The acting was quite solid, especially by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Then again, he puts his all into all roles he takes on.

That's not to say there weren't problems in the film. there were some cinematography issues. It was disjointed in many places. It seemed to hop from scene to scene with no proper segway. There were quite a number of moments where they could have pushed the button just a bit more, but missed the chance.

However, the acting was good, the script was fairly solid, the cinematography could have been improved, but it wasn't the worst I've seen... and I appreciated that it wasn't gratuitous. They didn't need to throw in explicit sex or gore to keep the story moving like other Oscar nominated movies. (black Swan lesbian sex scene). It held it's own without all the frills.

I gave it an 8 out of 10. Well worth the watch, but I think Catholics will get more out of it than anyone.
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An enjoyable though minor thriller
Ric-71 February 2011
From what I could see on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, the critical consensus was not too favorable. Yet Roger Ebert thought it was a decent little film. After seeing it, so did I.

The scenario of this film was tailor-made for Anthony Hopkins. Could you imagine a better excuse for scenery-chewing and over-the-top carrying-on, other than demonic possession? So you can't complain about the overacting: the Devil made him do it. The demonically-possessed cannot be expected to turn in a subtle performance.

Hopkins did a perfectly fine job with the set up. And the rest of the cast was equally suitable for what they had to do.

It was good to see Rutger Hauer again, a totally remarkable and outstanding actor. He had a very limited role (maybe five minutes screen time total), enough to make me wish he worked more in current films. I miss him.

I have not read the book this film is supposedly based on. But I would assume that fidelity to it is not a major point. There was a lot of humanity and recognizable human emotions evident in this film, and I saw no indications that the film was intended to convert unbelievers. And it worked up to some very suspenseful situations. Which is just what a thriller should do.

This was another instance of Roman Catholic exorcism. There were seven "orders" or steps in becoming a priest. In that order, from minor to major: porter, lector, exorcist, acolyte, subdeacon, deacon and priest. This set of orders supposedly was instituted a millennium ago, or more. In more recent times, the "exorcist" order is virtually ceremonial. The actual current exorcists are specially appointed priests. But it makes you wonder: back in the Early Ages, the next step after reading the Bible at church services (being a "lector") was to cast out demons (being an "exorcist"). Was there a special need way back then? Such that the faithful could not wait for an ordained priest to intervene? We've also seen Protestant exorcism recently, in The Last Exorcism. I have no reason to believe that casting out demons is limited in any way to Roman Catholics. I think the next film begging to be made is a Jewish exorcism. Perhaps there is a Muslim equivalent as well.

I am not saying that you have to go out and see "The Rite" rite now in the cinema. I don't regret seeing it there. But when it becomes available in a form that you can enjoy at home, it would definitely be something worth while to watch.
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Boring and absolutely uninteresting
Argemaluco20 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Another exorcism movie "based on a true story"? Sure! Why not? At least, the presence from the acclaimed actor Anthony Hopkins is a quality assurance, isn't it? (Sarcasm).

Despite having some good intentions, The Rite is a pretentious and boring movie which pretends to soberly evaluate the validity of demonic possession and the attitude the Church has about that phenomenon. Unfortunately, The Rite does not work as a horror movie nor as an analysis from that questionable situation; and it works even less when we compare it to other movies which did it much better, like for example, The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

I respect the intention screenwriter Michael Petroni (who based his work on a book written by Matt Baglio) had of presenting a balanced vision of demonic possession and the exorcism. However, his intention of "scaring" us prevailed over any other thing, and he unfortunately could not find the previously mentioned balance as a consequence. So, The Rite is full of the typical clichés from the exorcism sub-genus, like the evil boy, the woman who screams curses and contorts her body, the priest with a faith crisis who sees "signals" everywhere, the possessed ones who know even the most intimate secrets from the exorcists...and a long etcetera. And besides, The Rite takes so seriously to itself that there are some occasions of involuntary humor, something which makes its "true events" to be even less credible (the satanic mule is absolutely priceless).

The main attraction for many people to go to watch The Rite is undoubtedly the presence from Hopkins in one of the leading roles, and he brings an enthusiastic and expressive work. And even though he seems to loose the control near the ending, I would not blame him for that, but to the poor screenplay which betrays his character with a predictable twist. Colin O' Donoghue has the worst written character from the film, but he still managed to bring a decent and credible performance. And finally, the great Rutger Hauer is horribly wasted in his character.

In conclusion, The Rite is a tedious rehash of the tiring clichés from the exorcism sub-genus, so I really do not recommend it.
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"Something Missing And Something Present"
kimi_layercake27 April 2011
"The Rite" is an American supernatural horror film about an American seminary student who travels to Italy to take an exorcism course. The turn of events at Rome make him question his self beliefs and embark him on a journey of self fruition and worldly truth.

Cast wise, No complain. Anthony Hopkins seems very natural for his role of Father Lucas, an unorthodox Exorcist who questions his faith after a failed exorcism. His performance,specially the devil possessed climax performance brings in mind the chilling menace he showcased in "Silence Of The Lambs" or "Fracture" etc. Newcomer Colin O'Donoghue plays his role of an upcoming reluctant Priest cum Exorcist with diligence and audacity. His appearance,something of a mixture of dark and white makes him an ideal candidate for Batman's Bruce Wayne role. His performance was not over-the-top nor was it beginner's mess. Rest chips in well in their roles.

"The Rite" strength and weakness both lies in its Storyline. Fact is the storyline deals with the sensitive issues of demonic possession, faith contradictions, exorcism, good versus bad issues in a very delicate ways. Neither the Director injects heroic acts to make it entertaining nor incorporate gore and violence to make an impact. Everything is dealt in a very instinctual manner, rendering the movie being liked by a section of viewers for its authenticity and veracious dealing with its subject material; on the other hand, being distasteful to the other section of viewers for being non entertaining and devoid of gore and violence.

Overall, "The Rite" has something missing and something present. Even though the subject material might be difficult to digest for most viewers, "The Rite" succeeds in capturing the viewer's attention and appreciation.

My Verdict: 7/10
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A sobering movie if you believe it IS real and it DOES happen.
SweetOOgaBOOga28 January 2011
Anthony Hopkins who is a self proclaimed to be unsure about what he believes regarding religion did a pretty good job in this movie. People who are expecting it to be gory and "heads spinning'" are going to be disappointed. To truly get something from this movie one must have a knowledge of faith in some form. I always know that a movie made a real impact when people are walking of of the theater there is complete silence. The movie is not perfect of course and does embellish points but it gives the real fundamentals of the act of exorcism. I enjoyed it and left with an almost peaceful feeling, much like when I left the movie Stigmata. Let's just say it left the crowd with something to think about.
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has a rite to be called a great film
edwbur29 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
this i believe is one of Anthony Hopkins best horror movies. i know he has been trying to get back into horror and he tried with the wolf man which was bad. horrible. but this was very good. in fact it was so good after the movie i was afraid to go to sleep. thats never happened to me before. even more scary that it was inspired by true events. also it had its funny moments to. like when Hopkins was giving an exorcism to a woman and speaking a prayer in a different language. of course because they are in Rome anyway his phone rang as he was trying to get a demon out of her body and then he asked the person with him that was a priest and turned atheist to finish as he talked on the phone. funny moment. great acting by Anthony Hopkins. he spoke roman language fluently. what i didn't get about the film was the kid who was to become a priest but turned atheist Michael was targeted by the demon. however they went after Hopkins character father Lucas. i thin i know why but i don't want to spoil that for you. so my recommendation. see it.
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An American student of theology, attending exorcism at the Vatican and discovers his faith through the race with demonic forces.
Niki Kefala14 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Supernatural thriller based on Matt Baglio's «The Modern Day Exorcist», which is inspired by true events. After the recent "The last exorcism" another movie with similar style comes to the big screen with more epic proportions and interesting cast. The frightening scenes, the screams and the fast shots impress viewers who they keep out their eyes on the screen. The script however,at the middle of the film, starts to become annoying with naive quotes that cause laughter. Anthony Hopkins reminds (again) Hannibal Lecter but now he is more old and tired. The young Colin O'Donoghue is good in the role of student, giving a freshness to the old-fashioned story and we will probably see him in several films in the future.Michael Hafstrom's direction does not show anything special and does not add something new in a story that we have seen many times in cinema with better direction, for example by Roman Polanski in the Ninth gate. It is definitely a movie that will entertain fans of that kind of movie, with interest ... surprises until the end. Advice: don' t eat before you go to cinema to see The Rite! Add to positive music and depressing atmosphere.
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'First you must believe'
gradyharp25 May 2011
Matt Baglio's book THE RITE: MAKING OF A MODERN EXORCIST is described as 'In 2007, the Vatican's chief exorcist revealed an initiative to install an exorcist in every diocese worldwide. Three days later, the Vatican denied the story. Father Gary Thomas was working as a parish priest in California when church leaders asked him to travel to Rome for training in the rite of exorcism. In Rome, as an apprentice to a veteran Italian exorcist, his eyes were opened to a darker side of the Catholic faith he had never known, and he came to see the battle between good and evil as never before. Journalist Matt Baglio had full access to Father Gary over the course of his training, and the astonishing story he found reveals that the phenomena of possession, demons, the Devil, and exorcism are not merely a remnant of the archaic past, but remain a fearsome power in many people's lives even today. The inspiration for the movie The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins, this book provides a uniquely intimate glimpse into the chilling world of a real-life Roman Catholic exorcist.'

