Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 30
  2. Negative: 14 out of 30
  1. Hannibal Rising isn't a classic, but it's entertaining and a surprisingly fitting addition to the franchise.
  2. This strikes me as the final nail in the franchise's coffin. I can't name an actor who could have made young Lecter as interesting as the older one, but Ulliel does not come close.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's a handsomely mounted but poky thriller undone by a fatally miscast lead.
  4. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    The story's beginning is in a rush to get to the the killings, which get more and more disgusting.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    This is essentially a by-the-numbers revenge film with some attempts at deeper characterization. The difference between this film and, say, "Batman Begins" is that Bruce Wayne, upon finding the tormentors of his youth, never tried to kill and eat them.
  6. 58
    It's a handsome film, but the pace is continually gummy and the set-ups stiff and artificial. Most crucially, nothing in it vanquishes the sensation that we're being sold something superfluous -- like a service contract for a carton of eggs.
  7. What Hannibal Rising is, mostly, is a hoot.
  8. 50
    Most of the movie makes too much sense and is no fun at
  9. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    This comically fastidious telling of the Hannibal Lecter origin story completes the extreme makeover of grindhouse fare that "The Silence of the Lambs" started 15 years ago. Meaning: Respectable audiences who wouldn't be caught dead at a (sniff!) horror movie still want severed heads; they just want the bloody meal served on Royal Dalton china.
  10. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    This upmarket slasher is a well-produced but slow-moving thriller that never quite roars to life.
  11. Thomas Harris adapted his own bestseller and Peter Webber, who previously directed "Girl with a Pearl Earring," had the unenviable task of trying to give this glop, which is too gruesome to be campy, a high gloss. It should be called Man With a Severed Head.
  12. 42
    Director Peter Webber can't do much about what's missing from the story: a soul or a sense of purpose.
  13. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Gong Li is welcome as Hannibal's Japanese aunt-in-law/mentor, Gaspard Ulliel isn't a bad young Lecter and Webber's direction is intermittently classy -- but this is a footnote rather than a film.
  14. Hannibal Rising is basically a Steven Seagal vigilante movie with a hero who eats the people he kills. At least it's ecofriendly.
  15. The movie streamlines much of Harris's book. It's a shame, because it results in the movie's fundamental flaw -- the one-dimensionality of Hannibal.
  16. 40
    Ulliel, the meek missing soldier in "A Very Long Engagement," makes such a tedious Lecter that this quickly becomes a chore, though Dominic West ("The Wire") is good as a French detective on the madman's trail.
  17. 38
    For better and worse, the movie is more attractive and competently assembled than its schlock peers. That's refreshing, but it hardly excuses the appalling lack of suspense, intermittent tastelessness, or shockingly low camp quotient.
  18. Errors in logic will delight the attentive.
  19. Reviewed by: Josh Rosenblatt
    Who would have thought mass murder and cannibalism could be so dull?
  20. 30
    This Hannibal is a stick-in-the-mud altogether lacking in the wit, gourmet appetites and romantic flair required of any surrogate for Sir Anthony Hopkins. By the end of two full hours, it's only Harris' head you long to see on a plate.
  21. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Bad as Harris' Hannibal Rising screenplay (his first) is, at least it's an improvement on his dreadful book, streamlining its convoluted action and discarding large chunks of unspeakable dialogue.
  22. Reviewed by: Phil Vettel
    A sort-of combination of "Lambs," "Batman Begins" and "The Joy of Cooking," Hannibal Rising ostensibly dramatizes the atrocities that turned Hannibal Lecter from loving child to serial killer. But this film is larded up with so many food references that I'm undecided whether this story belongs in a film compendium or a recipe file.
  23. 25
    For the first time in the film series, Harris wrote the screenplay himself, which means the movie is practically identical to the book. In other words, they both stink.
  24. 25
    Dull and dreary prequel.
  25. 25
    The funniest movie of the year - a true laugh riot. Viewers will be holding their sides to contain the laughter. Forget Borat - if you're looking for something hilarious, this is the movie to see. What's that? It's not supposed to be a comedy. Oops.
  26. Not quite repellent enough to avoid tedium, Hannibal Rising is both too familiar in portraying Hannibal as a Dracula-like aristocrat monster, and crud in its exploitation of wartime atrocities.
  27. Hannibal Rising reduces this great creature of the pop imagination to a Eurotrash Boy Scout throwing a homicidal snit fit.
  28. Not just a bad film, Hannibal Rising is downright dull, which is a far worse crime.
  29. It's all quite a mess, with awkward performances, worse dialogue and a painfully protracted running time conspiring against any chance of enjoyment, even in a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure way.
  30. Silly, slack and unforgivably tedious, Thomas Harris's screenplay is padded with interminable flashbacks and a bombastic score that telegraphs every emotion Hannibal represses. And there are a lot of them.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 30
  2. Negative: 12 out of 30
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    I thought about watching the whole Hannibal franchise. After watching "Hannibal Rising", I realized I should watch a different movie franchise that is NOT Hannibal. Full Review »
  2. Mar 2, 2014
    What the hell happened. The series was going so well until this piece of garbage came out. This movie was terrible. If you ever come across it in stores, just walk away don't even look at it. Full Review »
  3. Nov 13, 2013
    The movie is a tragedy of humanity, as if we evolved as a society, to see more and more of the same. Hannibal Lecter is a very unusually gifted, and perceptive individual. He has no role model in society, and he has been led to believe, that individuality won the Soviets the war, and people didn't depend on anyone, but themselves, winning the war. In his experience, his small adorable child of a sister, is killed by people, who feel that he and his sister are the cause of they killing them. How he wins to survive, seems to be how everyone felt, in Stalingrad, in Berlin, in London, and everywhere. Who won the war for the victors, small children like Hannibal, or Stalin, or Churchill?
    Hannibal can eat foie gras, and it seems that he is a cannibal, because he detests cannibalism, and perhaps he is condoning the perpetrators. He is asked by the associate of his sister's killer, whether he would feed the killer to his sister, but the associate forgets, that the killer gives the amulet that his victim wore, to his own daughter, and this means, he would have killed and eaten his daughter, in the circumstance, perhaps to Hannibal.
    This is what society means, and what it portends, to many like Hannibal. The world war is justified to create a world order, that would have existed in a different way anyway. There is no role model to Hannibal, and even for the leaders, who rule nations. The Second World war had people who had the attitude of Hannibal, but were prudent not to act similarly.
    Apparently, Hannibal negates all the bad and good that he does, he does good, if he does, to say that he is not associating himself, and he does bad similarly. He eats the frontal lobe, that part of the brain, which was removed by surgery, in the process of lobotomy, after he removes it, perhaps because he identifies the lobe in a certain way. It might be, that since he cannot perform lobotomy, he has to kill people to perform the procedure.
    Full Review »