Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 88
    It has been a good long while since I have felt the presence of Evil so manifestly demonstrated as in the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    The superbly crafted suspense thriller…slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror.
  4. A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria. It doesn't have to.
  5. An accomplished, effective, grisly, and exceptionally sick slasher film that I can't with any conscience recommend, because the purposes to which it places its considerable ingenuity are ultimately rather foul.
  6. 100
    Delicious with foreboding, a masterly suspense thriller that toys with our anticipation like a well-fed cat.
  7. Demme's pacing is tight throughout, marred only by some low-angle close-ups of the cannibal that are right out of old Vincent Price thrillers. [Feb 18, 1991]
  8. 100
    A movie with this kind of haunting power comes along only once every decade or so. [20 February 1991, Life, p.11D]
  9. 89
    At long, long last: the real thing.
  10. 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]
  11. The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success
  12. 50
    Billed as one of the most frightening, depraved films ever made. Would that it were so. Instead, this is a case of much ado about nothing. [15 February 1991, Friday, p.C]
  13. 100
    Hopkins' insinuating performance puts him right up there with the screen's great bogymen. [13 February 1991, Calendar, p.F-1}
  14. Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    97
    Though the film's subject matter is grisly, the electricity between Foster and Hopkins during their prison tête-à-têtes could power every maximum-security prison in this country.
  15. Reviewed by: Judy Stone
    100
    The interplay between Starling and Lector as they share an indefinable, dark understanding gives the film its unforgettable and unsettling power. [14 February 1991, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
  16. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    90
    Hopkins plays the cannibalistic doctor with a quiet, controlled erudition, lacing his performance with moments of black humor. His Lecter is a sort of satanic Sherlock Holmes whose spasms of violence are all the more terrifying because they erupt from beneath such an intelligent and refined mask.
  17. Reviewed by: Staff [not credited]
    100
    A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 318 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 63
  2. Negative: 2 out of 63
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    10
    A fantastic, haunting experience. You won't be scared in the traditional horror movie sense, but you will be terrified in the psychologicalA 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. Full Review »
  2. Sep 29, 2011
    4
    "The Silence of the Lambs" is definitely a overrated movie. The character development is hurried and cannot focus on either characters."The Silence of the Lambs" is definitely a overrated movie. The character development is hurried and cannot focus on either characters. Anthony Hopkins is perfect for the sadistic killer, but his role was a foolish one. The story is linear and the movie ends with a surprisingly corny ending with **** optimism. It's just plain terrible. Full Review »
  3. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    The Silence of the Lambs is most definitely at times, a horrifyingly tense film, and when it isn't it's an uncomfortably tense film, and whenThe Silence of the Lambs is most definitely at times, a horrifyingly tense film, and when it isn't it's an uncomfortably tense film, and when it isn't even that, its still pretty tense. But on the whole, The Silence of the Lambs is genius. Full Review »