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The Rite | 2011 | R | - 4.8.5

On the eve of his graduation from a seminary a man (Colin O'Donoghue) that has admitted to a lack of faith agrees to enroll in exorcist training at the Vatican. There he meets a priest (Anthony Hopkins) that has performed numerous exorcisms and believes he can convince the non-believer that the devil does exist. Also with Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds and Toby Jones. Directed by Mikael Hafstrom. [2:07]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A woman caresses a man's hair and says she'll meet him after work (sex is implied). A man looks at a woman's bare leg, he smiles at her and she smiles back.
 A young pregnant woman thrashes and screams and tells a man "Rape me" while licking her lips seductively. A man asks a woman if another man has "done it to you yet" and goes on to use crude terms to describe her breasts. A man makes a joke about another man going to a seminary and that they would remove his genitals (using a crude phrase).
 A woman wears a short skirt and a backless top that reveals her bare legs and bare back and shoulders. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. We see a man's bare back while he shaves in a bathroom mirror. A woman's body is shown on a table and covered to the shoulders with a sheet. We see a woman's bare pregnant belly and it moves as if a baby is thrashing inside her. We see a statue of a dog with numerous teats and pups feeding from it.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A young pregnant woman is retrained at the hands and feet to a hospital bed, she thrashes (we hear bones cracking), she spits at a window in the direction of the Vatican, she scratches the wall with her fingernails making a screeching noise, her face becomes darkened by veins pushing to the skin's surface, large bugs gather around her bed, we see blood on the blanket between her legs, and she thrashes and moans while we watch medical monitors that show the fetus twitch and the heartbeat monitor goes flat (we hear that both the young woman and the baby died).
 A young pregnant woman rolls her eyes back in her head, she scratches at the arms of a chair and her scalp frantically, she growls in a deep voice, stretches causing loud cracking sounds, gurgles and retches like she is going to vomit but does not, and yells at a priest attempting to perform an exorcism; he yells at her and then she is calm. A young pregnant woman contorts her neck and body and we hear bones cracking and flesh stretching, she thrashes and screams and lunges at a man, he grabs her legs, she tells him, "Rape me" and licks her lips seductively; we see her bare pregnant belly and it moves as if a baby is thrashing inside her, and she grabs a man's throat and squeezes.
 A man stumbles on a sidewalk and falls into a street causing a bicyclist to swerve into the path of a van and thrown into the windshield; she lands on the street (we see her bruised and bloody face and her twisted leg) and she dies. We see a dead body on a street after a traffic accident and blood is visible on the face and legs.
 A man lunges toward a woman and strangles her (her eyes turn bloody) and another man strikes the attacker on the back with a stick; the woman falls to the floor and we see her with a bruise on her neck, but she's OK later. A man pins another man against a wall, the man's eyes roll back in his head, we hear a loud pounding at the door, the attacker releases him, his eyes turn red, he yells and collapses (he's OK later). A man strikes a young girl across the face and she falls to the ground crying.
 A young boy watches his father prepare his mother's body for burial and later helps by blowing on her painted nails in order to dry them. A man prepares the body of a woman for burial (she has gray tinged lips and face); we see that he inserts lenses under the eyelids, inserts what looks like hair into the mouth, stitches the mouth closed (we see the hooked needle but do not see it pierce flesh) and washes the hair (we see soapy water washing into a drain). We see a dead body inside a casket prepared for a funeral. Two men prepare a body for a funeral and one is shown gluing a large cut on the face while the other files the fingernails.
 A man stands up and his arms are bent way back behind his back and he cries out in pain. A man is strapped into a chair, he growls and his face hardens and darkens with veins pushing to the skin's surface; he then scratches the arms of the chair frantically.
 We see and hear what we are told is people who are possessed by demons: we see photos of a man whose jaw was dislocated, a woman thrashes and has dark circles under her eyes, a woman's eyes turn white and her flesh darkens by veins at the skin's surface, and we hear people yelling in booming, gravely voices, and women screaming.
 A young boy describes dreams that he has and says that a mule is kicking and biting him and telling him to kill himself, and when the boy lifts his shirt we see bruises in the shape of a hoof, as well as bite marks. A man dreams that a man with long, darkened nails touches his face and then grabs his throat. A man hears a woman laughing, walks through a hallway following noises and sees a large horse with red eyes snorting and looking at him (all of the hallucinations then vanish).
 A young boy stands at his mother's graveside service and bends a crucifix in half while watch the casket being lowered into the ground. A man is startled by a cat running into a window and making a loud noise.
 We hear deep growls coming from inside a room. We hear a recording of a person yelling, "Die priest die." A man hears his father say, "They are hurting me" and "I'm afraid" just moments before he is told that he had died earlier.
 A young woman says that a voice in her head is saying disgusting things (she does not elaborate). A man theorizes about a young woman having been raped by her father and becoming pregnant. A man asks another man "how did she do it" referring to a woman having committed suicide. A man tells another man that his father died in terror and all alone. A man talks about a 5-year-old boy committing suicide. A young boy says that a man's father will die. A man receives word by phone that his father died after a massive stroke. We hear that a young woman tried to drown herself. A woman talks about her parents committing her brother to a mental hospital at the age of 19 for hearing voices. We hear reports of a volcano erupting and that the ash cloud affects air travel in Europe.
 Two men play a violent video game and blood splatters on the TV screen. We see paintings of confrontations between demons and archangels holding swords. We see artist renderings of specific demons (with horns, blackened teeth, reddened flesh, etc.).
 A man punches a punching bag while another man holds it. A man grieves over the death of a young woman and her unborn baby.
 A woman coughs and gags repeatedly, then spits out three blood-covered stakes (we see saliva and blood). A man coughs and gags and spits out a stake (we see no blood). A man urinates and we hear the trickle. A young woman scratches a dry patch of skin on her head in a couple of scenes. A man cuts his face with a razor and we see a trickle of blood. A fly crawls across a length of medical tubing.
 A man holds a small frog toward a young boy and calls it a demon, and then throws it into a fire while saying a prayer. A man finds his room filled with small frogs.
 We see the tattoo of a cartoonish devil on a dead woman's ankle. Many crucifixes hang upside down in a house.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 2 sexual references, 4 scatological terms, 4 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (liar, coward, doubter, sonny boy, deceiver), 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - Two men drink beer from bottles outside a bar, and people inside a bar are shown holding beer bottles. A man chews a piece of nicotine gum and says he gave up cigarettes but is addicted to the gum now, and a nun is shown smoking a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Exorcisms, faith, sin, the existence of the devil, the Vatican, the existence of God, St. Michael, skeptics, certainty, truth, demonic possession, death of a parent, suicide, rape, mental illness, failure, misery, secrets, fate, terror, paranoid schizophrenia, atheism, proof, incest.

MESSAGE - The devil exists.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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