2 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund
The latest in a long line of low-rent “Exorcist” also-rans, “The Rite” is a movie that's basically worthless without being glaringly awful. It's made with serviceable technical skill and it refrains from freely insulting viewer intelligence, but I'll admit that, not long before this writing, I'd completely forgotten I'd seen it. It's based on a true story, natch, which was previously documented in a book of the same name by Matt Baglio, who tracked the activities of an American-born exorcist working in Rome. The title is a double entendre: this is a tale not only of the rituals of demon extraction, but of a young man's rite of passage from a faithless priest to a God-loving vanquisher of evil. But hell if you'll give a hoot about any of that. The only thing that leaves a dent is a crazy-kooky-scary-funny performance from Anthony Hopkins, who proves he can still sustain a career with yet more variations on Hannibal Lecter.