And so with a few name changes to protect the innocent Michael Petroni adapted this book for the screen and in doing so developed a very understandable survey of the 'rite' of exorcism. In the film the student is Michael Kovak (Colin Donaghue, a new young Irish actor) whose indecisions about things clerical harken back to his childhood when while living in a house used as a mortuary he is trained by his father Istvan (Rutger Hauer) and is forced to examine his mother's corpse being prepared for burial. Knowing that Michael only choices for career were mortician or priest he opts, unconvincingly, for the latter. After completely seminary but before taking his vows as a priest, Michael resigns form the seminary, only to be encouraged to proceed on a different course by his mentor Father Matthew (Toby Jones) who sends him off to Rome to learn exorcism because of a new demand for priests trained in that rite. Michael goes to Rome and in classes given by Father Xavier (Ciarán Hinds) is found to be an outspoken and sent to study with a brilliant exorcist, Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). Michael learns during several exorcisms on a young pregnant girl (Marta Gastini) that in order to perform exorcism the priest must believe in not only God but also the devil. Michael meets journalist Angeline (Alice Braga) in his classroom who asks to accompany Michael on exorcisms (this is probably meant to be author Baglio's role), and in her presence we witness the transformation of Michael into a believer - with a few surprises arising!

Director Mikael Håfström paces this film well and while there are no truly new insights into the field of exorcism, he does manage to make the acts appear fairly credible. Hopkins gives his usual bravura performance and the rest of the cast thankfully underplays their roles. Some of the scenes are fairly gruesome so it is not a film for the weak of heart. And if the viewer is expecting a docudrama of Baglio's book, there will be some disappointment. It is a movie and as a movie it is entertaining.

Grady Harp
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Religious Delirium
Paspro14 April 2011
This is a typical religious movie designed to promote illogical supernatural fears, unquestionable submission to the authority of the church and belief in imaginary entities of good and evil that have tormented the psyche of people kept in ignorance by design throughout the history so that a few people in power could enforce their will and rule on the uneducated masses.

Religion is a form of control mechanism that presents the people with an eternal afterlife in stupid bliss and love by force for the creator versus a severe punishment for those who prefer to think rationally and for themselves rather than blindly follow the nebulous commands of a celestial dictator as conveniently and cunningly interpreted and re- interpreted by his representatives on Earth to suit their desires, ambitions, thirst for power and delusions of grandeur.

And the key word in this is "afterlife" because no promises are made for the real and only life we people ever have because the earthly life should be devoted to the service of the celestial dictator and in particular his earthly representatives and all other types of artificial authority figures our society has invented to satisfy people's pursuit of power and domination.

The movie goes to incredible lengths to persuade us of the existence of both the benevolent and malevolent supernatural religious entities by exposing a rational person who made the wrong decision to waste his life by becoming a priest to a wild variety of extraordinary events that cannot possibly be interpreted in any other manner than the supernatural and in particular the delusional preachings of the Catholic church.

Therefore, the message of this movie is this: when coming face to face with extraordinary events suspend your logic and rational thinking processes, run to a library and read an ancient 1st century book written by illiterate bronze-age people suffering from psychotic episodes and everything will be explained for you in full detail, including the name of the supernatural entity responsible for the harm.

If there is something that can be described as sacrilegious in this movie it is not the display of upside down crosses but its great offense against the billions of people who lived and worked and died for our civilization to reach its current level of knowledge and quality of life fighting against the superstitions and irrationality of our primitive past.
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Deceptive Film of Exorcism
Claudio Carvalho4 June 2011
The atheist American Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) works as a mortician in the Funeral Home of his father Istvan Kovak (Rutger Hauer). Michael sees the chance to leave home as a seminary student in the Vatican, and he travels to Italy. After a period, Michael decides to quit due to his lack of faith, and tells Father Xavier (Ciarán Hinds) about his decision. However, Father Matthew (Toby Jones) tells him that he will be charged for the course and offers him to have an exorcism training, where he meets the journalist Angelina Vargas (Alice Braga).

