• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 4, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 459 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 459

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  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.
  2. 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. Expand
  3. Iar
    Apr 4, 2013
    10
    The show is great, but unbearable for some persons. It's a mix of very hard horror and thriller. Those, who can't stand this splatter (mostly these persons are 45+ aged women should bypass this show.
  4. Apr 8, 2013
    10
    This show has gotten off to a great start. Well written story and is captivating to you as to where you can't wait for more. Hugh Dancy as Will Graham is very good. He plays the mentally tormented detective quite well. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job playing Hannibal Lector. While maybe not quite as good as Anthony
    Hopkins, he does a fine job. First episode is very promising and this
    series is worth checking out. Expand
  5. Apr 5, 2013
    10
    Excellent performance by ensemble cast, with a baroque styling and wonderfully atmospheric scenery.
    Mads Mikkelsen was a particular favourite. His Hannibal oozed subtlety, elegance and genius. His performance emphasises the phrase, "Still waters run deep". Though the violence is apparent, it is never an uneccesary feature and simply serves to provide the show with a sense of realism and
    validity.
    Looking forward to the second episode!
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  6. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I would have rated this show a 7 after the first two episodes but it has grown just a bit creepier now that the characters are more developed. There are some 'horror' type scenes but it is the stuff that you don't see, that is implied, that really sells it. Very good show, I'd say unique as well.
  7. Apr 19, 2013
    10
    Most certainly the best show this year. Extremely well thought out, great performances, what else do you need? Watch out for this one it's bound to attract a wider audience very quickly.
  8. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    Hands down to Hugh Dancy (playing Will Graham) and Mads Mikkelsen (Dr. Hannibal Lecter) for they astonishing and cunning performances, tailored perfectly for such a brilliant show. Already addicted to this series (after watching the 1st episode), and can't wait for the next! Do not watch if you have a weak stomach, or heart-attack risk as this series is packed with suspense, blood and other disturbing things. But If you like a good thriller, intriguing plot, amazing actors and a genial reshaping of the story of Dr. Lecter, this is for you. Expand
  9. May 1, 2013
    10
    Absolutely the best show on network television right now. Hannibal has no right to be as good as it is; I fully expected the show to be completely terrible and even avoided watching the first episode until a few days after it aired (on Hulu). When I finally did watch it, I was entranced; somehow the showrunner managed to avoid every possible pitfall of making a TV show based on an iconic film and literary character.

    I cannot recommend this show highly enough.

    I should point out that I have also watched every episode of the dramatically inferior The Following (which has been picked up for a second season) and cannot view it as anything other than sad attempt to create what Hannibal starts off possessing. If this show does not get picked up for a second season, I am done with network TV. I hope and pray that Hannibal will be picked up by some other network if NBC decides to kill it.
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  10. Jun 23, 2013
    9
    Fantastic first season. Was impressed from the beginning at the quality of everything involved in this show. From the acting to writing, this is a gripping drama and I cannot wait until the next season.
  11. May 9, 2013
    10
    Easily one of the best shows on TV right now and the best new series in a while. It's wonderfully acted with brilliant writing and interesting characters. The only gripe I have with the show is Hannibal can be a bit hard to hear at times. But it's so little it's easily overlooked.
  12. May 19, 2013
    10
    What a shocking surprise! This show has the caliber to be on Showtime or HBO, yet it's airing on network television.

    What I love the most is how the writers and the cinematography combine in a way where the viewer is left to imagine how the majority of the vicious crimes are committed, unlike shows like Criminal Minds which demonstrate the heinous acts. This method makes this show a
    true Horror thrill ride unlike anything on network television in the past decade.

