Family-Faith Film Review: The Rite
By Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting
The Rite — Religiously honorable, but aesthetically tentative drama, based on real events, about a skeptical seminarian (Colin O’Donoghue) who has pursued priestly studies mainly to get a free education and avoid following in the footsteps of his undertaker father (Rutger Hauer). To forestall his dropping out, a superior (Toby Jones) dispatches him to Rome to complete a Vatican-sponsored course in exorcism. There, he shares his ongoing doubts with a reporter (Alice Braga) who has enrolled in the class for research purposes. But inexplicable experiences during his apprenticeship with a veteran demon fighter (Anthony Hopkins) challenge the young cleric’s secular certainties. Though shaky on a few details, director Mikael Hafstrom’s conversion tale resoundingly affirms faith and the value of priestly ministry. Yet the effort to showcase the main character’s spiritual journey as an old-fashioned chillfest weakens its ultimate impact. Possibly acceptable for mature teens. Incest and suicide themes, some gruesome imagery, incidental irreverence, a couple of uses of profanity, a few rough and crude terms. A-III — adults. (PG-13) 2011
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