Who's In It: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Rutger Hauer, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Jones

The Basics: "Inspired by true events" alleges the marketing campaign for this movie. And once you've seen it you'll realize what they mean is that the filmmakers once sat down and truly watched The Exorcist. Then they rewrote it and watered it down for 12-year-olds. Here goes: Older unorthodox priest brought in to drive a demon from a young girl in Rome? Check. Troubled young priest in a hoodie who's lost his faith? Check. That young priest regularly saying stuff like , "Hey, did anyone take her to a psychiatrist first?" Check. An exorcisee who contorts her body, speaks in a raspy voice and shouts PG-13ish sex-taunts to the collared men of God? Check. Unbeliever delivered from agnosticism? Check.

What's The Deal: I'm here to establish new guidelines for the making of movies about exorcisms. I know my guidelines will be largely ignored because I'm nobody but I'm going to lay it down here anyway. The first rule is that the Lord of All Blackness and Evil deserves an "R" rated film. He's Satan, after all, and fluffy kitties pouncing from out of dark spaces (it happens in this movie) are an insult to the kind of fear we've been led to expect from him. The guy wants to destroy your soul, not turn your cat litter box into a hellmouth. The second rule is that Oscar winners slumming for a paycheck and a Roman holiday are banned from acting in these sorts of movies. It's both embarrassing and extremely funny, like watching Joan Crawford make square, stiff-necked horror films in the late 1960s. Third rule? Be scarier than any given monster on an episode of Charmed; as it stands, the contents of my iPod are more demonic than anything you'll see here.

Almost Worth Watching For: Creepy mortician Rutger Hauer teaching his son (the one who's going to grow up to become the young nearly-atheist priest) to paint his own dead mother's fingernails so she can look pretty in the casket, a cameo by a red-eyed devil-donkey and Hopkins shaking what turns out to be one of many plague-like frogs at the camera while shouting, "DIABLO!" In fact, all of Hopkins's performance is Razzee Award worthy. He doesn't simply chew scenery--he swallows it, digests it, passes it, turns it into fertilizer and grows a crop of psychedelic mushrooms.

Watch This Instead: 2008's low-budget 80s Satanic panic valentine House of The Devil.


Comments (25)

eric - 1-28-2011 6:40 PM
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I love your reviews dude; got to see this one early and you LITERALLY say what Im thinking and you also don't give these TRASH movies any mercy! Not only do you critique them appropriately, but you also bring some much needed comic relief to dumb horror movies like this take themselves wayyyyy too seriously; plus, they're not even SCARY! I mean, come on, the movie is laughable, so why not have a laugh? LOL Anyway, keep up the good work Dave, love the reviews!!!

Blammo - 1-28-2011 7:34 PM
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I wish the title of the review had been "RONG!"

samantha - 1-29-2011 12:18 AM
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You took the words right out of my mouth! What are movie producers afraid of?! Why won't they even come close to the original movie? That was made in the 70's we are now in 2011? Has this generation become a bunch of pansies or what?! I am calling out all movie makers!! Someone needs to step it up and finally make an exorcism really scary!!!!!

Rachel - 1-29-2011 6:52 PM
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I just adore your review! I found it more entertaining than the movie itself, just without the cost.

simpleme89 - 1-30-2011 9:20 PM
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yes but then again this are your thoughts towards the movies other people might look at differently of course!

jonathan - 1-31-2011 8:01 PM
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i havent seen it

Maliciah - 1-31-2011 11:00 PM
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Terrible review.

Crystal - 2-02-2011 2:49 PM
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I liked the movie. I thought that it was very good. I didn't think it was watered down, it was still scary to me. Anthony Hopkins always does an outstanding job.

Mike C - 2-03-2011 7:03 PM
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Just returned from watching The Rite. A great movie! Solid acting. Any Christian will enjoy this movie. Enjoyed every second of it worth watching! I can't remember when or if ever but Hollywood actually portrays the Church and priests in a favorable light. Further they depict the battle of good vs evil in authentic terms. You will enjoy this movie. The critics hate Christianity..it fairly obvious. Dave White dislikes Christianity thus he hates what the movies stand for...good vs evil, light vs darkness, truth vs lies. God bless, Mike C

Thomas - 2-03-2011 7:59 PM
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Yeah,my feeling after watching this was that the Catholic church wanted to you know they did more than just molest children. Just one big marketing tool.

Dan C. - 2-04-2011 12:46 PM
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@ Mike C.: You're funny. I love when devout Christians think anyone who disagrees with them disagrees with Christianity and not their shitty movie taste. Grow a pair, step out from behind the preacher and think for yourself for once. Excellent review, Mr. White. Keep 'em coming. Especially the Christianity-hating ones since I will undoubtedly be labeled a Christian-hater now. Ha!

