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The Rite (2011)

aka The Rite

"You can only defeat it when you believe."

Directed By: 
Details: 114 mins · English, Russian, Italiano, Hungarian, Welsh · PG-13 (USA)


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"You can only defeat it when you believe."


Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue), disillusioned with his job as a mortician, decides to enter a seminary school and abdicate his vows upon completion thereby getting a free college degree. Four years have passed and Michael is being ordained to the diaconate at the seminary. After ordination he writes a letter of resignation to his superior, Father Matthew, citing a lack of faith. Father Matthew (Toby Jones), apparently wanting to talk Michael out of his decision, attempts to catch up to Michael on the street. He trips as he walks over a curb, causing a cyclist to swerve into the path of an oncoming van. The young female cyclist, Sandra (Marija Karan), is critically injured and after seeing his clerical garb believes Michael to be a priest and asks him for absolution. Initially hesitant but unable to refuse, Michael comforts her and performs a blessing ritual thereby leading her to believe that he absolved her sins, even though he didn't have the power to do so. Seeing how calmly he handled the situation, Father Matthew tells Michael that he is called to be a priest despite his resignation. He later approaches Michael with an invitation to travel to Rome in order to attend a class on exorcism, taught by his friend Father Xavier (Ciarán Hinds) . Michael reluctantly accepts after being told by Father Matthew that the Church might convert his scholarship into a student loan that would cost $100,000 if his immediate resignation stands. If Michael attends the exorcism class and still desires to resign afterwards then they will discuss matters (hinting that he may be free to leave).

During classes, he meets a young woman, Angelina (Alice Braga), who is also taking the course. He soon learns that she is a reporter who has been asked to cover the course for an article in a newspaper. Father Xavier, realizing Michael is a skeptic and is very tentative in his faith, asks Michael to see a friend of his, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who is a renowned Welsh Jesuit exorcist. Michael agrees and meets Father Lucas at his home, where he sees one of the priest's patients: a pregnant sixteen-year-old girl, Rosaria. It is later revealed that she was raped by her father, which led to her possession. However, Michael remains skeptical, even after witnessing several preternatural events, such as the girl coughing up three long nails and fluently speaking English. She pointedly reminds Michael of the last patient he embalmed and of his loathing for his father. He later speaks with Angelina again, who asks him to relay the information that he gets from Father Lucas to her, as she has tried to get an interview with him many times but has been refused. Michael declines. Meanwhile, Rosaria's condition worsens, highlighted by when she tried to drown herself, prompting Father Lucas and Michael to have her taken to a hospital for further care. There, Father Lucas performs another exorcism on the girl while Michael observes. They leave the hospital room together with Michael while Father Lucas stays overnight outside the girl's room. Late that night, she miscarries; the baby dies from cardiac arrest and the mother from blood loss from major hemorrhaging. Disheartened, Father Lucas feels he has failed her. After Michael sees this he decides to confer with Angelina.

After the death of the young woman, Father Lucas begins behaving strangely, exhibiting signs of demonic possession. Michael and Angelina later find him sitting outside his house in the rain. Father Lucas takes them into his house and, knowing himself to be possessed, tells Michael that he needs to find Father Xavier in order to perform the exorcism. Angelina and Michael try desperately to contact and find Father Xavier; however, they learn that he is out of contact for three days. Learning this, Michael decides to perform the exorcism on his own, with Angelina present. After constant rebuking by the demon and a long, drawn out fight, Michael regains his once lost faith and is able to force the demon to reveal its name, which is Baal. He completes the exorcism, and the powerful demon leaves Father Lucas. Successful, Michael leaves Rome, returning to the United States and to his life.

The final scene of the film shows Michael, now Father Michael Kovak, entering a confessional and beginning to hear a girl's confession.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2011-01-28 : United States of America

Theatrical : 2011-01-28 : Canada

Theatrical : 2011-02-02 : Egypt

Theatrical : 2011-02-02 : Philippines

Theatrical : 2011-02-08 : Argentina

Theatrical : 2011-02-10 : Argentina

Theatrical : 2011-02-10 : Singapore

Theatrical : 2011-02-11 : Brazil

Theatrical : 2011-02-11 : Turkey

Theatrical : 2011-02-17 : Malaysia

Theatrical : 2011-02-17 : Peru

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Mexico

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Panama

Theatrical : 2011-02-18 : Uruguay

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : Greece

Theatrical : 2011-02-24 : Hong Kong

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Iceland

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : Ireland

Theatrical : 2011-02-25 : United Kingdom

Theatrical : 2011-03-03 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 2011-03-04 : Finland

Theatrical : 2011-03-04 : Sweden

Theatrical : 2011-03-09 : France

Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : Croatia

Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : Denmark

Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : Hungary

Theatrical : 2011-03-10 : Portugal

Theatrical : 2011-03-11 : Italy

Theatrical : 2011-03-17 : Germany

Theatrical : 2011-03-17 : Slovenia

Theatrical : 2011-03-18 : Spain

Theatrical : 2011-03-25 : Estonia

Theatrical : 2011-04-01 : Lithuania

Theatrical : 2011-04-01 : Poland

Theatrical : 2011-04-08 : Bulgaria

Theatrical : 2011-04-09 : Japan

Theatrical : 2011-04-20 : South Korea

Theatrical : 2011-04-22 : Cyprus

Theatrical : 2011-07-13 : Luxembourg

Theatrical : 2011-01-26 : United States of America

DVD : 2011-05-17

DVD : 2011-05-20