‘The Rite’ Movie Review from Bruce

by on June 19, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Hey, I just got through watching The Rite last night!

Despite the fact that it was your standard demon possession movie, how they approached the story through their primary character had a great touch that pulled me right into the story and riveted me to the events!

Colin O'Donoghue in 'The Rite'

Colin O'Donoghue

The Rite stars Colin O’Donoghue, Anthony Hopkins and Alice Braga in a movie directed by Mikael Hfstrm (1408, Derailed) and written by Michael Petroni (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader).

The film follows Michael Kovak (O’Donoghue) who leaves his family mortuary business (Be warned, we get a pretty up-close look at his family profession… ick!) to pursue seminary school to become a priest. Yet at the end of his four years, he looks to resign because he didn’t feel the faith.

Kovak’s guidance counselor, Father Matthew (Toby Jones), seeing something more in Michael, asks him to head to Italy to attend an exorcism course and then see if he doesn’t believe in God.

Getting to the exorcism school, Michael brings his pragmatic doubts with him and they decide to send him to Father Lucas Trevant (Hopkins), since he’s such a successful exorcist.

This movie focuses on Michael’s doubt as the center of the story and Colin O’Donoghue drives home the logic of his doubt. Through various events within the story, we watch the evolution of his beliefs and where they take him. One event after another add up nicely to deliver his character into the final act.

Along the way, director Hfstrm delivers some wonderful scenes of tension with the focus on the character’s eyes. The eyes can send so many messages, some overtly, others very subtle.

Anthony Hopkins in 'The Rite'

I love Anthony Hopkins in most anything he does and this did not disappoint. I may have a new actor to follow in Colin O’Donoghue. He presents a certain level of intrigue that is also easy to follow.

On Reflection

All in all, though the movie felt like a slow starter, it was actually a wonderful slow burn of a build to the third act. It helped us understand every detail, especially O’Donoghue’s character, to make the third act that much more rewarding and a resolution that didn’t come out of thin air. Without the slow build, we don’t get sucked into the details.

Despite this being just another demon possession movie, The Rite drove home a great combination of anxiety, emotional starts and good old fashion demon antics in possession mode.

Anthony Hopkins in

Movie Review Popcorn Score 09If I were to give The Rite a movie review score, I think it deserves a solid popcorn 9. Characters were believable, situations were well developed and even the expected stunts still drew me in enough to make me jump a little.

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