No faith in The Rite

Based on true events or not, Anthony Hopkins stars in the same old story.

Hollywood's latest demonic possession thriller claims to be both “inspired by true events” and, in one of the most baffling writing credits in film history, “suggested by” author Matt Baglio’s book about said events. Did no one suggest to the inspired filmmakers that their script, truth-y though it may have been, was entirely redundant? Michael (Colin O’Donoghue) is a faith-challenged seminary student sent to Rome to learn the exorcism trade, doubting his way into the tutelage of a quirky old priest played by Anthony Hopkins. Much casting out of unclean spirits ensues, while Hopkins mouths Max von Sydow’s old spiel about how one must believe in the devil to defeat him. The Rite is dark, serious and made with dreary competence, but it’s still just The Exorcist reheated.

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