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Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Audiences will be excused for any feelings of déjà vu the new film might inspire. That won't prevent them from watching it in rapt, anxious silence, however, as the gruesome crimes, twisted psychology and deterministic dread that lie at the heart of Harris' work are laid out with care and skill.
  2. 80
    Is Red Dragon a better film than "Manhunter?" I don’t know. I think it stands on its own, but I wonder how much people who are intimately familiar with "Manhunter" will be shocked by it, although the ending is altogether different and much more realized, I think.
  3. It's frightening enough, to be sure, but too often it feels like a well-executed but rote exercise.
  4. For all its brilliant touches, Dragon loses its fire midway, nearly flickering out by its perfunctory conclusion.
  5. 60
    The entire picture is a third-generation Xerox copy, in part because adapting Mr. Harris's books for the screen seems to turn directors into rigid formalists.
  6. Basically lives up to the old adage that the final work in a trilogy is invariably the weakest.
  7. Red Dragon's formula is so risible and rote by now that the natural reaction to scenes of peril, torture, and suffering is flippant laughter.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
  1. FarahD.
    Mar 21, 2006
    10
    The movie " hannibal" was a complete failure so it might be uncounted . 'the red dragon "is exactly the twin of "the silence of the lamp The movie " hannibal" was a complete failure so it might be uncounted . 'the red dragon "is exactly the twin of "the silence of the lamp ", it holds the same glorious reasons of smashing success the first chapter possessed . the two transcends old definitions of good and evil but they dig deeper into a more horrifying realms of the human psyche . and in this movie the spectator is as much involved with the criminal as with detective and Dr lecter in between acting the godlike connection .though it fades for some moments , yet the flame of expecting , guessing, waiting, hoping, fearing consumes from within leaving you with an exotic feeling of sweet exhaustion . you are changed somehow although this strange experience has nothing to do with your real life tomorrow morning! Expand
  2. Dec 29, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I loved Red Dragon. I liked the dark atmosphere, Norton waws really good, the opening scenes with Lecter before he got caught were excellent, and a great introduction to the whole story. Ralph Fiennes was excellent, in my opinion he deserved an oscar nomination for his portrayal of the 'Tooth Fairy'. And I think this is a point where Red Dragon is superior to The Silence of the Lambs. The real villain isn't overshadowed by Lecter. Lecter is still active, and in this movie (not as much as in the Silence, of course) but the otehr villain is great too. Buffalo Bill never really impressed me. The twist is great, towards the end, this is really a really enjoyable movie, the music was fitting as well. The performances are all excellent. 9/10 Expand
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    8
    Oh thank God that it's not like the second one. It's still worse than the first one, but it's better than the second one. It's good. You willOh thank God that it's not like the second one. It's still worse than the first one, but it's better than the second one. It's good. You will enjoy it. Expand
  4. Apr 24, 2015
    7
    Let's be honest, it didn't look very promising, did it? The auteur behind The Family Man and Rush Hour 2 tackling the movie's favouriteLet's be honest, it didn't look very promising, did it? The auteur behind The Family Man and Rush Hour 2 tackling the movie's favourite cannibal with the residue of the dreary Hannibal still ripe in the memory. But Brett Ratner's adaptation of Thomas Harris' 1981 prequel to The Silence Of The Lambs (already adapted by Michael Mann as Manhunter) delivers the goods with minimum fuss.

    As if to atone for Ridley Scott's uninspired instalment, Red Dragon feels like a concerted effort to get back to the glory days of Silence and, to a large extent and against all the odds, Ratner pulls it off. It may not have Manhunter's sense of style or interesting contours, but Red Dragon surpasses Mann's movie in its dogmatic desire to entertain.

    Putting the cult of Lecter aside for a moment, Red Dragon works as a cracking detective story. Going the Christopher Columbus/Harry Potter route, Ratner, in tandem with Silence screenwriter Tally, has been remarkably faithful to Harris' tautly constructed mystery. He offers a well-tooled, workmanlike compendium of the book's greatest hits - the great scene in which Lecter's cell is searched for clues as to how he is contacting Dolarhyde, the horrific burning wheelchair set-piece - that is the cinematic equivalent of a page-turner.

    Where Ratner does deviate from the novel, it pays dividends: a pre-credits opener that pitches Lecter and Graham against each other, first mentally, then physically, is a fantastic curtain-raiser, satisfying our immediate appetite to see the good Doctor while setting up the Lecter-Graham mind-games to come.

    If not quite as **** as Tom Noonan's incarnation from Manhunter, he also finds a real shift of gear in his tentative, affecting relationship with Reba (Watson, once again putting in good work), the blind woman who offers the killer a redemptive state of grace.

    What ultimately stops Red Dragon from being truly great rather than merely good is the bog-standard quality in Ratner's direction. Everything is crisp, everything is proficient but nowhere does he generate the foreboding atmosphere or memorable image that really hits home: visually, the movie is a sitcom version of Silence, all flat lighting and bland set-ups, the infamous corridor approaching Lecter's cell having none of its previous power.

    Indeed, the movie doesn't really deliver any real scares and nail-gnawing tension until a last reel denouement. But when the shocks do come, they work a treat.

    Not as good as The Silence Of The Lambs, but definitely besting the risible Hannibal, Red Dragon is a thoroughly entertaining, efficiently mounted thriller. If this is the last of the cannibal capers - and the sense of familiarity suggests that it should be, it's a good one to go out on.
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  5. Jul 17, 2012
    7
    The main reason why I didn
  6. Feb 4, 2012
    7
    I remember seeing this movie back in 2003 but I only saw the first 30 minutes and never knew the name of the movie. So I finally gave thisI remember seeing this movie back in 2003 but I only saw the first 30 minutes and never knew the name of the movie. So I finally gave this movie a try without knowing that I have seen it. And it took me by surprise. It`s a great movie but at times it felt a little cheesy. It looked like it had a low budget. Anthony Hopkins is just one of the greatest actors out there and he shows how scary he can be. The story of this movie is great and the twist is ok. It felt like it needed more gore, more blood, more suspense. Expand
  7. NerijusD
    Dec 5, 2009
    3
    Unnecessary and bad remake of a masterpiece - "Manhunter".

See all 34 User Reviews

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