Movie and DVD Guide

Find Movies and Tickets

Choose Your Movie

All movies
or
The Rite (2011) When Anthony Hopkins signs on to play a sinister old exorcist in a generic satanic rehash like The Rite , does he hate himself for… 2011-01-28 PG-13 PT112M Horror Ciaran Hinds Anthony Hopkins Colin O'Donoghue Alice Braga Rutger Hauer Toby Jones New Line Cinema
Movie Review

The Rite (2011)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Find theaters showing The Rite in your area

The Rite | MAN OF GOD Anthony Hopkins carries the cross in The Rite
Image credit: Egon Endrenyi
MAN OF GOD Anthony Hopkins carries the cross in The Rite

Details Release Date: Jan 28, 2011; Rated: PG-13; Length: 112 Minutes; Genre: Horror; With: Ciaran Hinds, Anthony Hopkins and Colin O'Donoghue; Distributor: New Line Cinema

When Anthony Hopkins signs on to play a sinister old exorcist in a generic satanic rehash like The Rite, does he hate himself for getting hired, yet again, to trot out Hannibal Lecter's ravenous snarl and hypnotist's gleam? Does he stalk around between takes muttering things like ''I should be doing Lear''? Or is he only too happy to milk that Lecter leer? The Rite is set in Rome, and it presents the Vatican as having officially embraced the rituals of exorcism as a de facto enhancement of its brand. (If the devil is at large, then the church must still be relevant.)

Hopkins becomes the tutor of a young priest (Colin O'Donoghue) too skeptical to believe the gnashings and writhings of the ''possessed'' are anything but psychological symptoms. The trouble is, the film seems to think that this amounts to a serious crisis of faith. The hero is a cipher; who cares if he's saved from his skepticism? When he and Hopkins team up to expunge a demon from a pregnant Italian teenager, there's no shock in her tongue flickerings and Latinate rantings. ''Were you expecting swiveled heads and pea soup?'' asks Hopkins. Maybe not, but we were expecting something we hadn't seen a dozen times in the recent cycle of exorcist thrillers. The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull. D

See all of this week's reviews

Originally posted Jan 26, 2011 Published in issue #1140-1141 Feb 04, 2011 Order article reprints