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The Rite

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by true events, this supernatural thriller follows a seminary student (Colin O’Donoghue) sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts about the controversial practice and even his own faith. Only when sent to apprentice with legendary Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who has performed thousand of exorcisms, does his armor of skepticism begin to fall. Drawn into a troubling case that transcends even Father Lucas’s skill, the young seminarian glimpses a phenomenon science can’t explain or control – and an evil so violent and terrifying that it forces him to question everything he believes.

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Anthony Hopkins is a veteran exorcist who shows a novice the tricks of the trade, so to speak, in The Rite, a decidedly sober supernatural thriller about demonic possession that stands in stark contrast to the gymnastic pyrotechnics of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Last Exorcism. Colin O'Donoghue is the new-minted priest with a truckload of familial baggage (as a boy, father Rutger Hauer showed him his mother's corpse shortly before preparation in the family's funeral business) and a sincere crisis of faith. His adviser (Ciarán Hinds) ships him off to Rome, where he studies under Hopkins, who treats the dismissal of evil forces like a not particularly strenuous therapy session. But when a young pregnant woman turns up with a nasty case of the Devil inside, the tables are quickly turned, and O'Donoghue is forced to ply his training in an actual confrontation with demonic forces. Director Mikael Håfström has an extraordinary visual eye for malevolence in architecture, and his pacing and restraint in delivering full-bore shocks are admirable. Unfortunately, the result is somewhat stillborn, never quite fulfilling its promise as a thinking person's exorcism film, and instead hoping that meaningful glances and mounting shadows will suffice as atmosphere. Hopkins is also restrained in his performance, which works in its early stages--his post-Silence of the Lambs roles have hinged so often on operatic rages that one forgets what a subtle actor he can be--but falters in his later scenes, which require him to deliver the film's central chills. The Rite is a notable effort that simply doesn't translate beyond the page. --Paul Gaita


Special Features

Deleted Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue
  • Directors: Mikael Håfström
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2011
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EPYZO4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rite" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Kathy W TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2011
Format: DVD
I just saw this in the theater and it was excellent! Our story begins with a Catholic mortician (Rutger Hauer) and his young son, Michael (Colin O'Donoghue). Fast forward about 10 years, Michael is a man and leaves the Kovak & Son family business to study to become a priest. Four years later, Michael is graduating the seminary college but is very confused about his future. He has not taken his final vows when he is sent to Rome for two weeks training on The Rite of Exorcism. When he is encouraged to meet the less orthodox Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), he sets out on a path of understanding that far exceeds his expectation that demonic possession is just a psychological condition.

This slightly less than 2 hour film is well done, sufficiently scary, suspenseful, and reminds us that Satan is the master of illusion. It is also a film about the importance of having faith. Sir Anthony is outstanding in his role as a priest who has been performing exorcisms for some time in Rome. Although I rated the movie an overall "4," Sir Anthony deserves a "10" for his acting (as usual). He not only gets into a role, he BECOMES the role. Colin does a very nice job as the priest candidate whose beliefs are challenged as he meets some of Satan's demons for himself. Rutger has a small role, but as another reviewer already said, it was nice to see him again. Filmed in Hungary and Rome, this show received lots of applause from the audience when it ended.

The real Michael lives in Chicago and there are 14 practicing exorcists in the United States.

Note #1--Please do not bring your young children to the theater with you to see this movie, unless you want them sleeping in your bed for the rest of your life.

Note #2--Even if you do not believe in demonic possession, remember that your perception BECOMES your reality.

Creepy film. Enjoy.
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107 of 120 people found the following review helpful By C. Sawin VINE VOICE on January 27, 2011
Format: DVD
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.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By N. Doyle on February 4, 2011
Format: DVD
THE RITE may well have produced some mixed reviews, but I have to admit that having just seen it at my local multiplex theater, I found it a gripping enough experience although I was not particularly fond of the limp ending. The script should have provided a more satisfying conclusion.

ANTHONY HOPKINS, manages to create a full-bodied character from some very thin material. Matching him every step of the way as a young priest who is beginning to have too many doubts about his faith is COLIN DONOGHUE. He holds his own in every scene with Hopkins, who gives his creepiest performance since "Silence of the Lambs."

A major asset is the film's cinematography, especially for the scenes in and around Rome, and whether photographed in rain or shine. The film, in fact, owes a lot of its spellbinding power to the fantastic camerawork and the delicately haunting background score with its occasional uses of strong chords for shock value.

But it's Hopkins who anchors the film with his very ambiguous portrait of a priest who specializes in exorcism. The main victim is a young girl and her scenes of Devil possession are strikingly handled for maximum effect, but decidedly more low-key than the startling effects in "The Exorcist."

If you lean towards films about the paranormal or occult, handled with Gothic flourishes, you should find THE RITE a rewarding experience. For fans of Anthony Hopkins, they'll be glad to discover that it's his strongest and creepiest performance in years.

Recommended for fans of this genre.
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