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Overall Rating
2.86

Awesome: 16.01%
Worth A Look: 17.32%
Average26.14%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 22.88%

18 reviews, 198 user ratings


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Hannibal
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"Grimly efficient"
3 stars

Thomas Harris took a long time following-up his best-selling novel The Silence of the Lambs. In the meantime, Jonathan Demme's 1991 film adaptation became a huge hit and surprise success at the Academy Awards.

There were, I think, three key reasons for the success of the Silence movie: the public's ongoing fascination with serial killers; Jodie Foster's compelling portrayal of Clarice Starling, a capable FBI agent with recognisable human qualities; and Anthony Hopkins' enjoyably nasty psychiatrist turned serial killer, Dr Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter. Lecter was only a supporting character in The Silence of the Lambs but its success put heavy pressure on Harris for a sequel with Lecter. In giving the public what it wanted - 1999's best-selling Hannibal - Harris made it clear with his ambiguous ending that he wasn't planning on revisiting Starling and Lecter again anytime soon.

Hannibal lacked a movie (or sequel) friendly ending, so director Ridley Scott and his writers - David Mamet and Steven Zaillian - came up with one. It's the only major change in a grimly efficient adaptation. The Silence of the Lambs was shot like a TV movie, but directed with higher pretensions. Scott and cinematographer John Mathieson have given Hannibal a richer look , more befitting to the Florence locations. Hopkins has altered his portrayal of Lecter, in keeping with the time that's passed, and the vicious edge has gone. Julianne Moore makes a fine Clarice Starling, but the character no longer seems fresh, after nearly 10 years of a similarly strong female FBI agent in the X Files.

Hannibal suffers fatally from its alienating story, because Scott has not been able to make it suspenseful. Silence had some unbearably gripping sequences; Starling had a hostage victim to rescue, and was herself in danger. Hannibal is mostly concerned with Mason Verger (an uncredited Gary Oldman), a megalomaniac millionaire and disfigured victim of Lecter, whose only motivation is revenge. By comparison, Lecter is almost sympathetic, but that's not enough to make us care (or want to care) when he's in danger. Starling eventually figures as the pawn in Verger's sadistic trap for Lecter, but it's too little too late. Lecter has been so efficiently ruthless in outwitting Verger and his cronies that there's little surprise in that contest. And readers of the book know that Lecter won't harm Starling because of his admiration (and perhaps stronger feelings) for her.

So we're expected to be satisfied waiting for the next piece of grisly violence to erupt. There's a macabre show-stopper at the book's climax which Scott faithfully reproduces, but without bothering to clue us into Lecter's reasoning (it could've been a beautifully ironic and blackly comic moment, but I don't think Harris or Scott bring it off). Hannibal is ultimately a faithful, but uninvolving and occasionally grotesque, reproduction of the novel.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1978&reviewer=104
originally posted: 03/29/01 13:43:45
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User Comments

