Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Allen Barra
    100
    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. Reviewed by: Dave Beuscher
    90
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 88
    William L. Petersen (''To Live and Die in L.A.”) gives another mesmerizing, seeming nonperformance as the brilliant agent on the trail of a serial killer who has murdered families in the South. [29 Aug 1986]
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Bernardin
    83
    The brilliance of Michael Mann's Manhunter is that it appreciates that the true nexus of humanity is our shared closeness.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    80
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    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.
  8. Reviewed by: Pat Graham
    70
    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.
  9. With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
  10. Reviewed by: Steve Winn
    25
    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]
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Jan 21, 2015
    9
    A blasphemous statement to most Lecter fans, but I found this to be the best film based on a Thomas Harris work. It's style and visuals giveA blasphemous statement to most Lecter fans, but I found this to be the best film based on a Thomas Harris work. It's style and visuals give it a unique look to the 1980's thrillers, as well as having tense yet subtle performances by the cast. The whole film is more terrifying than 'Red Dragon' or 'Silence on the Lambs', because it terrifies and gives suspense not with blood or gore, but with quality cinema. Full Review »
  2. Jan 14, 2015
    7
    Michael Mann kicks the dread and psychological terror up a notch in "Manhunter," a fresh and unsettling thriller with brilliant imageryMichael Mann kicks the dread and psychological terror up a notch in "Manhunter," a fresh and unsettling thriller with brilliant imagery drenched in vivid color paletting. Full Review »
  3. Sep 3, 2014
    10
    "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"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. Full Review »