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

Universal acclaim- based on 468 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 468

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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 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. Expand
  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. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. 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. Collapse
  6. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    The pilot episode doesn't jump at you straight away, but give it a chance. By the third episode the writing and great acting hooks you and you can't stop watching.
  7. 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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  8. 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.
  9. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    I really did not like the first episode. Too many flashbacks of Will Graham. I much prefer the Thomas Harris books and his first film, MANHUNTER. This tries too hard with blood and gore but needs a better plot.
  10. 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.
  11. Apr 7, 2013
    2
    The actors are all top notch. The concept is extremely intriguing. The actual writing and direction are horrible. Execution is everything and they manage to blow it by a mile. I'll watch one more but if the next episode stays as muddled as the first one.....sayanara.
  12. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    The story is so full of BS that no actor can save this show. Written with complete disregard of probability, logic and common sense. A waste of great cast, characters and your time.
  13. 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
  14. 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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  15. 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.
  16. Apr 27, 2013
    2
    I love a good horror movie as well as the next but this is just not good gru. This show lacks any sense of humor or empathy. The writing is putrid and the graphics are disturbing without any redemption. Having watched the third episode I cancelled my season pass and moved on. When they leave a serial killer's daughter alone in her house, even though, she may have been involved in the murders, I threw up my hands. A suspect left alone to kill another suspect and then gets recruited by Hannibal who has time to hide the body while a crap load of cops are outside...oh yeah somehow he gets a bump on the head.....dreadful dreck! The dialogue and acting is god-awful. Oh, and the constant "eerie" soundtrack to set the mood is mind-numbing. This show is NBC's version of "Monk" meets "Criminal Minds"...feh! Expand
  17. Apr 10, 2013
    0
    I was looking forward to this series, since The silence of the Lamps is my fav. movie of all times. I could never have imagined that the actor who is casted as Dr. Lecter would be such a disappointment i guess i had high standards from Sir Anthony Hopkins!
    ...i don't think i will be watching episode 2
  18. 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.
  19. Apr 9, 2013
    3
    The premise seems interesting, but the directing and acting make this show seem to drag on forever. Even graphic blood and psychopaths can't stop this from being a snooze-fest.
  20. 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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  21. 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
  22. 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...
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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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  26. 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
  27. 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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  28. 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
  29. Jun 1, 2013
    8
    As a fan of The other films starring Will Graham (Re Dragon and Manhunter) the TV series was of interest to me. I love how they have created Will as a cop who can barely handle his thoughts as a killer, and how he can still do his best to solve the crimes at hand. Having Hugh Dancy is surprisingly welcome since he seems less likely to have a sick mind the same way Edward norton or William Peterson did, yet portrays it very well.
    Mads Mikkelsen makes for a much different Hannibal than that of the iconic Hopkins, and can show even subtle touches as to how the character is thinking, be it in his quarters or when viewing a crime scene.
    The crime scenes are downright disturbing and having Will bring the scene to life adds to the freakiness. The third episode in particular had gruesome imagery, as well as some pyschological scares in what happened to some of the victims of the first episodes killer. Its truly inventive and leaves a lasting impression to the viewer.
    I am looking forward to how the rest of the season turns out, but I am hooked and cannot wait to see where the series goes next.
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  30. 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.
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.