    I am very excited to see the direction they take with the show and I feel Hannibal is a piece of art.
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  13. Jun 22, 2013
    10
    A stunning, haunting and darkly beautiful show, with captivating performances from its leads. Bryan Fuller's vision both reinvents the eponymous killer whilst staying true to his twisted roots, and Mads Mikkelsen is a wonder as Lecter, creating the sinister through a quiet calm and sense of realness. But its Hugh Dancy's performance as a man on the edge of sanity that truly drives this show above most others. This is thirteen episodes of tight, creative and well executed TV, and I wait with avid anticipation (and one or two nightmares) for the next thirteen. Expand
  14. Dec 26, 2013
    10
    I'm a huge Hannibal Lecter fan and at first I was so disappointed, but after few episodes I fell in love! This is the best tv show I've ever watched. Hope they don't cancel it after second season...
  15. May 23, 2013
    10
    I love this show...Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy awesome. Laurence Fishburn also great.
    @Lar I am over 45 and a woman and love the darkness of this show. I hope that this show is renewed..so different Cant wait to see the next episode a week is a long time to wait.This show is not for the faint hearted. Also loved Dexter.
    SO bored with medical shows that go on and on....cannot
    understand how they last for so long. Expand
  16. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    Hannibal, unlike other shows on television, isn't afraid to be different from everything else on free-to-air networks. It is impeccably executed, featuring some of the best, if not the best, cinematography on television - along with fantastic writing and a chilling and eerie soundtrack by Brian Reitzell. The series is also an incredibly moody one, with plenty of disturbing and grotesque imagery that many television series nowadays try to avoid. The characters are fantastically written and they feel realistic - the acting also is brilliant, especially from the lead cast members, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, who convey realism and humanity to their characters - also the chemistry between them is fantastic. Season 1 overall is pure brilliance; an underrated gem that deserves more recognition and I certainly hope the series continues for a long time. Expand
  17. May 24, 2013
    9
    First off, this television program is marginally better than the films which preceded it. Hannibal (2001), Red Dragon (2002) and the god-awful Hannibal Rising (2006) don't come close to this series when it comes to intelligence, charisma and charm. This series follows Will Graham (played masterfully by Hugh Dancy here) as he is brought back into the FBI for a series of cases by Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne). Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) assists him in these cases and also acts as his unofficial psychiatrist.
    Laurence Fishburne plays his part brilliantly, and is the best Crawford we have seen thus far. Mads Mikkelsen provides an astonishing performance as the charming and sophisticated cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. However, the stand-out performance of the lot is that of Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Dancy seems to be playing to his strengths here, and fulfills the role perfectly, turning the character into his own. While the Graham in previous incarnations was simply haunted by his past in the FBI, Dancy turns the character into a sort of autistic savant.
    Dancy's character is sort of fun to watch. Sleepwalking, channeling his nightmares and feelings about the criminals he has to deal with through the ownership of an absurd number of dogs, and his diminishing mental state as the show progresses. His relationship with Lecter, and that with Abigail Hobbs, the daughter of serial killer Garret Jacob Hobbs, who Graham killed, make the character come to life. Most of the habits of Dancy's character come straight from the writings of Thomas Harris, such as his love of dogs, but otherwise it is all Dancy's intuition and his transforming of the character into his own creation.
    Let's not limit this to Dancy's performance, however. All of them were astonishing, from Laurence Fishburne's portrayal of Jack Crawford, to Mads Mikkelsen's performance as Hannibal Lecter. This has to be one of the best Lecter performances, only behind that of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Mikkelsen lends himself perfectly to the role, and he doesn't disappoint. The characters, and indeed the actors, all fulfill their roles perfectly, and the casting is magnificent.
    Some, mainly those who don't enjoy horror or splatter films, will probably be put off by this film and it's level of horrific violence. You will see people impaled on antlers, with the flesh cut from their backs and spread out, and having their limbs removed while they are alive. In the event that you feel put off by this sort of thing, you should probably abandon the show immediately. However, all shows are aimed at a certain kind of audience. I don't like True Blood because of the fact that it plays out more like a soap opera than an actual TV show, but some people love it for the same reasons. I love Game of Thrones, but some would be put off by it's graphic scenes of sex and violence. Same here.