When Michael meets the exorcist Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins), he witnesses his unsuccessful attempt to exorcize the pregnant Italian girl Rosaria (Marta Gastini). Then Michael experiences weird events including the death of his father. When Father Lucas is possessed, Michael has a test of his faith trying to help his mentor.

"The Rite" is a deceptive film of exorcism and despite the reference that the story is based on true event, it is boring and uninteresting. The acting of the lead actor is awful, and Colin O'Donoghue has a wooden performance keeping his insipid and emotionless face along the film. Anthony Hopkins is absolutely histrionic, overacting in many moments. The unknown Italian Marta Gastini and the Brazilian Alice Braga have good performances and save the film in minor roles. The possession seems to be transmitted like influenza and this film seems to source of inspiration to viewers that write supporting reviews in IMDb for the first time. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "O Ritual" ("The Rite")
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Mediocre but Good
Bob_the_Hobo28 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I had high expectations for "The Rite", which according to the poster stars Anthony Hopkins as an exorcist. Mikael Hafstrom (who guided 1408 and DeRailed remarkably well) directs, and the horror element with these two masters intrigued me even more. But this isn't The Silence of the Lambs by any means, nor is it The Exorcist.

The real star is Colin O'Donaghue's Michael Kovac, a young man from Chicago who runs a mortuary with his father (in a great performance by Rutger Hauer). The younger Kovac makes his way to a monestary headed by a Priest played by Toby Jones, who by a movie-coincidental turn of events suggests Kovac head to Rome to study the art of Exorcism.

Kovac arrives and meets the character of Father Xavier (Ciaran Hinds), who quickly realizes that his new pupil is losing his faith. Seeing a bright mind that stands to be lost, Xavier suggests the hermit-seeming Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins, finally). Lucas quickly performs an exorcism, then another. And another. And pretty soon we can't help but ask ourselves if Rome has more exorcisms than Panera bread.

"The Rite" is a good movie that doesn't seem to know what to do with itself. Anthony Hopkins doesn't show up til a fourth of the way into the movie and still he is not at all the main character. O'Donaghue, who has to shoulder the burden of being the film as well as trying to hold a candle to Hopkins, does quite well. He is believable and no matter how clichéd his story is we want to see the best for him in the end.

Alice Braga is your typical horror movie heroine. She plays "Angelina", no last name, and is a ballsy reporter doing a story on exorcisms. The plot plays around with a romance for a bit before Kovac decides to become a priest. Rutger Hauer does a fine job in his bit part as the older Kovac. Likewise Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds.

Cinematography is also excellent. The shots of Rome and the interiors of the Vatican, Father Lucas' home, and the exorcisms themselves are filmed very well. The script is my main problem. In the middle of one of these exorcisms, Hopkins answers his phone and expects O'Donaghue to continue on. Badly used comic effect that not even Hopkins can save.