3/23/17 Louise (the real one) Unpleasant and left me in a bad mood. 2 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell read the book instead 2 stars
10/04/14 FireWithFire Deliberately camp-nauseating-mean-spirited-nasty-gross-out,and SOUL-KILLING 1 stars
6/29/11 Kerrykerry Excellent film. Requires repeated viewings to appreciate fully. 5 stars
9/20/09 the dork knight Awesome climax. Almost makes up for all the shit before. 3 stars
7/14/09 FrankNFurter So contrived it borders on self-satire.Flesh-eating pigs?I don't think so. 2 stars
9/13/08 Frank Miller BETTER than Silence. Hannibal is BRILLIANT. 5 stars
8/12/08 David Boring, bland, and gory. Gary Oldman's character was a laugh riot. 1 stars
7/20/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT UNINVOLVING, HOLLOW AND REPELLENT 1 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White thrilling and gore galore 4 stars
9/04/07 Louise Horrible - put me in a really bad mood! 1 stars
2/13/07 johnnyfog Too many bullshit scenes in Italy. 2 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini disturbing 5 stars
12/31/06 del Pretty much crap, the complete antithesis of SILENCE. A total mess. 1 stars
12/14/06 scotty great film very elegant 5 stars
9/12/06 SEkur Wow! 1 stars
3/04/06 omar gary oldman and anthony hopkins rules. julianne moore not so much 5 stars
2/25/06 Eden The book was terrible and so is the film 2 stars
2/24/06 TB A little too much gruesome scene 4 stars
1/16/06 cmf best movie ever!!!! 5 stars
12/29/05 chris f best film ever i loved gary oldmans performance as mason !!!! 5 stars
11/09/05 Agent Sands Riveting and masterfully written. Hannibal is just one amazing character. 5 stars
10/31/05 Wisamane Are you guys fucking kidding me, This movie was amazing, Volcabulary is to strong for you!! 5 stars
8/18/05 ES An ending I wish I could give back, a dud after all that waiting 1 stars
8/10/05 sweetgrrl1972 I can see why Jodie Foster turned it down 1 stars
4/30/05 corq yeh thank gawd i have the book...book rawked, 2nd half of movie reeks. 3 stars
3/25/05 dwarzel Lecter degenerates into self-parody 1 stars
11/18/04 chris junk, but ray liotas brain scene seared on memory 2 stars
11/06/04 Taylor Fladgate Should have spent less on gory effects, more on the plot. 3 stars
9/22/04 elle not bad but worse than silence of the lambs 4 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G boring 4 stars
7/29/04 American Slasher Goddess Besides some gore, it's pretty boring 2 stars
7/09/04 BR Hannible sucks 1 stars
6/20/04 Judy "Lambs" and "Hannibal" = apples & oranges. 2 stars
4/07/04 Sig Not bad but... I've seen worse 4 stars
3/26/04 Sarah Wentz Loved the book, was disappointed in the movie once it diverged from the plot of the book. 3 stars
2/25/04 Dr.Lecter Movie was mediocre, but Andrew Bunney is an elitist horse's ass 3 stars
2/02/04 Samuel one thing remotely cool about this film,hannibal feeds a guy his brains, the rest sucks 1 stars
12/07/03 john tries very hard to shock - and does..otherwise it's rather dull 2 stars
10/31/03 John Bale Hopkins despite aging makes Lecter one of cinemas most sinister and coolest monsters 4 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat Scott, Mamet, Hopkins, Liotta, Giannini, Moore's ass, great facts ~ Lecter, gore! Kick-ass! 5 stars
7/24/03 Max The worst "important" movie of the decade 1 stars
4/20/03 Marisa Monroe Not as bad as the original, but a stinker nonetheless. 1 stars
4/10/03 Jack Bourbon Ray-licious! 4 stars
4/09/03 Sugarfoot BORING 1 stars
4/04/03 Jack Sommersby Works better as a black comedy than a thriller. 3 stars
1/12/03 Mitsaso The book was better 3 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Why? Why? Why? 2 stars
10/09/02 James this was so bad 1 stars
10/08/02 Film Dude So what if it was 'too gory'? It still fucking sucks. 1 stars
10/02/02 Martin Doyle Total waist. Feed: writers,producers,director, actors to wild pigs for making this movie. 1 stars
9/29/02 KELLY GOMEZ AWESOME MOVIE 5 stars
8/16/02 Scott Foster just isnt replaceable, but hopkins pulls through. 4 stars
8/16/02 Shaun not the same without Foster, but Hopkins rules 4 stars
8/14/02 Bryan Brooks SOTL=Tough act to follow 3 stars
7/25/02 Natasha Too gory! 1 stars
7/15/02 Eleanor Franklin Really good film, better than "Silence of the Lamb" must go and see this film 5 stars
7/12/02 snowconehead I saw a guy in the theater blow his load during ray liotta's final scene; funny as hell 4 stars
4/26/02 Charles Tatum Hope "Red Dragon" will be better 3 stars
3/29/02 TheChronic She's no Jody Foster...... 4 stars
3/29/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) Nasty. It has really good credentials and fun gore, though. 4 stars
3/28/02 Jane I loved it! It was interestingly different from anything else I've seen lately! 5 stars
3/06/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress I like to see more people have their brains eaten in movies. Namely those involved in this. 2 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee Besides Anthony's performance (and Ms. Moore's black dress) this movie is pointless. 2 stars
2/28/02 Gracy Lionheart Yeah...Anthony Hopkins is in this movie...so what? It sucked!!! 1 stars
2/26/02 IP Freely The book sucked and the movie does as well, avoid at all costs 1 stars
2/20/02 Xaver The book is better. 3 stars
2/18/02 Hol Excellent 5 stars
2/06/02 Claxner Oxjaw role of title character should've been left in sheeps' clothing 2 stars
1/27/02 Valerie Cameron Doomed, e'en though J. Moore's a good actress; No one could fill Jodie's shoes in role. 1 stars
12/27/01 Matthew Bartley Think of it as a very,VERY black comedy... 4 stars
12/23/01 I love movies enjoyable... Verger is the coolest villain! 4 stars
12/05/01 john linton roberson Cold,overproduced,silly,but a vast improvement on the book. 4 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 gross, kinda slow, but not too bad 3 stars
11/12/01 Jon C. Ericson Ridley Scott shows Hannibal's love of violence and beauty perfectly! 5 stars
10/08/01 jawsboy More entertaining than SOTL, but not as chilling. It's better than Manhunter though. **1/2 4 stars
10/01/01 Phoenix Compared to Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs, this is subpar. 3 stars
9/03/01 jinx malone garbage 1 stars
9/02/01 Butterbean Moore did a great job. Wasn't as good as the first, just like I expected. 4 stars
8/28/01 The Bomb 69 screenplay could have been better, Moore just annoyed me 3 stars
8/26/01 Christina Different but still very good 4 stars
8/25/01 Fezzie http://www.solwayvsu.co.uk Its got nothing on 'Silence' - Story's a bit weak too! :o( 3 stars
8/24/01 JesseL It made me want to hurl. 3 stars
8/23/01 Baphomet not nearly as good a Silence. Hopefully The Red Dragon will redeem this "franchize". 4 stars
8/17/01 Connoisseur highly entertaining, though completely different than SILENCE 4 stars
8/13/01 Lecterpatient The movie's as great as can be ( considering it's a sequel). I missed Jodie Foster ,though 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Loved it...remember kiddies, this movie is about Hannibal...not Clarice Starling. 5 stars
7/16/01 kris Hopkins is awesome but Moore is crap. 3 stars
7/15/01 officer 412/l An hour and a half of unexciting crap and half an hour of unfunny cheesy crap. bollocks. 1 stars
7/10/01 Jim Renwick only fair but the good doctor gets some good lines 3 stars
7/05/01 Hannibal Lecter 100% better than Silence of the Lambs. 5 stars
5/26/01 I love movies it's a crappy movie, don't deny it 2 stars
5/13/01 Hawkeye Is it considered product placement to feature Gucci as the favorite of cannibals? 1 stars
4/21/01 Michael Kennedy Moore is better.Lecter would NEVER off HIS hand,after all he is a sociopath. 3 stars
4/15/01    God    The quintessential crappy and over-hyped film. 2 stars
4/10/01 Spetters Boring!! The characters are one-dimensional, lousy action, no plot and a damn lot of Gucci! 1 stars
4/08/01 Andrew Deikun Very good followup to Silence of the Lambs. Highly enjoyable. 4 stars
4/03/01 judd anthony hopkins was awesome he made the movie thrilling and funny. I enjoyed every minute 5 stars
4/02/01 Hannibal i really "enjoyed " the company of my company i had for dinner! 5 stars