    All in all, this show is magnificent. All of the acting is done brilliantly and to it's full effect, and it's as enjoyable as ever. Though it cannot appeal to everyone, nothing can, and it thrives on what it does do, so I do believe this show should continue for another season. I hope the ratings agree with me.
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  18. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    This is one of NBC's strongest premieres. The last time a show aired this well was last year with Awake which was unfortunately cut short. Hannibal's first episode was exciting, bloody, and fresh. The characters are great which is a good thing since it is filling the shoes of one of the biggest films to have ever been released but if it keeps this up it should be smooth sailing from here on in and we'll have one hell of a show on our hands. Expand
  19. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    The first season of Hannibal is a lot like a roller coaster ride, and I don't mean that in the usual sense of it being a thrill ride (although the show is certainly that), but rather in the way it plays out. There is a bit of a slow, measured beginning, one where you are carried to a place where you can look ahead of you and see what lies in store before the plunge. We the audience can tell early on where this season is taking us as it stares us in the face for the first few episodes. And then the coaster drops. As Hannibal takes us on this spectacular ride we find ourselves thrilled and oftentimes a bit sickened, still much like a roller coaster, by the images and violent murder depictions that hit us in each episode. They are spectacularly shot and horrifying to behold, though thankfully the sense of realism is extremely heightened as not to utterly repulse us. These aren't traditional serial killers we are watching the characters go after, they are artists expressing themselves through horrifying means, and Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham are like the critic and the appraiser. Hannibal is also an artist himself, both in his butchery of man and in the way he serves up their flesh to guests and to himself. Yes, even when he eats alone there is a performance in his consumption of his victims.
    Season 1 of Hannibal is the best first season of a show I have seen since the first season of Lost (I would love to say Breaking Bad, but its first season was, although awesome, very short). The great thing going for Hannibal, a thing which perhaps a show like Lost could've benefitted from, is that there is a clear plan in place for the characters and what is to come for them. It also benefits from outstanding performances from all of its players, particularly Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, with the latter bringing us an interpretation that rivals the great Sir Anthony Hopkins's legendary performance. Yes, it's that good.
    Hannibal is a wonderful ride from the first episode to the last of season 1 and it only promises to get even better. It is admittedly not for the squeamish, but if you can handle the show's violence then you are in for a real treat. Hannibal is truly outstanding television.
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  20. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Amazing new show. The acting is superb all around, especially Mads Mikkelsen in the titular role. This is honestly one of the creepiest shows I have ever seen. It's like some of the best episodes of the X-Files week after week, but with such a refined and modern visual style that it surpasses nearly everything else on television in terms of cinematography and art direction. I'd say it's probably the best drama on network television, and comparable to the best shows on basic and premium cable. Expand
  21. Apr 4, 2013
    9
    And I thought The Following was graphic! Man the stuff they can get away with now days on television is incredible. No complaints from this guy. Beautifully brutal. Hugh Dancy gives a great performance in the pilot. Superb acting all around.
  22. Apr 12, 2013
    9
    I love "the silence of the Lamps" very much ! the best side of Internet is to let people talk their mind freely And, god do they have things to say ! Equality through speech (showing only how different we all are) anyway the second episode shows a little more . The choices the producer/director made seem better and better You have thousands of wonderful actors in your country ,and you try so many new things on T-V
    I'm gonna leave "gloomy France" one day and cross the ocean just to enjoy the American way of movie- making
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  23. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    It's a great show, but it's not for everyone just because of the gore. However, a little blood doesn't make it bad. Hannibal is the greatest new show of the year and it combines likeable characters into a brutal world of horror and mystery.
  24. May 20, 2013
    9
    I was reluctant to get into this; a friend convinced me to give it a try & I love it. It's based on the book, Red Dragon and is a bit different from the movie. Mads Mikkelsen plays a phenomenal Hannibal and Hugh Dancy plays an interesting Special Agent Will. I actually don't mind Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawfor, like I thought I would (had to get over my CSI issues w/ him...). I also like the female version of Freddie Lounds- also brings great dynamic to the story.

