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3.7 out of 5 stars135
3.7 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
'Michael Kovak' (Colin O'Donoghue) has doubts that his vocation was within the Church, a Priest see's potential in 'micheal' and suggests that he goes to 'Rome' to learn of Exorcism.
'Michael' is like many of us a sceptic, when introduced to father Lucas(Anthony Hopkins) who had performed many exorcisms down the years his doubts remained.
Seeing 'Father Lucas' in action does little to change his views, however his mind was dramatically about to be changed.
Down the years there have been many films that have attempted to bring the horror shown in the 70's film 'The Exorcist' to the screen, most have failed, this film however based on true events does have it's moments and may get one or two sceptics wondering.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2011
I loved this. The story unfolds into a discussion about the existence of demons and the whether the world needs exorcists at all. There is the skeptical young priest and the old exorcist debating their beliefs and leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusion. That is until Hopkins goes into overdrive and the film adopts a much different character. There is a point where the film turns into the Hopkins show. He portrays the self-doubting exorcist with a delicate touch. But when the demons come to visit Hopkins fills the screen with his pure acting power, a charisma any politician would kill for. His combination of expression, voice and gesture is truly chilling. The lack of gore and over-the-top CGI is refreshing. Instead, the viewer is treated to a master of his craft in top form, showing the pretty-boys how it is done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2011
On paper, "The Rite" doesn't sound that interesting, although the production staff should be praised for not letting the film become too daft. Anthony Hopkins gives one of his best performances to date and newcomer Colin O'Donoghue seems to have a bright future ahead. There are some good special effects scenes and the establishing shots of Rome are look excellent. There are a few bonus features, including deleted scenes, an alternate ending and brief interviews with the cast, the director, other production staff members, as well as the priest and the author who inspired the characters of Kovak and Rosaria.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2011
I was really looking forward to this film but after reading the reviews in the press I went with lessened expectations.
Simply put, this is a very good film tackling doubt in faith as much as the age old battle between good and evil.
This is not the Exorcist, their is no projectile vomiting and rotating heads. What you get though is a good suspense film, well acted and superbly shot.
Given that the basis of this film is based on fact with a fair helping of fiction, this film is thought provoking as well as entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing this again when the dvd is released.
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on 5 May 2014
Michael, the son of a funeral director grows indifferent to his father and joins a Seminary. On his way to the course completion, he is overwhelmed by a strong lack of faith. His religious beliefs are further jolted when he sees a young girl haplessly dying in a road accident for whom he reluctantly performs the ritual to absolve her sins. His mentor still believes in him and urges him to go to Italy to take an exorcism course hoping that he it would strengthen his faith in Christianity. In Italy he attends a session from Father Xavier who soon becomes aware of his skepticism. As a result he sends him to an eminent Jesuit exorcist, Father Lucas, whose ways though questionable are quite effective. He witnesses the exorcism of a sixteen year old girl but still seems unconvinced. Father Lucas explains to him that it takes multiple sessions over a long stretch of time to completely free a victim from the demon. Despite witnessing some supernatural occurrences during the aforesaid exorcism.

Well directed by Mikael Håfström, good strong performances by the two leads and with a good supporting cast, the film is dark,disturbing and gripping and keeps you watching. The dream sequences and hallucinations in the film were good and with great cinematography and cool special effects that are not over the top. The film never lets up and keeps you interested to see what happens till the end.

Overall ''The Rite'' is good supernatural thriller. Enjoy! Would recommend this.
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on 23 August 2011
'The Rite' is a supernatural film that is based on Matt Baglio's book 'The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. The film released in 2011 to mostly negative reviews but became a box-office hit.

The movie tells the story of a skeptical American seminary student, Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) who travels to Italy to attend an exorcism course. As Kovak struggles to have faith in Christianity, he meets Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) an exorcist with unorthodox ways of working. Both then experience a testing time as evil things start happening.

I watched the movie expecting a horror with scares, but there was none of it. It was more of a supernatural drama concentrating on the exorcism phenomena and its exixtence rather than a fully-blown commercial fright-fest.

The film has an interesting topic with eye-catching cinematography, solid performances, some gripping moments and a spooky atmosphere.

The movie mainly fails on pace, which is sluggish, a predictable story and lack of tension.

Solid performances come from Anthony Hopkins and Marta Gastini who plays the role of a possessed female (Rosaria). Colin O'Donoghue as the lead actor is average, especially when compared to Hopkin's performance. Alice Braga (Angelina Vargas) is good in a supporting role.

The direction provided by Mikael Håfström is great when you talk about causing the actors to perform well. Unfortunately everything else isn't great.

Yes, I was disappointed as a horror fan, and in the end, the general movie for me was lackluster.

