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 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 30
  2. Negative: 12 out of 30
  1. ChristopherW.
    May 30, 2007
    High production values and evocative imagery and photography aside, this film should never have been made. The entire captivating Hannibal mythos is replaced by ennui and routine. It's just another gory slasher exploitation flick, nothing else. If you love gory slasher exploitation flicks, be my guest. Have at it! All others stay clear! Full Review »
  2. 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 »
  3. SergioJ.
    Jun 1, 2007
    I don't understand why this movie received very terrilbe reviews. It was one of the best recent movies I have viewed. Ive never seen the other two in the Lecter series but this sure is good. Full Review »