    I caught up on all the episodes via TV on Demand and I gotta say that I regret not having more faith in the series from the get-go. So far, the show has great writing, powerful imagery (great special effects and is really dark for the network), and I love the creative flashbacks or visuals for Graham's for imagining he's the killer or committing horrible acts of violence- they really nail that aspect.

    Looking forward to the remaining episodes of the show and hoping, if there's a season 2, that the writing will remain strong and that we'll see a seamless story showing how Hannibal gets bested and yet remains a force to be reckoned with behind bars.
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  25. May 27, 2013
    10
    Hannibal is a very well casted, well written, and well directed show. Aside from those three criteria, the show exceeds and also fails to meet other standards that many critics, such as myself, are looking for in a weeknight series. To start, the show seems to lack aim. This isn't necessarily bad, but can draw slightly more impatient viewers away from the audience. However, lacking aim also means that the show isn't constantly shocking and cheaply predictable; in comparison to other series, Hannibal would be a nicely-aged wine rather than a quick, inexpensive grape juice. But then again, this depends on the viewers' opinions; I, personally, would choose the wine because I believe good things take time and the slow start of the show is simply alluding to and leading up to reveal an exceptional plot. Secondly, the show is extremely refreshing in the way that comic relief is not only absent from the writing, but is also unnecessary. This, however, also depends on the viewer, and can be appreciated more by a more mature audience. For those who are looking for a constantly fast-paced show with humor mixed into the action, I suggest Fox's "Bones." Finally, the Hannibal challenges the viewer to think ahead, and empathize with the main characters, even the serial killers. This is not only a near-impossible feat for a writer and director, but a relatively new one. This is what makes the show so unique and delightfully ambitious. In short, Hannibal is a fantastic and thrilling show for a patient, mature, and intellectual audience that appreciates quality television at its best. Expand
  26. May 29, 2013
    10
    While the first episode was quite slow, Hannibal has steadily become one of my favorite shows in a very long time. The level that the acting, writing, and production of each episode reaches is truly inspiring. The directing is reminiscent of Fincher and the writing is exceptional in a way that most network television writers only dream of. Without question this can't be missed.
  27. Jun 12, 2013
    10
    Hannibal is the best show on TV! Great actor's, character's, writing, editing, score, directing, producing, and the whole look of the show is amazing!
  28. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    After reading lar's review that perhaps 45+ women should bypass the show I had to write. Being a 59 year old female I thoroughly enjoyed Hannibal. The writing and acting were superb, and Mads Mikkelsen can instill that creepy feeling you got from Dr. Lechter's loathsome yet polished persona. Perhaps not quite eerie as Anthony Hopkins, but then again this is network television. So I say bravo to all involved in this production. And Lars, "Dexter" is my favorite show! Expand
  29. Jun 25, 2013
    9
    This is a dark psychological thriller of the highest caliber

    When I first heard of this show I had high hopes but low expectations. After finishing the first season I have to say that my hope was rewarded and the overall quality reaching far, FAR beyond my expectations.

    Not only is this a good show, but is a GREAT show, in ways I didn't imagine. It is a psychological thriller
    centering around the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, where Mads Mikkelsen (excellently) plays Lecter as a truly cold and calculating psychopath and Hugh Dancy (also really good) playing a profiler with a superb, but double-edged ability to empathize with serial killers. And it is here we find one of the show's greatest (and most surprising) strengths; Graham's gradual descent into mental instability caused by his superior profiling capabilities.

    We're given a really dark and unpleasant view into someones crumbling mental state, and that's all enhanced by the show's dark visuals, graphic imagery and haunting auditory.

    Full review: http://kenikkiscorner.blogspot.se/2013/06/series-review- hannibal-season-1.html#more
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  30. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    Simply amazing show. The dark, eerie atmosphere is tangible and the acting is fantastic. This is a very different show from the average cop/serial killer drama. Very psychological, as you would expect from a story about Hannibal. But as others have mentioned, not for everyone! A little disturbing for some, I would think.
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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.