Universal Pictures | Release Date: October 4, 2002
8.5
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Universal acclaim based on 335 Ratings
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299
Mixed:
31
Negative:
5
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6
TheArchetypesSep 9, 2016
Not a classic, but a good and scary movie with interesting characters and detective work. You will enjoy the movie more if you consider Hannibal's presence as a plus and not as a requirement that everything in the film be compared to SilenceNot a classic, but a good and scary movie with interesting characters and detective work. You will enjoy the movie more if you consider Hannibal's presence as a plus and not as a requirement that everything in the film be compared to Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins is fascinating as expected, but I found the best scenes to belong to Fiennes and Watson. Their freakish chemistry is more horrifying than any of the movie's killings. Expand
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6
FilipeNetoMar 5, 2018
This film is a sequel to "Silence of the Lambs" and has a very similar story: with a new serial killer around, the FBI will again request the help of the dangerous and manipulative Hannibal Lecter, the most famous cannibal ever. Directed byThis film is a sequel to "Silence of the Lambs" and has a very similar story: with a new serial killer around, the FBI will again request the help of the dangerous and manipulative Hannibal Lecter, the most famous cannibal ever. Directed by Brett Ratner and written by Ted Tally, this film has a cast headed by Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton and Ralph Fiennes.

It's a good movie, but there is no comparison with the film that gave rise to it. The script is good, but it misses on two fundamental points: the first is to immediately tell the killer's identity, albeit discretely, removing some interest to the narrative; the other is to tell a story that is almost identical to "Silence of the Lambs." Both films have very similar plots, which gives the audience a sense that this film is more of the same. One difference, however, is the level of violence: this movie, even though it contains scenes of great action, has so many shocking scenes as their predecessors. Nevertheless, it is a movie with quality and entertains. The actors were up to expectations, particularly Ralph Fiennes, who plays the killer and managed to give the character a real aura of madness. Anthony Hopkins, again in cannibal paper was able to be perfectly equal to the expected. The special visual and sound effects, although discrete, are competent. The soundtrack seemed to discreet but good.
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5
DirigiblePulpDec 7, 2016
It's amazing to me all the small ways in which a really good story can be sabotaged by poor direction and poor planning and also by being a shameless cash grab, let's be real. On the surface, this is a well cast film that is mostly accurateIt's amazing to me all the small ways in which a really good story can be sabotaged by poor direction and poor planning and also by being a shameless cash grab, let's be real. On the surface, this is a well cast film that is mostly accurate to the source material.

But the movie has no power, no darkness, no life. You start to realize that the cast that looked so good on paper suddenly seems wrong; Edward Norton looking dazed, pragmatic; Ralph Fiennes unsure of what kind of monster he is. Nothing works, it doesn't feel right, ever, and yet it never comes right out and announces itself as a bad movie. It's insidious that way--if only the film had been.
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5
FranzHcriticJan 2, 2015
While not overrated or underrated like other Hannibal films, this film does nothing particularly special. It's a decent psychological thriller, with some suspense, but nothing that grips you to your seats and renders you completely focused onWhile not overrated or underrated like other Hannibal films, this film does nothing particularly special. It's a decent psychological thriller, with some suspense, but nothing that grips you to your seats and renders you completely focused on the screen. The acting is what you'd expect from a similar movie. Not bad, but nothing added to the genre. No novelty of any kind. Expand
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5
ApoklypsJun 23, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie desperately wants to be "Silence" but falls short in so many ways.

Let's start off with what the movie did well. They chose an amazing cast of extremely talented actors. Hoffman always seems to play sleazy roles well, and this is no exception. However, Ralph Fiennes' performance was undoubtedly the standout role. Francis Dolarhyde is without a doubt one of the creepiest movie villains in history. He manages to create such an inhuman creature that it is almost awkward to watch at times, but always punctuates it with enough humanity at the right times in order to create a truly frightening villain.

That said, most of the other thrills fall flat. Compared to "Silence", there was a sense of crassness about the thrills (e.g. the explosion) that seemed artless and felt out of place in a movie about Hannibal Lecter. Additionally, the interactions between Lecter and Graham were poorly done and lacked the suspense of Starling's and Lecter's dialogues. While "Silence" was a masterpiece that was as much about Starling selling her mind to Lecter in exchange for his help as it was about catching Buffalo Bill, "Red Dragon" lacked the psychological game of cat-and-mouse so cleverly demonstrated by "Silence". Instead, we watch Graham offer deals and bark ultimatums at Lecter in order to get what he wants. There is never the same sense of powerlessness that we see in "Silence".

Graham's character is also an exercise in laziness. The "reluctant hero" archetype is so cliched that it gets somewhat irritating at times. While I like Edward Norton and thought he played the character well, there is only so far that a talented actor like Norton can take a role like this. Family man, traumatic past, a theme of character development through overcoming his fear... Did the writers even try?

I also thought that the ending was extremely poorly done. While I relished the final twist, I thought the execution was extremely poor (an explosion... really???). Graham's family moving back into the same house in Florida has to be some of the laziest writing I've ever seen. Hannibal Lecter knows where Graham lives and has a grudge against him. Lecter has already proved dangerous enough that a ridiculous number of precautions surrounding him are in place, and even those prove useless at times. He is incredibly intelligent and has already proven himself capable of finding creative ways to contact and direct a serial killer from within his cell. So why would Graham, one of the cleverest guys in the FBI and one who knows Lecter better than anyone else, do something as stupid as moving back into the same house? I was amazed that he'd do that even before the events of the finale. Personally, I'd be moving my family to a different state (country?) and changing my name, like any sane individual would. An ending like this is truly an insult to the intelligence of the viewers.

All things considered, I'll give this movie a 5/10. While a movie like this is a black mark on the legacy of "Silence", I did acknowledge that the weak plot and characters may be due to limitations in the source material (which, to be fair, I haven't read). The movie was also saved from being a 2/10 by Fiennes' performance, which was a disturbing treat to watch.
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4
Tony1984May 14, 2020
Sequel(prequel?) to the silence of the lambs. Nowhere near as good. Not very frightening with Hannibal himself more of an addon than integral. Could have and should have been better. A list cast none a patch on Jodie Foster.
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