"The battle against the Devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the Devil is still alive and active in the world." -Pope John Paul II "The Rite" is a… More "The battle against the Devil, which is the principal task of Saint Michael the Archangel, is still being fought today, because the Devil is still alive and active in the world." -Pope John Paul II "The Rite" is a supernatural thriller that uncovers the Devil's reach to even one of the holiest places on Earth. Inspired by true events, the film follows seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue), who is sent to study exorcism at the Vatican in spite of his own doubts about the controversial practice and even his own faith. Wearing his deep skepticism like armor, Michael challenges his superiors to look to psychiatry, rather than demons, in treating the possessed. Only when he's sent to apprentice with the unorthodox Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins)--a legendary priest who has performed thousands of exorcisms--does Michael's armor begin to fall. As he is drawn into a troubling case that seems to transcend even Father Lucas's skill, he begins to glimpse a phenomenon science can't explain or control...and an evil so violent and terrifying that it forces him to question everything he believes. Directed by Mikael Hĺfström ("1408"), "The Rite" stars Oscar (R) winner Anthony Hopkins ("Silence of the Lambs"), Colin O'Donoghue in his feature film debut, Alice Braga ("Predators"), Toby Jones ("Frost/Nixon"), with Ciarán Hinds ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2"), and Rutger Hauer ("Batman Begins," "Blade Runner"). Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose") produced the film under their Contrafilm banner. The screenplay is by Michael Petroni ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"), suggested by the book by Matt Baglio. Richard Brener, Merideth Finn and Robert Bernacchi serve as executive producers, with Mark Tuohy co-producing. New Line Cinema presents, a Contrafilm production, a Mikael Hĺfström film, "The Rite." The film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. This film has been rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material, violence, frightening images and language including sexual references. -- (C) Warner Bros.
Consensus: Anthony Hopkins is as excellent as ever, but he's no match for The Rite's dawdling pace and lack of chills -- or Colin O'Donoghue's tentative performance in the leading role.