The Rite Reviews

  • The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • Is it the devil's work or a psychiatric disorder? That is the spurious debate that sputters along in this dull, pretentiously verbose movie that (need it be said?) enthusiastically takes the devil's side.

    Stephen Holden — New York Times

  • There's nothing wrong with The Rite that spinning heads and a little pea soup wouldn't cure.

    Scott Bowles — USA Today

  • A run-of-the-mill chiller that spends an inordinate amount of time flirting with unconventional scare tactics before sacrificing all of its ingenuity to become the latest in a long line of "The Exorcist" clones.

    Sean O'Connell — Washington Post

  • So many skilled scenery chewers in supporting roles, and they still can't make up for the void in the center that is O'Donoghue.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Director Mikael Hafstrom's foot-dragging pace makes a pretense of intent character study, but Michael's spiritual trials are occluded by Michael Petroni's patchy screenplay.

    Nick Pinkerton — Village Voice

  • Dave Whitehead's sound design fills the production with ominous whooshings that sometimes overwhelm the dialogue, not that the dialogue doesn't deserve it.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Sure, there are cliches (why must possessed characters talk like Darth Vader in a bathtub?), but the film avoids the schlockier pitfalls of outright Exorcist wannabes.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • ...it fails most crucially in pulling its strings together in a way that's not nearly as impressive as it's straining to be.

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • I found myself drawn in. It is sincere. It is not exploitative; a certain amount of screaming, frothing and thrashing comes with the territory.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • For an hour "The Rite," as scripted by Michael Petroni, delivers the expected, but with panache... The supporting cast is unusually strong...

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Horror fans may be disappointed by this handsome exorcism drama, which aspires to the serious religious feeling of William Friedkin's The Exorcist but delivers little of its shock or gore.

    Andrea Gronvall — Chicago Reader

  • As Hopkins himself goes wild-eyed and FX-ed with popping veins, The Rite gives up on asking us to take it seriously.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • A horror film that goes nowhere very, very slowly.

    Tom Horgen — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Hafstrom creates a nice, creepy vibe, especially for the first part of the movie, which has a menacing atmosphere.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • A largely low-key, intelligent effort.

    Joe Leydon — Variety

  • Despite an impressive cast (excluding the excruciatingly dull O'Donoghue, a newcomer from Ireland), "The Rite" is the sort of misfire that Hollywood has long buried in January.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • O'Donoghue is so stunningly uncharismatic that he kills whatever possibilities this picture from the director of the silly-scary-smart "1408″ had.

    Roger Moore — Orlando Sentinel

  • Starts glumly before flipping into supernatural camp.

    Liam Lacey — Globe and Mail

  • If it's a nonsensical patchwork quilt, it's mostly a watchable one, with supporting performances from Ciaran Hinds and Rutger Hauer (which is a lot of long, gloomy faces for one movie).

    Andrew O'Hehir — Salon.com

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