3/30/01 Penny Minor worth a look for the acting skills of both Hopkins and Moore. 4 stars
3/21/01 bjshrink entirely misunderstood black comedy/love story 4 stars
3/15/01 GrimKitten I love Dr Lector, but Moore really killed the effect. Great Script, poor out come. 4 stars
3/14/01 Clarance mmm mmm good! 5 stars
3/12/01 voyant Demme and Foster bowed out of this with good reason. 3 stars
3/11/01 j j c awesome movie 5 stars
3/10/01 tigerlette better than most movies 4 stars
3/09/01 Juan Gutiérrez Corny editing at the end:shot of rescuing police cars never getting there! 1 stars
3/09/01 gmh Total tripe with a bunch of overrated actors. The American boobs will see it in droves. 1 stars
3/07/01 8 dollar Hype theft waaa,you complain and still pay$, YOU have made these movies trash 1 stars
3/04/01 John Lyons Hopkins is great, Moore is not so great. 5 stars
3/02/01 daisy wow...can a film be worse? 1 stars
3/02/01 Sara Like Hopkins just not this film 2 stars
3/02/01 Roger the Shrubber Just another disappointing sequel. Should've been better, given the talent who signed on. 3 stars
3/02/01 David Maines Extremely Suspenseful 3 stars
3/01/01 Dr K Not a horror film, not a suspense, just a waste of $8 on the sickest film made 1 stars
3/01/01 Mike it was ok 3 stars
2/28/01 whats it to u most excellent 5 stars
2/28/01 Mandy Hopkins was wonderful, as he always is; would have been better with Foster but Moore was OK 5 stars
2/28/01 RolyPoly Cool shots, fun gore - lighten up guys, it's just entertainment. Better than Silence 5 stars
2/28/01 Kiss My Grits Terds anyone? 1 stars
2/28/01 Jamison Moore It sucked ass! Julianne Moore was no good. I feel really bad for Anthony Hopkins. 1 stars
2/28/01 Anne Such a divergence from the first one.....Hannibal has no suspense, no physicological thrill 2 stars
2/28/01 AK47 Hannibal sucked, but FUCK you guys who didn't like Silence of the Lambs 2 stars
2/28/01 Jayson Davies Awsome film 5 stars
2/28/01 gabi Hopkins not engrossing; Moore horrible. Bad storyline, bad acting 2 stars
2/27/01 Steve Not bad. Anthony Hopkins is worth watching in any film. 4 stars
2/27/01 tom george this is a stupid pile of shit 1 stars
2/27/01 Cynergie I would recommend it for those who have the intelligence to understand it's just a movie. 5 stars
2/27/01 Vince DiSanto Where's my winkie! Where! Where! 5 stars
2/27/01 Scott Hopkins is interesting but not engrossing.Moore is no Foster either. 3 stars
2/27/01 Tim At least it isn't as bad as the book 2 stars
2/27/01 Paul Hoerbelt Again call me at 343-9122 and ask if you can join Brian and my current twosome! Butt blast 1 stars
2/27/01 itsme Laughable. Ecpecially the end. Save yourself. 2 stars
2/27/01 puckfreak See it for the climax 3 stars
2/26/01 malcolm better than 'Silence ...' 4 stars
2/26/01 Dave the Knave The only redeeming feature of this film was the poetic justice at the climax. I laughed. 2 stars
2/26/01 michelle disgusting and pointless 1 stars
2/25/01 Arden (Joseph)Avery I'm Lindsey's little bitch! 1 stars
2/25/01 Sumit Agarwal it was aright, but disgusting as hell 4 stars
2/24/01 Debs The best film i've ever seen 5 stars
2/24/01 Lukca ... 5 stars
2/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Great shots of my hometown (Asheville), but gore is no substitute for good old mind-fucking 3 stars
2/23/01 eugene You STOLE my $8.50! Bastards! 1 stars
2/23/01 Scott "...Lambs" is far superior but Hopkins is showcased, big plus there.Moore is not on par. 3 stars
2/23/01 Matthew Bartley Really enjoyed this. Don't expect to be scared though 5 stars
2/22/01 Fredy Wait till they show it on DVD.Get your money worth, 20 mins of brain eating uncut. 3 stars
2/22/01 Bladelaw An unneccessary movie of an unneccessary book! 2 stars
2/22/01 Paul Hoerbelt Call me at 716-343-9122 5 stars
2/21/01 Hip Hop Ebert YO YO YO I give this mutha TWO F**KIN' THUMBS UP, BIATCH! 5 stars
2/21/01 Golbez Script and story really weak, thrilling effects 3 stars
2/19/01 Maso It really does suck all ass 1 stars
2/19/01 Dr. Fell One of the Greatest love stories ever put to film! 5 stars
2/19/01 the?girl really disappointing. wish i hadn't bothered and bought Red Dragon to read instead. 2 stars
