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3.8 out of 5 stars153
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2011
This film is physically and, as you would expect, metaphorically dark. A young, sceptical novitiate priest with a troubled childhood is posted to Rome to learn the arcane arts of exorcism.
He soon meets the voice of experience played by Antony Hopkins and sees some "real" exorcisms. Hopkins' performance and the movie generally have been panned by the critics but I think that is pretty unfair. I was reasonably gripped for the whole of the running time and Hopkins' "large" performance is perfectly reasonable in the context of this film.
This isn't The Exorcist or even The Exorcism of Emily Rose but it is a very workmanlike movie which is more conspiracy thriller than occult horror, and none the worse for that.
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on 2 June 2011
Absolutely loved the film.The movie house was packed out and by the screams and gasps from the audience ,they loved it too.
The filming of the locations made the film even for macabre.
I think this shows Anthony Hopkins in a new light .His talents far far exceed any actor or actress in this film .
This movie MUST be seen just for the acting of Anthony Hopkins alone.
I give the film 5 stars as I see it as going down in history as a classic movie and the return to greatness of Sir Anthony Hopkins or
Anthony Hopkins as he like his fans to call him.
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VINE VOICEon 31 July 2011
Because you're mine

Antony Hopkins was really possessed with playing the part. Colin O'Donoghue spends most of his time walking around looking confused. Alice Braga is too cute for the part and almost distracting from the spooky scenes.

The story itself is just the old rehash of belief and disbelief. Of a coming of age story for many involved. Parts of the dialog are tongue-in -cheek as they make reference to the original exorcist movie. Lots of spooky ambiance and not an over done sound track. It is the acting and actors that give the good rating to this presentation.

Remember the possession is nine tenths of the law.
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on 26 August 2014
If you are looking for a 'scare you out of your pants' type of film, then this is not for you. It is an interesting film that is based on the true experiences of Father Gary Thomas and a researcher, Matt Baglio (who eventually wrote the book this film is based on) who shadowed him to Rome as Fr Thomas was reluctantly told to undergo training as an exorcist.

Both Father Thomas and Baglio were ever present on the set of the film as Fr Thomas wanted to make sure that the film producers did not go over the top in sensationalising a topic that the Church tends to keep as 'low-key' as possible.

As a result, you are not getting the full Hollywood fireworks, but something close (without making to too dry and boring) to what both Fr Thomas, and with Baglio as witness, really experienced during their brief time in Rome. Clearly there is some poetic licence involved at times, and Baglio makes it clear in his blog where there is some deviation.

While the movie 'The Rite' is certainly being promoted as sensational entertainment, it is probably safe to say that it does, in fact, focus on the subject and present it as factually as possible, and the truth creates its own sensation of fear and shock.

Make of that what you will...
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on 3 September 2011
The Rite suffers from one serious handicap - if you've seen Amityville, The Exorcist, or any other horror thriller in which priests try to exorcise demons, you've seen most of the tricks this has up its sleeve. Colin O'Donoghue is a likeable lead as the son of an embalmer who uses the church as a cheap way to get a free Degree and break away from the family funeral business, but who then has his faithless bluff called by being sent on an exorcism course by the church or risk having to pay back $100,000 dollars of education.
His habit of challenging the church's assumptions is noticed and he's partnered with Hopkin's vastly experienced Father Lucas, and exorcist with a rather more laconic view of exorcism than normal. Hopkins is entertaining - humorously droll one minute, dramatic and intense the next. Light relief is provided by the gently humorous moments and journalist Braga's mild love interest. However, once the film gets moving, director Hafstrom manages to wring some decent tension and alarm out of scenes that have been done before in other movies, giving us some indelibly creepy moments, and forcing O'Donoghue's character to get off the fence and embrace his natural talent for the priesthood. The last half of the film takes a darker swing and wears its colours on its sleeve - more out of concern for the box-office one suspects than concern for factual accuracy. Demons contort characters, and tricks pulled in the Exorcist get re-hashed to decent effect - the film abandoning its earlier and more interesting 'do demons exist or is it all in the patient's mind?' questioning and instead aiming for definite supernatural thrills and flashy special effects. It's equally enjoyable, and in the flurry of drama and tension you forget that it's fallen off the fence with a thump - but it's still a very enjoyable flick, and at the end of the day it still leaves a memorable impression. A decent thriller that will disappoint philosophers and theologists but amuse thrillseekers.
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on 21 June 2011
When I went to see the film, I was reading Matt Baglio's book the The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, and didn't know the movie was based on the book, it was a pleasant surprise, though the movie is in many ways different from the book, especially the book is more into the exorcism procedures and cases without a straight story.

