Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: FBI Agent Will Graham (Petersen) has captured the diabolical Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Cox), nearly losing more than just his mind in the process. But when Graham is called out of retirement to hunt the psychopath known as "The Tooth Fairy" (Noonan) he must once again confront the horrors of "Hannibal The Cannibal". If Will Graham enters the mind of the serial killer, can he ever come back? (Anchor Bay Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Allen Barra
    The best Hannibal Lecter movie and one of the greatest suspense movies ever made... A lurid masterpiece that pays homage to the seductiveness of pulp, not by dressing it in the trappings of fine art but by stripping it to the essentials of what we responded to in the material in the first place.
  2. 90
    Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
  3. Reviewed by: Dave Beuscher
    As with all of Mann's films, Manhunter is an intense experience. All of the actors, including even legendary goofball Chris Elliott, give brooding, serious performances.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    Petersen is superb as the obsessive investigator who risks madness each time he takes on a case, and Tom Noonan is absolutely chilling as the psycho killer.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    An unpleasantly gripping thriller... Interesting Hitchcockian guilt transference territory and Mann's grip on his material is tight and sure. Director is at all times preoccupied by visual chic.
  6. Reviewed by: Pat Graham
    I'm rather intrigued with what Mann does with his stylistic envelope: it's simultaneously hypnotic and enervating, meditative and empty, like a white-noise background or a field of electronic snow on the tube.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Winn
    Without a compelling - and convincingly compelled - character at its center, the details in this film lack an agonizing drop-by-drop tension. The various pieces fall apart like the shattered mirrors that figure in the crimes. [15 Aug 1986]

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Sep 3, 2014
    "Manhunter" is a very exciting and well-made film. There are many twists and turns that keep the audience guessing, and some very intense and suspenseful scenes. The film's main character, Will Graham, is very complex and likable, and the movie has some great acting. I think this is even better than "The Silence of the Lambs", and I highly recommend it. Expand
  2. Mar 5, 2014
    Alongside with "Heat" and "The Last of the Mohicans" - one of the best Mann's movies. Unlike 2002 "Red Dragon", "Manhunter" is an extremely talented and deep adaptation of Harris' brilliant novel. It is in no way your regular maniac thriller, in which terrifing murders shown and tension grows high every minute. And it's not a Lecter movie. Instead, it concentrates on psychological deepness of the main character, FBI special agent Will Graham, whose ability to identify himself with wanted murderers puts him to the edge of the sanity. William Petersen did a superb job of creating one of the deepest movie characters of all time, and it's a pity that he never became a huge star (in 80's he also was great in Fridkin's "To live and die in L.A.")

    Movie is unforgettable not only because of it's detailed, psychological storyline and wonderful acting, but also vivid visuals and extraterrestial soundtrack. The way Mann and his team use colors and music creates a very special, unrepeatable atmosphere and eve helps in character development. All in all, "Manhunter" is a true masterpiece, both entertaining and thoughtful, and i deeply regret that it is so unpopular nowadays. Everyone should watch it.
  3. May 25, 2013
    This movie has been criticized for reasons that make it so great. Maybe it's a personal thing but if you want to use your imagination, just let go and let the film absorb you as the visuals and the music suck you into the mood and the mental angst
    For me one of the cleverest and by far the scariest film I have ever watched maybe it's the thought of another tooth fairy being out like the one so well played by Noonan I cannot forget for instance his ecstasy watching her stroke the Tiger and by implication the intensity of the emotions that the killer can feel brilliant. The cast are all very convincing. I'd call it the brilliant original of the Hannibal Lechter series.
    If you get a chance give this one a go.
  4. Oct 15, 2012
    Manhunter, an excellent thriller, is the best film I've seen from Mann's oeuvre. Heat is a vastly overrated mediocrity of a film rife with cliches and an implausible love subplot with the De Niro and Brenneman characters, among other numerous silly contrivances and digressions. It's a bloated Hollywood heist thriller. I haven't seen The Insider, yet, but have heard good things about it. Collateral is a merely passable thriller that features Cruise as a Hollywood villain who utters banal philosophy. Public Enemies is fun disposable entertainment. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews