'The Rite' Critic Reviews

69%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
20%
Rotten Tomatoes:   157 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    17
    The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Philip French Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    It's a fatuous film with none of the weight and dark energy of The Exorcist.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Xan Brooks Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    40
    Hopkins' wild ham acting helps raise the deadening atmosphere and prick the mood of pomposity. What he can't do, sadly, is save his co-star.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Scott Bowles USA Today (Top Critic)
    50
    There's nothing wrong with The Rite that spinning heads and a little pea soup wouldn't cure.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Sean O'Connell Washington Post (Top Critic)
    13
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    38
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Nick Pinkerton Village Voice (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    Dave Whitehead's sound design fills the production with ominous whooshings that sometimes overwhelm the dialogue, not that the dialogue doesn't deserve it.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    75
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    40
    ...it fails most crucially in pulling its strings together in a way that's not nearly as impressive as it's straining to be.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    I found myself drawn in. It is sincere. It is not exploitative; a certain amount of screaming, frothing and thrashing comes with the territory.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    63
    For an hour "The Rite," as scripted by Michael Petroni, delivers the expected, but with panache... The supporting cast is unusually strong...
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Andrea Gronvall Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    As Hopkins himself goes wild-eyed and FX-ed with popping veins, The Rite gives up on asking us to take it seriously.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Tom Horgen Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    38
    A horror film that goes nowhere very, very slowly.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    60
    Hafstrom creates a nice, creepy vibe, especially for the first part of the movie, which has a menacing atmosphere.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Joe Leydon Variety (Top Critic)
    A largely low-key, intelligent effort.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    25
    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.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    50
    O'Donoghue is so stunningly uncharismatic that he kills whatever possibilities this picture from the director of the silly-scary-smart "1408″ had.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Liam Lacey Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    38
    Starts glumly before flipping into supernatural camp.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com (Top Critic)
    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).
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    63
    There are some interesting ideas and themes in The Rite; unfortunately, an uneven tone and a disappointingly generic climax dilute them.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Frank Scheck Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    The Rite becomes more ludicrous as it goes along, with more than a few lines of dialogue from Michael Petroni's over-the-top screenplay eliciting unintended titters.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Christy Lemire Associated Press (Top Critic)
    Anthony Hopkins classes up The Rite, as you can imagine he would most every situation. But even his otherworldly powers can only make this overly familiar demonic possession thriller engaging for so long.
    Full Review » 4 years ago