This is a mediocre film that doesn't take itself too, too seriously and made an enjoyable two hours or so. It's very much like so many movies coming out nowadays, however, in that it's just to forgettable.
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Vatican Productions Inc,,,yawn yawn
fnem6917 April 2011
reading some of the reviews, makes me wonder if we've been watching the same film...The film would feel much more at home at the pre-enlightenment period, or perhaps was it more of a long sigh for the happy days long gone - where the church could rule with absolute power, predicated on the perennial pillars of fear, guilt and abject surrender. How the non-believers would be variously burnt at the stake, drawn and quarter, stretched on the rack or subjected to the divine buoyancy trial to establish their faith. Alas,Those days where terror rules unchecked and unfettered are long since gone. Modern society requires more sublime and dare I say it artisitics methods of instilling fear and guilt in the believer and wobbler alike - believe or else....Notwithstanding the utterly propagandist message, as a piece of cinema it was tedious, laborious, unidimensional - not a patch on the Exorcist....
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It's the 'Satanic Mule' movie! Prepare ye not to be terrified!
wadechurton7 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have no belief in the supernatural but when it comes to movies there is nothing I like better than a good horror. If the movie is sufficiently well-made, then there is no problem suspending disbelief for cursed video tapes, cannibal zombies, giant monsters, vengeful ghosts or pretty much anything else. 'The Possession of Emily Rose' was a fairly good movie about demonic possession, but I can't think of another one. The problem with possession-based horror movies is that one either has to be a religious person who is already well-versed in such notions (and scared by them), or else the movie itself has to be very good at conveying a persuasive atmosphere of the dread and otherworldly malevolence that earthly manifestations of such beliefs should inspire. As with 'The Exorcist', 'The Rite' relies almost entirely on Christian (and specifically Catholic) beliefs for its horror value, and also as with 'The Exorcist', too bad if you're a non-believer because there's not much left over for you. In fact, the more seriously and obsessively both movies take their religious doctrines, the sillier they look. 'Tell me your name!' shouts would-be exorcist Michael Kovak repeatedly at the demon inhabiting Anthony Hopkins' character. 'Dave! Jeff! Sid Vicious! Punkinpuss!' one shouts back at the movie. Then there's the director's apparent belief that slapping a 'dungeon echo' soundtrack sound effect on everything from doors closing to people opening their eyes equals 'scary'. Question: How is a roomful of small frogs 'demonic'? Answer: I don't know; I was laughing too much at Muffin the Satanic Mule (yes, there's actually a satanic mule) to think straight. And the ultimate question as to why a demon might want to make its possess-ee swear, argue, crack their knuckles and contort their limbs (and how this activity might further the cause of Satan) is never addressed, much less how Biblical 'free will' might work with unwilling demonic possession. Kovak the conflicted 'atheist priest' is (surprise, surprise) a weak and insipid character, whilst the hardcore religious stuff is corny and embarrassing enough to have both believers and skeptics face-palming in unison. Throw in a couple of those cheap pop-up 'scares' (like a cat at a window. Argh! A cat at a window! Be still my beating heart!), and you have a lazy, stupid movie which wouldn't give a ten-year-old the heebie-jeebies. Acting-wise, Anthony Hopkins isn't too bad (when he's not pointlessly covered in 'scar' makeup and ranting hammily), but then any acting is wasted in a movie where the goings-on are so ridiculous. Neither scary nor profound, 'The Rite' is patronising and insulting to its audience, whether you're a firm believer or not. If you must rent it, then treat it like a comedy and that way you won't feel like your money was spirited away.
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dangerous rubbish
alex (doorsscorpywag)20 April 2011
They should have called this another word which rhymes with Rite but begins with S. This seemed like the follow up to Hannibal where the cannibal killer becomes a priest and has some adventures. But I was shocked to discover it wasn't and was a far more dangerous piece of religious propaganda where good and evil battle for supremacy over the stupid. It seemed odd that nobody seemed too concerned that a pregnant girl was being brainwashed by a religious organisation or Cult to believe she was a vessel for evil. I was disturbed even more when she was dying in hospital that the first person through the door of her room was a priest not a nurse. Tony Hopkins must have had some bills to pay as this advert for religious lunacy scraped a barrel too far. I enjoy a good horror film and don't mind a bit of religion thrown in as it's a useful device for getting to the right outcome. But this was dangerous nonsense and it simply showed how easily gullible people are sucked into this religious craziness. It was not even well acted dangerous nonsense and the story was boring but it's purpose was to promote the God Squad not entertain or educate in any way. Avoid like the plague for religion is a dangerous plague.
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Excellent movie!
tubatodd30 January 2011
In the "glory days" of the film industry, movies had to rely on excellent plot, great screen writing, wonderful acting, character development, camera angles and substance. This movie has all of those time honored components. Viewers who are expecting or desiring some amazing special effects and an "out of this universe" super natural component may feel that this movie falls short of that mark.

I read the other reviews prior to seeing this film and I am thrilled that I watched it and developed my own opinion. One of the other reviewers hit the nail on the head when they said that this movie has you leaving the theater talking about the plot, the characters, spirituality and perhaps thinking about your own life.

To the reviewer who mentioned the funny components of the film, it is clear that those moments were intentional and were intended for the viewer to draw certain conclusions. If the writer and director didn't want those emotions in the movie, then they wouldn't have included them.

Anthony Hopkins was spectacular in all facets. He's a true actor in every possible way.
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Thanks to this movie I now have an IMDb account
Alex Simpson1 March 2011
I know from reading reviews on this website all the time that I will never be convinced by a stranger's movie opinion and that most of you reading this will be the same, however.....

This movie was terrible, I didn't expect it to be great but this was such a let down. I would normally leave but thanks to other members of the group I couldn't. It did inspire me to write my first review though!

The acting wasn't bad, movie looked good at parts and I don't think it's a tired genre/idea but this one just didn't know where to go. I didn't care at all about the characters and the female reporter character seemed totally lost on me. It had a few cheap jumps but I just couldn't get drawn into the movie to get scared/tense like I would with a similar movie.

I won't bore you anymore with why I didn't like this movie it just wasn't good at all but if you're anything like me you'll want to find out for yourself.

Might be an idea to keep the car running though....
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