• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 4, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Apr 4, 2013
    100
    NBC's best new drama since forever. [15 Apr 2013]
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Apr 3, 2013
    91
    Fuller and company do an impressive job of balancing Lecter's machinations, Graham's emotional problems, and the other killers that Graham and Crawford have to stop, in a way that never descends into formula.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeff Jensen
    Mar 27, 2013
    91
    Hannibal takes our own fixation on psycho-pop and serves it back to us in a dish full of flavor. Bon appétit, horror freaks.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Apr 4, 2013
    90
    The show may be titled Hannibal, which for commercial branding purposes makes complete sense, but this is Will's story. And an absorbing, psychologically rich one it is, too--immeasurably smarter than The Following, more haunting than Bates Motel.
  5. Reviewed by: Sara Smith
    Apr 2, 2013
    90
    The result is a challenging psychological thriller within a gripping crime procedural.
  6. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Mar 27, 2013
    90
    A well constructed, masterfully written piece, Hannibal exceeds the "ick" factor of any crime procedural on the air.
  7. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jun 18, 2013
    88
    Hannibal is richer and more ambiguous than prior Harris adaptations; it's an exploration of social decay that's rife with literal and figurative cancers eating everyone alive from the ground up.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Apr 3, 2013
    88
    If you stay, you just may find yourself captivated by a trio of strong performances from Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne--and entranced by the fevered-dream spell cast by creator Bryan Fuller, the brilliant TV auteur behind Pushing Daisies and Wonderfalls.
  9. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Apr 2, 2013
    88
    Deliciously disturbing, Hannibal is bound to leave viewers hungry for more.
  10. Hannibal is a sturdy offering, one that keeps viewers guessing and tensions simmering. Most TV crime shows have a tendency to quickly fade from memory. This one just might haunt your dreams.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Apr 4, 2013
    83
    It’s a macabre dance that only promises to get more intense.
  12. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Apr 3, 2013
    83
    The show isn't perfect--the female characters are weak, Graham can get a bit wild-eyed and the killings get progressively more bizarre. But creator Bryan Fuller has a good grip on the material and Mikkelsen sets a tone that's both chilling and intriguing.
  13. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 5, 2013
    80
    By the end of the first hour, it has managed to make Dancy, Fishburne and Mikkelsen a formidable trio of characters, and each actor responds in kind with strong, engaging performances. Another sign of a good series is the fact that beyond the main three, the supporting cast is filled with solid actors and--more important--strong, vivid characters.
  14. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Apr 4, 2013
    80
    If you watch Hannibal, it's likely to stay with you for days. Despite the darkness at the heart of it, that's a good thing this time around.
  15. 80
    Show creator Bryan Fuller, director David Slade, and their writers have created in Hannibal a satisfying, addictive, and truly disturbing work.
  16. 75
    Hannibal is good. Terrifyingly good.
  17. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Apr 1, 2013
    75
    Hannibal moves at a snail's pace to build tension. At the same time, there's an obvious attempt to counter its inertia with a lot of very intrusive soundtrack music.... Fortunately, Dancy's performance is terrific and more than enough to maintain our interest, with or without elks.
  18. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    It's anchored by several great performances, and it's among the more distinctive and gorgeously filmed shows on the air right now.... What did turn me off a bit in the first couple episodes of Hannibal was the victims were all young women.
  19. 70
    It’s hard to imagine Hannibal scaling new peaks of originality as drama--not with characters and situations that have, in more than one sense, been done to death. At least there’s life in the acting and in the show’s inventive visuals.
  20. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Apr 3, 2013
    70
    Stick with the series through a handful of episodes, though, and it’s clear that showrunner Bryan Fuller has brought a semi-hypnotic quality to this prequel adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter character--ungainly and messy, but at times visually arresting, and thanks in large part to the central trio of Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy and Laurence Fishburne, quite interesting.