'The Rite' wrongs by leaving out the essential ingredients, horror & tension. However, if exorcism related topics interest you, then I guess 'The Rite' is watchable.
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on 13 August 2011
The Rite was a difficult film to get my head around if I'm being honest. I wanted to like it, I really did - it stars Anthony Hopkins and it's a horror film so that was two reasons straight away as to why I should have enjoyed it yet I left the cinema feeling somewhat deflated after seeing it. I wasn't disappointed with the film at all but I didn't feel excited by it either, it passed by a couple of hours and had some very good scenes in it but overall I just felt indifferent to it all and that's not what a film should leave anyone feeling. I'll attempt to explain what I thought was good and what I felt let the film down in this review but it's difficult to muster up much enthusiasm for it I have to admit.

So, the good then. Anthony Hopkins is without doubt excellent in The Rite, he is as compelling as ever and gives a strong performance which holds your attention throughout. His acting style is effortless, he doesn't try to be anything other than who is and any Hopkins fan should find plenty to enjoy from his performance here. By playing the experienced yet unorthodox older exorcist he has a worldy-wise approach to his business and presents his beliefs very matter-of-factly to his young apprentice, Michael. It's unfair to compare Hopkings portrayal here to that of his most iconic role of Hannibal Lecter but there are similarities which cannot be ignored especially during the latter stages of the film where the plot takes an unexpected twist (although anyone with any intelligence would be see what was coming from a mile off so shouldn't be that surprised to see what happens to Father Lucas).

Because Hopkins is _so_ associated with Lecter and is, to my mind anyway, always going to have to live up to that role in any other horror film in which he appears especially if he has to take on the 'bad guy' character. I suppose it is a testament to this great actors ability that he can deliver such commanding and engaging performances but for me his casting in The Rite was an odd choice given the Lecter connection and to many people the Father Lucas character will be seen just as an extension of Hannibal and that is a shame. For anyone who hasn't seen The Silence of the Lambs or it's two sequels then they're in for a treat here to see Hopkins at his confident and mutli-faceted best, he snarls his way though his dialogue in his later scenes and his character and does grab your attention and keeps it firmly focused on him throughout the film and for me was the only reason I actually bothered to watch it through to the end otherwise I probably would have lost interest half way through.

Almost as impressive is Colin O'Donaghue as the conflicted and confused Michael Kovak, he is believable as the rookie priest with doubts about his faith and manages to portray his confusion well. He isn't quite as compelling as Hopkins but given what his role is in the film he is more of an introspective character who ends up becoming dwarfed by the situation he finds himself in. Whilst the acting is fine from everyone and the characters they portray being believeable in the context of the plot and how it plays out there's just something about The Rite which, ironically, isn't right...

I think the main problem with the film is that its been done before, most notably in The Exorcist from the mid 70's. Anyone familiar with this well known and controversial film will know the infamy and notoriety that surrounds it, the subject matter was shocking at the time, the film banned in the UK after being withdrawn from release and to many it is one of the most genre-defining horror films ever. The Rite tackles exorcism in much the same way as the earlier film and there are obvious similarities between the two, there has to be though to be fair, it's the same subject after all but for me being a fan of the 1970's film and growing up hearing so much about it and having to wait years to be able to see it there is always the strong likelihood that no other film could ever match it in terms of how influential it actually was, to me anyway. This is the problem with The Rite, the film cannot compete with The Exorcist and for me ended up being a pale imitation. That doesn't mean it's not good, there are some scenes which are excellently done and very effective *but* at the back of my mind when I was watching it I couldn't help but compare the two films and concluded that it was taking too much inspiration from the earlier film and basically attempting to remake it to a new audience. It has the same sombre feel as The Exorcist, it's incredibly tense at times with no attempts to inject any light moments or any humour, everything about it is dark and oppressive and a reference to 'head spinning' and 'pea soup' which were included as a nod to the earlier film felt out of place and cheap in all honesty.

It's running time of just under 2 hours doesn't help either, the film feels too long and drags in places and whilst there are obvious reasons for the inclusion of some scenes it just felt too slow. It is a film that is character driven and time is spent getting to know both of the male lead characters, the early and drawn out introduction to Micheal takes too long to get him in the right place for the action to start but once he is with Father Lucas and the exorcism subject addressed it does begin to pick up pace and the final 30 to 40 minutes are just about worth the commitment you have to give to get that far. The exorcism scenes are good I have to admit, they manage to unsettle and are presented very effectively and are in keeping with the theme of darkness and malevolence and had the running time been a little shorter and punchier these scenes alone could have made me feel more positive about the film as a whole. For me the film should have been excellent and could have been but it is let down by its slow pacing and obvious similarities to a bigger and better film.