The movie is dark and eerie, yet there is a kind of serenity throughout the film; the towering personality of Anthony Hopkins could be the reason. He managed Father Lucas Trevant, the legendary exorcist brilliantly, even in his wildest moments. Director Mikael Håfström steered the Rite into a steady progressing path with subtle humour, he is trying to be faithful to Baglio's book and trying to tell an engrossing story where the hunter became hunted. Colin O'Donoghue's young skeptical priest Michael Kovak is also great, he is the son of Istvan Kovak - a brief appearance by Rutger Hauer, the other side of the story is Michael's struggle with faith.

Unlike Exorcist and a host of Hollywood horror movies, the Rite is more like an intellectual exercise which means no pea soup. Enjoy the film, it's a film you can go through despite the dark ambiance and subject matter.
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on 4 March 2011
I went the cinema not expecting much after reading many negative reviews. However, on leaving the cinema I heard people saying how good it was and how much they had enjoyed it. Hopkins is an absolute Joy playing a priest and some scenes are so well filmed that I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat smiling! My girlfriend was genuinely scared at times and I must admit some parts did have my heart beating and I did jump a few times. The scene with Hopkins blessing a young girl is just fantastic and the gasps from the audience highlighted to me the effect it had.

Forget all the negative "pro" reviews. Think Hannibal Lecter fighting Demons in Rome and you will really enjoy the film. 5 Stars!!
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The RITE was one of these `based on true events' horrors, that turned out to be a little under-whelming... OK a lot under-whelming.

If you're expecting anything as scary as The Exorcist or The Omen, you can forget it. The film was a pretty mediocre watch from start to finish, and the horror was anything but horrifying.

The scenes of possession were nothing new, and had all been done (much better) in other films about possession, and even Anthony Hopkins' performance was well below par for a man of his acting ability.

The film itself was a slow ride heading towards one final set piece which - admittedly was good... well, slightly above par; but it wasn't enough to justify the two or so hours I'd wasted before hand.

All in all - it was a completely acceptable watch. Just not very scary and a bit flat throughout.

The BluRay extras too, were a little disappointing, with a short 10 minute film explaining events that lead to the script being written... except it didn't really explain anything at all. The topic would have made for quite a nice documentary I think, and this was another missed chance by the producers.

I give this film 6 out of 10. Watch it on TV by all means. But don't buy it...

Also, it's worth pointing out that although this is a triple play pack (Blu Ray, DVD & digital DL), the digital download has a expiration date on it. It's only meant for people buying the film close to the release date, so if you're thinking of buying this now and hoping to download it to your iphone or media player or something - you could well be disappointed.

Disappointed. A word that I find synonymous with the film. In the end, The Rite turned out to be all wrong.
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on 3 May 2015
Hopkins has a technique..speak the dialogue looking up, downwards or sideways to give depth, or what an actor would say, a subtext. That is his style and you can see Hannibal here now doubt, the stares, the pursed mouth....that empty eyed look. But he does have something about him that allows you to watch...and keep watching. He often posts in his performances now, especially when he thinks what he is doing is...well....a wage earner rather than a piece of work with artistic merit, but he's ok here. The story, based probably very loosely on truth and goodness knows what that means, allows this movie to have extra interest. It's good, the performances are good and it's an easy watch. No, it's not higher level horror..but then the Devil wouldn't do that would it, otherwise it would be too obvious!
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'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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