Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 288 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In pursuit of one serial killer, ambitious FBI student Clarice Starling (Foster) is forced to enlist the aid of another notorious killer, the incarcerated ex-psychiatrist known as "Hannibal the Cannibal" Lecter (Hopkins).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
  2. 100
    A movie with this kind of haunting power comes along only once every decade or so. [20 February 1991, Life, p.11D]
  3. 100
    The superbly crafted suspense thriller…slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror.
  4. All sorts of macabre things have gone on, and are still going on just offscreen, in Jonahan Demme's swift, witty new suspence thriller.[14 February 1991]
  5. 89
    At long, long last: the real thing.
  6. 88
    Chilling and creepy, and there's no denying that the most celebrated aspect of the film -- the Clarice/Hannibal connection -- could not have been accomplished with greater skill.
  7. The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 62
  2. Negative: 2 out of 62
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    A fantastic, haunting experience. You won't be scared in the traditional horror movie sense, but you will be terrified in the psychological horror sense. Anthony Hopkins is absolutely haunting as Hannibal Lecter, and he pulls the roll off very well. A classic movie that no sane person will want to miss. It may be slow, but your attention will not be lost. One of the best films of the last 50 years, easily. Expand
  2. Aug 27, 2014
    Perhaps film's greatest villain and greatest heroine in one film. Can this be? You betcha. Anthony Hopkins embodies evil in his haunting portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lector. As for Jodie Foster, we'll remember Clarice for her strength and willpower. Expand
  3. KellyB.
    Jan 27, 2007
    Love it, love it, love it. Hopkins is amazing - some of the best acting every put on film. And Foster is breathtaking as Clarice. It gives me chills every time I watch it. Expand
  4. Oct 6, 2012
    A surprisingly great film. Great performances by the lead actors, which contribute all the more to the sense of tension throughout the film, and a stunning finale. One of the most breathtaking movies I have ever seen (and I say this as a person who generally dislikes the horror/thriller genre). Expand
  5. Jun 26, 2013
    Wow. I don't know why I haven't seen this sooner!

    I really loved this. The film was complex, but never to the point that you got completely
    lost. I found myself getting confused about where we were, and then it would all click a few seconds later. It was very clever at making sure you were aware of which character was who.

    The direction is very interesting in this film, with the contrast of the dark and gritty world of the FBI, and what happens when a character is put in prison, but when this then goes against the killer's room, I loved the designs, with all the colours etc.

    But lets face it. We all know why this film works so well.

    Anthony Hopkins. I bow down to you.

    I heard he was only in the film for about 15 minutes. That was a lie. He was just brilliant. The perfect mix of charm and menace to create a truly unforgettable villain. Hannibal Lecter really is the standout of the film, and will have you on the edge of your seat, whenever he is on the screen.

    I think the thing that kept me interested the most here was that it was simply a great story. An involving and original story that had me in it's bloody palms from start to finish.
  6. Sep 23, 2014
    Very well directed with a heavy and ominous tone that shadows the entire movie. The sound and editing all function in creating and maintaining the film's eerie atmosphere. Reviewing this film, how could one not mention Anthony Hopkins chilling and creepy performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He portrays, without a doubt, one of the best psychotic characters in cinema history. He's so good that at one point, you may start to, dare I say, root for him? The chemistry between Hopkins and Jodie Foster's character is brilliant and the dialogue between them is masterfully crafted. Once you let Hannibal into your mind, you can never get him out. After watching The Silence of the Lambs, I don't think I can ever forget it. Are you up for the challenge? Expand
  7. TedK.
    Jun 20, 2008
    Anthony Hopkins gives the most overrated performance of all time. He way overplayed it. Aside from that, the movie is really quite dull and unexceptional. I'm mystified by the positive reviews and never understood this movie's appeal. Expand

See all 62 User Reviews