As far as the production goes the film looks impressive, set in Rome for the majority of the running time there are some nice city shots which give the film a wide and epic feel. The use of a mainly grey and blue palette in colour choices gives the film a certain bleakness which always works well in horror and the soundtrack features the standards of strings and piano chords which resonate and highlight significant moments. There's nothing wrong with how the film is presented, it comes with the attention to detail you would expect from a major American release and the make-up effects in the film look realistic and not too heavily reliant on CGI which makes for a nice change. The cast is impressive, the exorcism scenes are well done and there is a sense of pervading dread which stays in keeping with how the film is presented, it could be accused of being a little too dark in tone though and perhaps could have done with some lighter moments just as contrast to the darker moments but overall there is little to complain about how it is presented or executed other than feeling too long.

Overall though The Rite gets three stars as a rating from me, Anthony Hopkins alone couldn't save the film from being anything other than a seen-it-all before struggle between good and evil and despite being excellent in his portrayal as Father Lucas the film, overall, lacked the impact of others that have been done before and for me was far too forgettable to be given a glowing recommendation.
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on 19 July 2011
I saw a teaser trailer of this and thought 'why not?' ... and for a DVD rental (well online rental but no free advertising here for where from) it was a good hour or so of my life wasted.

This was one of those Friday night movies either with friends so you can enjoy a few Pizza or Beers or with your partner so she can hide behind the cushion and you can act the brave boyfriend/fiance/husband. (I apologise if this offends those persons who can stand up to the rigours of such things, but my fiance is a scaredy-cat and you should write what you know!!!)

The premise of the film has been pretty much done to death, but with enough little twists and turns that it can stand waist to waist with other films of it's genre. Mix 'Devil' with 'Exorcism of Emily Rose' with 'Exorcist' with... (the list goes on) and the reprehensible character of Dr. Hannibal Lector and you get enough Chills and Thrills to see you through to the end.

I am a 'deep-thinker' when it comes to films (much to my fiance's distress) meaning I like to analyze a film a little.. so couple that with my admitted agnostic approach to religion, the premise of an agnostic priest who's belief in faith is tested by his belief in faith (told you I was a deep thinker) is quite a good one, and well played by the actor in question.

I've just realised that rather than a review I've just written a mini-blog on just how potentially 'sad' I am, so I suppose I must move on a little... to that end, fine role played by Anthony Hopkins accompanied by fine supporting actors, an unusual take on the exorcism story and the 'hat-tip' to the Roman Catholic acknowledgement for the recruitment and training of Exorcists within the priesthood to combat the ever increasing threat made by the Devil in modern times makes for a good evenings entertainment.

and if you discuss it for an hour or two with friends later on in the week... then job done!!
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on 8 July 2011
Seriously, another Exorcism movie? And a very restrained one at that, so much so that unorthodox Rome-based exorcist Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) even asks his young sceptical protege at one point: "what did you expect? Spinning heads and pea soup?". Well frankly, yes - or at least something a bit more shocking than someone spitting out a few nails on to the floor.

Hopkins here is at his scenery-munching, bonkers best if you like that sort of thing - a massive contrast to the young newcomer Chris O'Donoghue. At first you may just think he is subtly underplaying the role, but then you realise he's just very limited as an actor. Not necessarily a bad thing when Hopkins is hamming it up to the max alongside him but for me it's just a curious bit of casting.

To be honest the real star of the movie is the location. Rome looks wonderful and the old buildings are suitably creaky and creepy. The director (who previously did a reasonable job of transferring the Stephen King story of a demonic hotel room - 1408 - to the big screen) does a remarkably good job of squeezing the tension from a relatively slow-paced screenplay (Hopkins doesn't appear until nearly 30 minutes in). Some of the jump-scares are lazy (cat jumping up at window - yawn) but it's not a movie designed to produce big scares, more one of those pot-boiler tension-filled pieces with creepy, semi-shocking moments.

Rutger Hauer is criminally under-used as the young priest's father. He's precisely the sort of unhinged character who could have featured more, but then the producers would probably remind me that it's all based on a true story blah blah blah. In which case, Rome is over-run with demons as well as cats and is probably best avoided.

The Blu-Ray transfer is excellent, sound and picture are superb throughout. Love the menacing score.

However the ending that follows the big climax set-piece is rather disappointing, in fact the alternate ending on the Blu-Ray is better. Perhaps they have a sequel in mind? In which case I would suggest that two Rites don't make a right.
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on 8 July 2011
The Rite (2011)

I have recently purchased this DVD and have enjoyed the story very much. I have decided to write this review right away and without reference to other reviews, as I wanted to make sure that my opinions are not influenced, directly or otherwise, by any other input.
As a supernatural horror, the film is excellent, and the reason is, quite simply, due to the remarkable coincidence of all the ingredients in the making of the movie, (including the directing, the script, the background music, the acting, the cinematography and the production values) having, without exception, contributed to its impact as an exciting cinematic piece . Its ultimate success, however, is largely due to the wonderful acting of the great Anthony Hopkins. It simply goes to demonstrate how a small investment by the producers in the services of a brilliant actor, can be such a rewarding experience for all concerned.
I enjoyed it greatly, and should you choose to view the DVD, I certainly hope you will too.
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