Wes M - 2-04-2011 7:47 PM
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Well, I guess anyone,with or without any taste,(as exhibited by your review)can be a critic these days. The problem with the review is the comparison to the Exorcist and the shallow minded need for blood and guts. This movie was another masterfull performances of one of or maybe THE best actors of all time. The true critics are at the boxoffice!

jerome - 2-04-2011 10:25 PM
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I want to watch it and then make up my mine.

Chris - 2-05-2011 7:28 PM
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I havent seen it yet, but I'm going to watch it tonight. I enjoy reading your opinions on movies because they're very entertaining. I really couldnt care less about what you have to say about a movie because like stated earlier...it's your opinion lol. A majority if not all of your reviews on movies are so off the wall they can't truly be taken seriously, right? Keep up the comedic and laughable thoughts.

Ethel - 2-06-2011 2:20 PM
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My husband and I love the movie! Anthony Hopkins is awesom!

T Wiley - 2-07-2011 9:37 AM
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I just saw it last night and we LOVED IT ...

Tom - 2-07-2011 3:21 PM
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@Thomas......you're the tool.....a gigantic one....

Ha - 2-08-2011 3:50 PM
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Guessing any fat mid life crsis going person can be a movie critic these days. Not a bad flick. Was never entended to be pea soup spewing, head spinning and crawling on the walls type of movie. Some of your reviews are not bad, but most are the same one sided crap you always chew out. Move out of mommy's basement and get a real job?

KoolGUY - 2-09-2011 11:11 PM
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Why does a horror film have to be rated 'R'? Are we so desensitized that we need more and more gruesome images on the big screen to entertain us. If your bad review of the movie is based solely on the fact that it doesn't have enough blood and guts to it, then you have truly done this review injustice. Or am I wrong in saying that a horror film can be more than just what gives you a freight in the night. In any case, my real question is, did the movie bring across what its purpose in a manor that is artful, entertaining, and yet respectful to our imaginations? If so, can I trust your opinion? It's probably best for me to judge on my own.

Thomas - 2-10-2011 6:58 PM
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@Tom Why? Because this was a horrible movie? I go to movies to be entertained, not watch one long advertisement.

Someone - 2-12-2011 1:38 PM
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I dislike this review. Come ON! Seriously,the guy voted this movie less than the Bieber one? This movie had a great story and was very unique. It wasn't going for scary and it had an interesting viewpoint. The actors played it right and it was not boring if you are a person who is a great listener and is interested in movies that make you think and give you time to conclude what will happen. This movie was purposeful and entertaining. Planning on seeing Beiber because it got voted higher by this guy? Think again.

Dave - 3-21-2011 12:51 PM
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By comparing "The Exorcist" to "The Rite", you are comparing apples to oranges. The Rite was not intended to be a horror flick, whereas The Exorcist was. While The Exorcist was supposedly based on an actual case, it is well documented that the movie portrayal is overly dramatized, and a lot of artistic license was added to be the horror film it was. If you had read The Rite, you would have realized that this movie was not ever intended to be a horror film, but an accurate portrayal of what a journalist axperienced when he followed a priest through his exorcist training. You would also realize that the priest being trained asked about whether the person had been seen by a phsychiatrist because that is what they are trained to do. Not be

Dave - 3-21-2011 12:53 PM
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Not because he was questioning his faith. Exorcism is to be last resort. That means all physical and mental causes are to be ruled out before performing exorcism. That being said, if it was intended to be a horror film, your analysis would probably be accurate. However, since it is not, I feel you are worng in your assessment.

Sara - 1-02-2012 9:43 AM
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I think Dave probably responded in this way to the movie because he's burned-out on exorcism movies. I would be, too, if I had to watch every single one that's come out in the last couple years. This movie may not have been scary, but parts of it were delightfully creepy. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the morgue flashbacks and the scene where Hopkins backhands that little girl. Good stuff. That said, I didn't think it was that great, either. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between Hopkins and O'Donoghue earlier in the movie regarding faith and skepticism, and I was interested to see where the movie would go with it, and how they would use both of these viewpoints to explore the phenomenon of possession itself. [cont.]

Sara - 1-02-2012 9:58 AM
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But no, the devil is real, everything is real, and O'Donoghue's character was just being a naive moron when he was looking at these events and asking questions and not just taking all these older, established priests at their word. It was both a copout and a much more negative ending than the film seems to have realized, considering O'Donoghue appears to have given into his fear. The last scene, in which he's become an ordained priest and is taking confessions, seems almost hopeless and a little sinister; he's crammed into this little box in the dark (part of a priest's job, I know, but they could have used another image), and it seems, at least to me, as if he may have made a mistake. I could go on, but... it's a very flawed film. Sorry.

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