  21. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Apr 3, 2013
    63
    The thing that does give this show its grounding is the acting. Dancy is a perfect, tortured soul; Fishburne is everyman with a brain; and Mads Mikkelsen is perfectly named. What is lacking, though, is any respite from the darkness.
  22. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Apr 4, 2013
    60
    No matter how beautifully the dead bodies are staged--and, like Dr. Lecter's dinners, the corpse presentations in Hannibal could be ripped from old issues of Gourmet magazine, if Gourmet had featured cannibalism--they're still meant to represent once-living people. So, if I'm less amused by this than whoever chose to title those episodes "Aperitif," "Amuse-Bouche," "Potage," "Coquilles" and "Entrée," call me a party pooper. Still, it's a gorgeous party, with hosts that include "Wonderfalls" star Caroline Dhavernas as a colleague of Will's and Laurence Fishburne as Will's boss.
  23. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Apr 3, 2013
    60
    Ultimately, Hannibal is a mixed bag. It’s a more complex show than many programs in prime-time but it’s still finding itself in early episodes, particularly with regards to plotting.
  24. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Apr 3, 2013
    58
    Hannibal isn't quite the sum of its admittedly evocative parts. The story is often strained, or like that poor synth operator, overextended; the shocks tend to be operatic--oversold as opposed to a deft sudden jolt to emotional solar plexus.
  25. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Apr 4, 2013
    50
    In seriously exploring what drives people to kill, Hannibal serves up a meal too heavy to enjoy each week.
  26. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Apr 3, 2013
    50
    For a while you can sense Hannibal’s noble urge to stick to a long story arc--why does there have to be a new case every episode?--but eventually it gives in to a proven formula.
  27. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Apr 3, 2013
    50
    The NBC series deteriorates from a graphic but promising first episode to a third hour that basically falls apart from any rational credibility standpoint.
  28. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Apr 4, 2013
    40
    It’s moody and slow and ponderous, elegant as Mikkelsen’s perfectly coiffed hair, except in the winky moments when, say, Hannibal serves Will an egg scramble that must contain body parts and Will unknowingly finds it delicious.
  29. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Apr 4, 2013
    40
    For fans of "Silence of the Lambs" there is some pleasure in gathering the canonical Easter eggs planted throughout the series, but for the most part Hannibal suffers from the same fatal flaw as its main character: It takes itself so seriously that it's no fun at all.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Apr 3, 2013
    30
    Those who don’t find Hannibal fatally slow and pretentious can stick around to enjoy the superior production values and the stylishness of the pilot, directed by David Slade with an ominous suggestiveness reminiscent of David Fincher.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 584 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 112
  2. Negative: 10 out of 112
  1. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Mikkelsen and Dancy work wonders together as Hannibal and Grant and their supporting cast is solid as well. I love the mind games that Hannibal has played with Grant through out the season and each episode is as sick and twisted (in a good way) as the next. I absolutely can not wait until season 2. Full Review »
  2. Apr 9, 2013
    8
    This is one of the best tv shows of this season. The writing is good, direction is top notch and the acting is brilliant. Finally a cop show that offer something different enough to make it feel unique. If this show receives any negative reviews it is because the direction is too complex for some people to appreciate. For those who thought this show was confusing just go back to CSI. This is a smart show, with great actors amazing writing but overall amazing direction. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Hands down, the best new series of this year so far! Hannibal has that certain element that makes me want to keep watching it. The writing is brilliant, strong and compelling when handled by the characters. I was worried how Mads Mikkelsen would handle his character but now I must say that I'm completely satisfied because justice has been done. Another thing, maybe more important is Hugh Dancy and his character Will Graham. Dancy has carried it out extremely well, gives you that feeling of loneliness and anxiety he goes through. He's done quite a great job in the pilot episode and he was better than Mikkelsen. The entire cast is compelling and Bryan Fuller has made the right choice by selecting them. Hats off to Fuller for developing this series and many thanks to NBC for ordering a complete season. I can easily say that Hannibal is better and stronger than Fox's The Following and A&E's Bates Motel and I have only watched Hannibal's first episode yet. Full Review »