2/18/01 Avenger Girl why o why does hollywood make sequels..havent they learnt yet, that sequels are total SHIT 1 stars
2/18/01 Axe Murderer should have improved the storyline .................brains 3 stars
2/17/01 Marc A worthy follow-up to "The Silence of the Lambs". A twisted thrill ride. 5 stars
2/17/01 Allan Serwa I feel that the critics have totally missed the boat in their harsh judgement of Hannibal. 5 stars
2/17/01 Blubberbot I think it's one of the best gore movies because of the great acting. 5 stars
2/16/01 matthew smith lacks the excitement and suspense of silence of the lambs 3 stars
2/16/01 sarah poor, poor ray liotta.. this man was in goodfellas for chrissake! 2 stars
2/16/01 Mike in Denver If you saw the first movie, you gotta know what Dr. Lector is up to now. Saute away! 3 stars
2/16/01 John The movie was done well, but you need to read the book to understand. 3 stars
2/15/01 kelly average, i was not let down but it was not as good as silence... moore was impressive 4 stars
2/15/01 Jacki The absolutely best and goriest movie I have ever seen. I will definitely see it again!! 5 stars
2/15/01 Criperace Kudos for the make-up man, otherwise a pointless PIECE OF SHIT!!! 1 stars
2/14/01 Dante If you read the book, you'll like the movie 4 stars
2/14/01 Lisa Lambert I liked this movie very much! I was on the edge of my seat thw whole time. 4 stars
2/14/01 Craig-o This movie sucks. Worse than the book and I didn't think that was possible 1 stars
2/13/01 LAZY The ending made me laugh my ass off. 3 stars
2/13/01 FrayLo "eew" at times, but still a movie worth seeing, keeps you on the "edge of your seat"... 4 stars
2/13/01 Laura If you at all liked the first one, you should at least see it. 4 stars
2/13/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Ewwwwwwww... 4 stars
2/13/01 Serge Hannibal was a very impressive film; visually and emotionally. 5 stars
2/13/01 ObiWan Good acting and direction suffers from a horribly structured screenplay. 3 stars
2/13/01 Terry N. Boom in the shot!!! 1 stars
2/13/01 Chris Movies are suppose to keep you interested untill the end and this certainly does..very orig 4 stars
2/13/01 Deb Weak, Weak, Weak... Try a little subtlety next time... 2 stars
2/12/01 Christina it would have been better if it had left in more elements from the book 4 stars
2/12/01 zeitgeist ...but the guy ate his own BRAIN 4 stars
2/12/01 ntwrage I have no words...wait yes I do, "I want my 6.50 back" 2 stars
2/12/01 Nancy The movie was a huge disappointment 1 stars
2/12/01 Big Gay Al stupid plot, Jody was wise to stay away 2 stars
2/12/01 JW I read the book before, they changed the ending, which i thought was better in the book. 4 stars
2/12/01 Mark I really liked it. Not as suspensful as the 1st and not as gory as critics write. 4 stars
2/12/01 Julie Can't beleive Hopkins, Liotta or Oldman wasted their time.....what crap! 1 stars
2/12/01 Brian Depravity, exploitation and gore masquerading as mainstream cinema? SOTL was so much better 2 stars
2/11/01 Eric I really liked it! 5 stars
2/11/01 Jesus Christ I was really disappointed. I loved the acting from all. But the movie was very dull overall 3 stars
2/11/01 TimmyToday I got up and went and saw Saving Silverman instead. 2 stars
2/11/01 Nic I read the book; thought the movie was just OK. 3 stars
2/11/01 frankko Boooo!! 1 stars
2/11/01 joh What other movie actually shows a man being fed his own brain? 5 stars
2/11/01 Leather jacket my take on the sequal - <Middle finger> 1 stars
2/10/01 John Good Movie. More horror flick than thriller. The gore added the shock of reality. 5 stars
2/10/01 astrotart Not enough thrill to justify the gore...stellar cast should have waited for a rewrite. 3 stars
2/10/01 tinka coco fantastic, scary, awesome thriller that makes you squirm in disgust 5 stars
2/10/01 palmreader This movie was a true horror/thriller, committed to the genre entirely. Elegantly gruesome. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  09-Feb-2001 (R)

UK
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Australia
  15-Feb-2001 (R)




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