On paper this looked pretty brutal: yet another exorcism movie, released in the January dead zone. Though it looks like The Rite slightly exceeds those low expectations.
"I admire The Rite because while it delivers what I suppose should be called horror, it is atmospheric, its cinematography is eerie and evocative, and the actors enrich it."— Roger Ebert, Variety
"While marred by cheap tricks and borderline camp, pic comes off as a largely low-key, intelligent effort..."— Joe Leydon, Variety
"Without head spinning and bilious regurgitation, The Rite is a workmanlike B-movie that embraces as many of the genre’s clichés as a PG-13-rating allows."— Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The Rite doesn't need to execute any of its ideas, have any charm, or even be anything more than just another paint-by-numbers post-The Exorcist movie about demonic possession."— Simon Abrams, Slant Magazine
"The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull."— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly