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Absolutely Brilliant.
Scudder-319 February 1999
Sweeping all five major Academy Awards ("Oscars" for Best Movie, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) is quite an accomplishment. Doing it nearly a year after a film was released is a miracle considering the notoriously short attention span of Oscar voters. It is a powerful example of how great a movie can be when superb writers, directors, actors, and others work at the top of their craft.

`Silence of the Lambs' is the story of a young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who is summoned to help find one serial killer called `Buffalo Bill.' by interviewing another. Foster's performance is absolutely brilliant. While Anthony Hopkins receives most of the (well-deserved) praise for his chilling portrayal of incarcerated serial killer `Hannibal ‘the Cannibal' Lector', it is Foster's performance that holds the movie together. The fear she shows just behind her eyes makes Clarice's outward courage all the more interesting and vulnerable. This is the perfect way to play the part because it explains Lector's interest in Clarice. Her only bargaining chip in getting Lector's help is to let him `feed' on her innermost secrets and fears in exchange for his brilliant insights into the psychotic mind. The title of the movie comes from these exchanges and is very poignant.

Director Jonathan Demme is masterful. There is one scene late in the movie that I will not spoil. It is one of the most simply brilliant scenes ever staged in a movie. I don't know if all the credit goes to Demme or the writers, but there is a moment in the film where the suspense builds beautifully to a what seems to be a common movie scene. However, through skillful timing of the direction, the audiences assumptions are used against them and when the truth is revealed (hint: it involves a doorbell) it is shocking and induced a collective gasp from the audience I saw it with at the theatre. It set the stage for an edge-of-your seat climax.

Do not miss this movie.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful and an absolute must see.
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Dr.Lecter, I'd like to see you again...
MaxBorg8922 October 2005
The Silence of the Lambs runs two hours.Anthony Hopkins appears for little more than sixteen minutes, yet during those minutes he hasn't bored you for a second, not even after the tenth or eleventh viewing. Such is the power of his performance, it's absolutely impossible to forget him.His character, Dr.Hannibal"The Cannibal" Lecter, is a brutal killer with revolting methods and habits, but he's also very intelligent, charismatic and with good taste(you can interpret that as you like).A clichè by now, but who cares? He still is one of the key elements in this wonderful thriller, which sees Jodie Foster's Clarice Starling asking for Lecter's help to catch another killer.The result is a dangerous yet fascinating relationship between the young, unexperienced FBI-agent and the convicted,but basically omnipotent, psychiatrist.He's a step ahead of everyone all the time, and makes sure everyone notices, with his witty, unforgettable one-liners.If there had to be only one reason to worship this movie, then it would have to be the chemistry between the two leading actors.Never before has a non-sexual man/woman connection been more thrilling.Never before has a film's ending been more unsettling and brilliant and left us asking for more.

Best watched with a nice Chianti...

P.S. dear film-buffs, have the lambs stopped screaming?
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A thrill to behold
Aaron_Kyle8 June 2019
The Silence of the Lambs is a timeless classic, whose more than adequate storytelling never ceases to amaze.

The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most entertaining but least fun films to watch all because of its disturbingly genius atmosphere. It's masterfully acted, especially from Hopkins's side turning this film into a clever and unforgettable masterpiece. Even though Hopkins and Foster don't have much screentime together they still put on a show to remember. Aside from top of the line acting and the directing the script from Ted Tally's (based on the novel by Thomas Harris) is career defining. From thriller to psychological horror, this movie handles the tone and atmosphere perfectly while switching between the two. In terms of being a psychological horror movie it does it perfecting as it wraps itself around the viewers' head and proves that gore and blood isn't needed to scare an audience. Surprisingly (and deservedly) this film swooped all five major Oscar categories (Best actor, actress, director, screenplay and picture) even though it was released in February, a whole year before the academy awards.

The Silence of the Lambs is a remarkable feat in film making and you be seen by everyone, a film lover or not. Shocking and suspenseful it is a thrill to behold.

Final Score: 9/10
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In a Class by Itself
tfrizzell21 July 2000
Brilliant Best Picture of 1991 that never gets old. "The Silence of the Lambs" deals with a young FBI cadet (Oscar-winner Jodie Foster) who is sent to interview a captured madman (Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins in one of the greatest performances ever on the screen) to find out about a serial killer (Ted Levine) who is stripping the skin from his female victims after they die. The FBI has had no luck with the case and agent Scott Glenn tries to throw a curve-ball to Hopkins by sending Foster. Hopkins is a former doctor of Levine and holds the clues to capturing the unknown criminal. Needless to say the film takes many twists and turns, creating a suspenseful thriller that has no equal. At the heart of "The Silence of the Lambs" are the confrontations between Hopkins and Foster. They play a complicated chess match of words which results in some of the greatest footage ever captured for the cinema. Hopkins dominates in spite of the fact he has approximately 17 minutes of time in the film. This is a film that will wrap itself around you and you will likely never be able to shake some of the key elements you have seen in this amazing masterpiece. 5 stars out of 5.
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A Story And A Character That You Can't Forget
ccthemovieman-117 January 2007
I'll never forget my first viewing of this movie at the theater and will always look back fondly on it for one reason: helping me quit smoking cigarettes.

I read the book first, was fascinated by it, and couldn't wait for the film to come out. That was the day I picked to quit smoking and I knew this movie would take my mind off that matter. I was expecting an intense movie and I got it. Little did I realize how well-received this film would be and how it propelled Anthony Hopkins to super-stardom.

Although entertaining, this is not always a fun movie to watch, especially with the scenes with Ted Levine who plays the killer, "Buffalo Bill." "Bill" and his kidnapped young woman are sick and profane people, respectively, and their scenes are very unpleasant. This movie is not for the squeamish with those and other scenes involving the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). There also is some extreme crudeness in the jail/dungeon where Lecter and other inmates are held.

Jodie Foster is excellent as the FBI agent "Clarice Starling" and Scott Glenn is low-key and effective as "Jack Crawford." A major part of the film is psychological more than violent as Lecter constantly taunts "Clarice," while she tries her best to manipulate him to help with a case. The by-play between the two is a game in itself.

Hopkins, however, is the actor people remember best from this movie. His portrayal of the refined-yet-cannibalistic serial killer-doctor is one viewers will never forget. I've enjoyed watching him in the sequels, too. The looks on his face, his fascinating vocabulary with intelligent sarcasm and frankness, never ceases to entertain.

"Silence Of The Lambs" has turned into a modern-day "classic." If by some odd chance you have never seen this movie, be warned it is a dark, difficult story to watch at times....but it will get your mind off other things.
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"The Godfather" of all thrillers
Smells_Like_Cheese28 August 2004
I've seen way too many thrillers. You name it: "Identity", "Seven", "The Usual Suspects", etc., etc., etc. I remember my friend being so obsessed with "Silence of the Lambs", that it drove me crazy. And I hated the movie naturally and refused to see it. But everyone told me that I have to see this, so I let my guard down. And had an open mind, and I'm glad I did. My friend was right, this is a great movie. It is so well acted, I couldn't even describe. I loved "Silence of the Lambs" and would recommend it to anyone. It's creepy and exciting. Trust me, you'll love it.

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A Grand Thriller
Sargebri12 July 2003
This is definitely a film that proves you don't need tons of blood and gore to have a good suspense film. Anthony Hopkins performance as the deranged genius Lecter earned him a well deserved Academy Award and the same was true of Jodie Foster's performance as Clarice Starling. This film should go down in history as one of the greatest suspense films in the history of cinema.
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A thrilling must see
FrenchEddieFelson10 August 2019
I just saw, for the second or third time, this cinematographic masterpiece, during an « UGC culte » evening, in Paris. The list of the Big Five Academy Award winners is short. There are currently three of them, in nine decades: It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and ... The Silence of the Lambs (1991). This is not really surprising, this film being excellent, endowed with a script skillfully elaborated by Thomas Harris, with an irreproachable casting including Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster and Scott Glenn. In addition, the director Jonathan Demme delivers a work obviously enjoying an admirable preparatory work.

Without unduly spoiling the script, if you have not seen it yet, by the greatest fluke: a psychopath known as the Buffalo Bill sows terror in the Middle West by kidnapping and murdering young pulpy women, after partially or completely skinning them. Clarice Starling, a young FBI agent, is in charge of interviewing Hannibal Lecter, a well-known former psychiatrist who has also the characteristic of a truly intelligent psychopath focused on cannibalism. Hannibal Lecter is able to provide Clarice Starling with providential information about Buffalo Bill . But he agrees to help her only in exchange for information about the young woman's private life. Between them is established a link of fascination and repulsion.

As a synthesis: a thrilling must see. 9/10 of 10
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Perfectly executed dramatic thriller
pooch-812 January 1999
The Silence of the Lambs, having accomplished the rare feat of winning all five of the major Academy Award categories, is a remarkable achievement in filmmaking. Gruesome, pulpish material was transformed by dedicated participants on all levels of production, and a film that would have failed in the hands of many others wound up becoming a modern masterpiece. Taut direction and a superb screenplay might be the best arguments for the film's power, but the flashiest are certainly delivered in the bravura performances of Hopkins and Foster. Their interplay -- and remember, they only share a handful of scenes together -- is nothing short of riveting.
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A truly remarkable film
davideo-216 November 2005
STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits

Rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is assigned to get into the mind of notorious incarcerated serial killer Dr Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to get his evaluation on the elusive Buffalo Bill, a serial killer who's been abducting and killing young women. When a prominent senator's daughter is kidnapped, it becomes a race against time to find her before she is killed and all the while Lecter is playing mind-games with Starling as well as any help he can provide...

The first of Thomas Harris's Hannibal novels to be adapted for the screen, only to be followed some years later with some very lacklustre (but inevitable!) follow-ups, despite it's age this remains one of the most effective chillers of modern times. Despite the mainstream appeal of the film, the grainy lighting and laid-back budget give it an art-house feel that sets it apart from other such films that were as successful. The film manages some effectively disturbing scenes that make it a not altogether pleasant viewing experience.

Performances wise, in a very early role, a young Foster shows her promise for future roles, with a gripping portrayal of naivety and vulnerability here that is very compelling and convincing, even though there are some plausibility problems with someone as junior as her being assigned to do something like that. Hopkins too is brilliant as Lecter, playing a dangerous man behind bars who's ability to get inside your head and see the things you don't want him to see makes him no less dangerous, if not more so, than if he was on the outside. He's certainly received the most acclaim for his role over the years, but in my humble opinion, he's actually over-shadowed (though only slightly!) by Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill, a truly extraordinary psychopath with an unsettling sexuality disorder that is probably one of the nastiest things ever to be seen in such a mainstream film. As supporting FBI agent Crawford, Scott Glenn is impressive but sort of just faded into DTV land after this film.

It's easily one of the most popular films ever made, so it's likely a lot of you are familiar with it already, but with reviews on the so-inferior follow-up films Red Dragon and Hannibal, I thought it only right that I'd finally give this first film a mention. Truly remarkable. *****
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A gripping film that well deserved its Oscars
crisp_morning_200411 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It is a creepy and taken-by-storm experience with the film, background music is darker than the film itself and too ominous, plot is brilliantly constructed, conversations are thought-provocative, to crown the whole, Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkin are the cream. They take ownership of Clarice and Hannibal respectively, transforming them into the most unforgettable screen images.

The psychological path of Hannibal is hard to trace. He is so odd a mixture of intelligence, cruelty, insanity, grace and charisma. In the depth, fledgling FBI trainee Clarice is no match of him. She is still naive yet very ambitious. On the trail of the serial killer Buffalo Bill, she's sent to interview him, a psychiatrist-turned-cannibal. Hannibal is willing to provide clues to finding the killer but only in return for personal information about Clarice herself. He calls it Quid Pro Quo. In those mind games, the two dance backward and forward between cannibal and FBI agent, mentor and student, psychiatrist and patient, father and daughter. It is Clarice who breathes life into the multidimensional sophisticated psychopath and Hannibal who nudges the aspiring student FBI agent and helps her achieve her first success in a world of Y chromosome where her guru Crawford uses her, embarrasses her, excludes her; Doctor Chilton regards her no more than a simple-minded woman and tries to flirt with her. Frankly speaking, though no lack of other impressive scenes, it's really the nerves fights between Hannibal and Clarice that carries the film.

Some of the horrible scenes involve Buffalo Bill who, a transvestite, skins his victims, especially woman victims. But the most terrifying one is Clarice's single-handed trace in Buffalo Bill's gruesome den, which also has become another irony to the self-important testosterone-dominated world. Crawford's misjudgment and stubbornness makes him out of the right track, a special anti-terror deployment resulting in vain. But Clarice, though excluded from the business which she should be on, still holds onto her intuition and through on-the-spot investigation finds the serial killer at last. She has to take on him herself. (Demme uses "deceptive cutting" there to enhance the tension.) It is definitely a life-or-death fight, especially when Clarice is in the dark, groping her way in absolute terror. I have no doubt everyone holds the breath when the film rolls to that part.

A gripping film that well deserved its Oscars
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Class Act
BaronBl00d19 June 2000
With Silence of the Lambs comes some much needed recognition for the horror genre. It is a first-rate production all around. It boasts a witty and suspenseful script based on the Thomas Harris novel, full of great lines. It has marvelous direction from Demme. Demme creates suspense very well throughout and uses some great directorial shots such as the twin frames of Clarice ringing a doorbell and the FBI men breaking into a home. The two lead actors won oscars for their performances...each deserved. Foster is very good in her role, but it is Anthony Hopkins that literally lights up the screen with his complex portrayal of a complex serial killer. Hopkins does the seemingly impossible. He frightens you with his outrageousness and yet illicts some pity/compassion(albeit not a lot) for his situation. He says his lines with reservedness when needed and brashness when needed. The rest of the cast is also quite good with Anthony Heald a standout as a unethical, petty doctor in charge of Hopkins. Of course the story of the other killer is very very chilling as well. A quality film in all aspects!
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One of the Greatest Thrillers of all Time.
notoriousCASK1 August 2017
The Silence of the Lambs is a masterpiece you cannot miss, it's a masterwork of suspense that blends the elements of horror, crime and psychology into one tight and smooth story. It's only the third film in history to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay and that imply something about its technical quality as a film. It features expertise level of craftsmanship in all departments of filmmaking, and takes a huge bonus from the exquisite performances put in by its stellar cast. After all these years The Silence of the Lambs remains in a league of its own and is a perfect exemplification of just how great a movie can become when all the right elements come together and work in perfect harmony to form a complete whole.

Based on the novel of the same name, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. FBI agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a genius psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case of a serial killer called Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), that murders and skins his victims and that Starling as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to make him help with the case.

The direction by Jonathan Demme is marvelous, as the film introduces its chilling sense of dread and has the audience on the edge of their seats, from the moment Howard Shore's ominous score hits the screen till the end of the film, especially during the climax with a lot of perfectly crafted suspenseful and nail-biting moments. The editing is perfect as the pace is methodical from start to finish, and each and every sequence is relevant to the story. The cinematography by Tak Fujimoto is fantastic as it fully succeeds into creating a very dark and brooding atmosphere that captivates as well as terrorize the audience, while also exhibiting excellent camera work that makes heavy use of close-ups which increase the creepiness and tension along with displaying an optimal color palette and minimal lightning from start to finish, which further enhances the darker ambience the story was aiming for. Moreover the production design team has done a magnificent work as every set piece is meticulously crafted, richly detailed and very well-lit. The script by Ted Tally, also packs a very well structured and tight plot, every character has a well-defined arc, all the themes are smartly addressed, the attention to detail is quite impressive, and the complete story and narrative are perfect.

The performances are incredible. Jodie Foster as Clarice is absolutely brilliant and gives an impeccable performance as a woman who is desperately trying to forget her painful past and yet at the same time tries to prove her worth in a male dominant world. Anthony Hopkins as the genius psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter is the perfect amalgamation of charisma, high intelligence and destructive violence, and gives a bone-chilling and memorable performance that will stand the passage of time as one of the absolute best. The small amount of screen time that Hopkins is given is a definitive testament to his acting capabilities, as with such an elegant and minimal performance, he solidifies himself as one of the most iconic villains of all time. Due to the charisma and electrifying chemistry between the two actors every scene they share becomes an instant classic.

In conclusion, the Silence of the Lambs is one of the greatest films ever made and a masterwork of brilliant direction, smart screenplay, splendid camerawork, tight editing, marvelous score and exquisite performances, that cemented the legacy of both Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster by engraving their iconic characters into the annals of cinema. The film absolutely deserves all the accolades and recognition it gets, for both its contributions to cinema and the immense impact it had on pop culture. Jonathan Demme's magnum opus is an outstanding achievement in genre filmmaking that has inspired and influenced countless thrillers since its release, and is not only the quintessential suspence and psychological horror film but also an ingenious observation of humanity's dark and violent nature and a masterpiece that every film lover must see.
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It's a classic!
nickpal198317 July 2005
There is little doubt that the most memorable aspect of The Silence of the Lambs is Anthony Hopkins' incomparable performance as Lecter. Taking over for Brian Cox, who was effective, but not especially memorable, as the good doctor in 1986's Manhunter, Hopkins instantly makes the role his own, capturing and conveying the charismatic essence of pure evil. To his dying day, no matter how many roles he plays in the interim, Hopkins will forever be known for this part. (It is a credit to Hopkins' ability as an actor that this part did not result in stereotyping. His post-Silence career has been greatly varied, with roles as widely diverse as a stodgy butler in Merchant-Ivory's The Remains of the Day and an action hero in The Edge.) I can throw out any number of superlatives, but none of them do justice to this chilling performance, which I labeled as the best acting work of the '90s. Want to feel the icy fingers of terror stroke your heart? Watch this mixture of brilliant eloquence and inhuman cruelty. As portrayed by Hopkins, Hannibal is both a suave, cultured gentleman and an unspeakable fiend. He is gracious and monstrous at the same time. (Hopkins also provided one of the most quotable lines in recent film history with "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti", which was followed by an inimitable slithering slurp.)
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Classic psychological, suspense brilliant - masterpiece best horror thriller ever made!
ivo-cobra825 May 2016
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) is a classic psychological suspense brilliant masterpiece well acted and the best thriller ever made! This was my first film I saw on VHS as a teenager and I absolutely loved it. Right after seeing this flick, I heard about Hannibal (2001) Ridley Scot film a sequel to this psychological thriller flick, I rushed buying it right away. Saddly I was disappointed with Ridley Scott Hannibal.

"Silence of the Lambs " is a classic and I think people would agree. It is my number 1 favorite thriller ever made, mostly I have enjoyed Jodie Foster as FBI recruit Clarice Starling's. Jodie did a brilliant acting performance I have seen. I love this film to death I absolutely love everything about this film. Since the first time I saw her in Silence I went to seeing her in a movie theater 2002 Panic Room, it was her first film I saw in movie theater since than I love Jodie Foster but Silence will be her best film she ever made. I was disappointed with the sequel Hannibal, no Jodie Foster in it, no brilliant masterful Clarice. Julianne Moore was incompetent for me, she couldn't catch Hannibal. Clarice Starling character was based on Gillian Anderson's FBI Agent Dana Scully and I think The X-Files inspired this film. I am even convinced that The Lone Gunman three geeks were also based on this film. You have a nice shootout on the end with Clarice and Buffalo Bill and Clarice get's her man, spoils her plans saves the hostage and saves the day.

The Silence of the Lambs is the 1991 thriller that was the feature film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris and marked the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. (Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins in one of the greatest performances ever on the screen) Dr.Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter, is a brutal killer with revolting methods and habits, but he's also very intelligent, charismatic and with good taste (you can interpret that as you like). He is scary and his the same time awesome including brilliant, you can't out smart him. Director Jonathan Demme is masterful directing this flick you have to be brilliant you have to keep thinking to solve the murder mystery. Scott Glenn acts beautiful as Jack Crawford. This flick got five major Academy Awards ("Oscars" for Best Movie, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) it is no wonder why.

Plot: FBI recruit Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is asked by the Bureau to elicit Lecter's help in tracking down a notorious serial killer who has kidnapped a US Senator's daughter. Directed by Jonathan Demme (The Manchurian Candidate), the film would receive five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hopkins and Best Actress for Foster and Best Screenplay. Hopkins would reprise his role as Lecter in two more films: Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002).

Real life killer Ed Gein was the inspiration for Buffalo Bill as well as the inspiration for Norman Bates from Psycho and Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. And the director Jonathan Demme was a film student of Roger Corman who makes a cameo in the movie. Roger Corman taught not only him, but I think other filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Joe Dante, Francis Ford Coppola, and many others. Ted Levine did a pretty solid job as a serial killer Buffalo Bill. This film is fun, intense, very well fast paced goes quickly around for those two hours.

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn. The film is based on Thomas Harris' 1988 novel of the same name, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.

In the film, Clarice Starling, a young U.S. FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill".

This movie is a perfect 10 out of 10, it takes the vision of one of the most imaginative directors on Earth (Jonathan Demme) with a brilliant cast including Thomas Harris novel that was adapted from it. I even saw the Documentary how they were shooting this film on YouTube. I think I do have that documentary film in my Blu-ray special features. Watch this film you want be disappointed at all.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful and an absolute must see for fans.
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Not that great..
ruffinelli_ro17 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It is really difficult for me to understand what it is about this film that everyone loves. I have seen many thrillers and I can honestly say that this one is not even in my Top 20. Although I think Hopkins did a terrific job in Lecter's shoes, his 30 minutes on screen just were not enough. This was supposed to be a horror film but I think it barely managed to create the suspense atmosphere and it certainly did not scare me or made me feel uncomfortable at all. Perhaps I expected more since I have been hearing all the fuzz about this movie since I was a little kid. So I watched this film several times and I am still not enjoying it that much.
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Very Effective Thriller But Ultimately Overrated
Theo Robertson30 October 2005
It's impossible to comment on SILENCE OF THE LAMBS as being a mere film . Its release was a watershed in popular culture and has influenced a myriad of imitations that are far too numerous to mention . Much of this success is down to director Jonathan Demme who has made the film so effective by coming up with the strikingly simple idea of filming everything in dim lighting which gives SILENCE a moody and brooding atmosphere that was absent from movies in the previous decade . Ironically enough this is as typical of 90s film making as MANHUNTER was of 80s movies . Howard Shore's score also helps the proceedings and Jodie Foster gives a sublime nuanced performance as vulnerable heroine Clarice Starling . Watch the scenes closely when Clarice is in the company of men , don't you get the feeling she has a phobia about the male of the species . Is she a victim of sexual abuse in her childhood ? A lesbian ? We never find out but Foster's performance is multi layered and it's a pity this aspect is never explored in HANNIBAL which sadly deletes this aspect to Clarice

Sadly SILENCE was released with a tidal wave of hype which the film doesn't live up to . Who can forget the stories that upon seeing this at the cinema certain audience members wanted armed escorts back to their cars ! I'm sorry but despite being a good thriller it's not that good and I fail to see how people were turned into quivering jellies unable to sleep with the lights off . I'm also afraid to say that much of the awards heaped upon the film aren't that well deserved either . Foster deserved the Oscar as did the film and possibly Demme too but did Ted Tally for his adapted screenplay ? All he seems to have done is to copy the best bits of Harris's novel wholesale into the screenplay without making an effort to improve anything . and i'll probably be accused of sacrilege but the more times I see this film the more times I ask myself how did Hopkins win the Oscar for Best Actor ? I don't even think Hopkins should have qualified for the Best Actor category since the role isn't on screen long enough and his performance is slightly hammy . Hannibal as played by Hopkins resembles something along the lines of a paedophile rather than a serial killer who has maimed , murdered and munched on adults . Despite having some reservations of Brian Cox as Hannibal in MANHUNTER you do believe his burly presence does have the physical strength to overpower his victims , not so Hopkins

I know it's very difficult , perhaps even impossible , but the best way to enjoy this movie is to erase from your mind the fact that it's one of only three movies to have picked up the Oscar in all five main categories , the fact that it made headlines about being the most terrifying film committed to celluloid , and the fact that it stands as the 28th best movie ever on this website . It is a very good thriller but one that is ultimately disappointing after hearing of the hype surrounding it
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Best served chilled with a nice Chianti
george.schmidt22 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) **** Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Diane Baker (Cameos: Roger Corman, producer Kenneth Utt, singer Chris Isaak) Terrifying masterpiece of modern-day horror and the first film since 1975's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" to win all 5 major Oscars (Picture, Director: Jonathan Demme, Actress Foster, Actor Hopkins, and Screenplay Adaptation by Ted Tally of the best-seller by Thomas Harris): novice FBI agent Clarice Starling (a stalwart Foster) begins her career in a manhunt for a serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill", a transsexual wanna-be whose grisly crimes leads to her only source of his trail: imprisoned psychiatrist Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Hopkins in one chilling and modulated perf) whose mindgames with the rookie agent has her on her toes and running out of time. Exciting, suspenseful and supremely scary with some truly eye-widening moments of the unexpected. Best line: Lecter at film's end: "I'm having an old friend for dinner."
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A Potpourr of Vestiges Review: Hannibal - The Cannibal
murtaza_mma24 April 2009
Silence of the Lambs is a quintessence of a profound character study and a rare and vivid demonstration of an actor's subtle brilliance and his improvisation in manifestation of a nebulous entity (Lecter), almost single-handedly immortalizing it and in the process elevating himself to a position of unqualified envy and ubiquitous acclaim. In fact, one is likely to suffer, either from inarticulacy or verbosity while describing Anthony Hopkins portrayal of sadistically sophisticated Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter's trademark, his wide open glacial eyes, devoid of any emotion, not only makes him deviously equanimous, but also egregiously peculiar. The fast, slurping-type sound invented by Hopkins that Lecter does, is as fascinating as it is chilling and Lecter's infamous "Good evening, Clarice", is as enthralling as it is vicious. Anthony Hopkins's performance is the shortest ever and the most memorable to win an Oscar in the leading category.

Hopkins as Lecter, is incontrovertibly and incredibly at the top of his game and it is his brilliance that gets the best out of the other actors, especially Jodie Foster. In fact, it won't be a hyperbole, that Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and more so in its sequel, Hannibal (which is my favorite of the series, as the story completely revolves around Lecter, giving him more exposure), is one of the best, the world of cinema has ever seen or offered. In spite of having some of the most gruesomely disturbing and viciously graphic sequences, Silence of the Lambs, is one of the most decorated and enthralling movies of all time. A must watch for avid fans and eclectic viewers.
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Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head
AgentDice8 October 2013
Once upon a crime, Hannibal Lecter was a manipulative psycho-killer compensating for his incarceration by messing with people's minds. Then Hannibal happened and he suddenly turned into a dandy anti-hero... Watching The Silence Of The Lambs again really puts things into perspective. Jonathan Demme's astute adaptation of Thomas Harris' last good book entwines the horror and detective genres to enduringly shocking effect, while Anthony Hopkins' Lecter and Jodie Foster's Starling fizz up an unsettling chemistry that was utterly lacking in the sequel.

I haven't seen a movie this perfectly wrapped in a while. I recently re-watched it and it blew me away and it only gets better the more you see it.

The performances from everyone are great. Foster sold every scene she was in. But, of course, Hopkins stole every scene he was in and was a powerful anti hero who was scary even when concealed because you know his mind is working at every second. Always planning and he's rarely wrong. His escape was an amazing scene. Levine gives a suitably scary performance but just doesn't stand up to the greatness of Foster and Hopkins.

All the characters main characters are deep people are deep people with clear motivations. The police officers are the complete contradiction to this who abuse their power to do what they believe is right, and end up being wrong. It's clever.

Everything is wrapped together really well, the performances were great and it's full of memorable scenes.

I'm giving The Silence of the Lambs a 10/10.
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pure psychological thriller brilliance
nobbytatoes27 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Agent Clarice Starling is a training FBI agent, hope to work in behavioral sciences with Jack Crawford. Crawford though sends Starling on an assignment, to psychologically exam the insanely intelligent criminal Hannibal Lecter. Crawford had another agenda, to see if Starling can press information out of Lecter to help with the current case of Buffalo Bill. Bill has already killed five girls, skinning off sections of their bodies. Lecter is intrigue by Starling and helps her with the investigation; they start to form a strange friendship.

The Silence of the Lambs is one of the best psychological thrillers. Thomas Harris's best selling book is faithfully transfered to the screen. It's one dark twisted disturbing ride. The mood is heighten by Demme's great direction, with such detail in all the sets and locations. Demme has used reflective surfaces wonderfully, during one of Starling's and Lecter's talks it used to great extent. One of the final sequences of Clarice walking through the basement of Bill's house is one of the most suspense full scenes i have ever seen.

All the performances are knock outs. Jodie Foster as always brings the goods and makes Starling the most interesting to watch. At times she makes Starling so fragile, then a second later she's strong as steel. Anthony Hopkins is so disturbing as Lecter. From the first second you see Lecter standing in his cell; just waiting for Starling to show, you can see Hopkins was perfect casting. You cant keep your eyes off Lecter, he's so disturbing and can make your skin crawl every time he speaks. Ted Levine makes the perfect serial killer, you can see from Levine's performance what a torn and damaged soul the killer is; you feel somewhat sympathetic for him.

The Silence of the Lambs is a must see, one of the best thrillers you'll ever see.
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An overrated but sporadically very good suspense thriller
Brian-26820 May 2000
That the film has its moments cannot be denied. Hopkins is slightly over-the-top as the diabolical yet urbane Lecter, but it's an enjoyable performance all the same. Lecter's finest moment is when, bound, straightjacketed, and face-masked, he is brought before Senator Martin and, after relentlessly goading her about the fate of her daughter, blurts out the identity of Buffalo Bill and adds, "Love your suit."

Beyond the superficial appeal of a character who can interject such misanthropic witticisms, Lecter embodies the repulsive seduction of this thoroughly erudite monster, utterly free of societal constraints in spirit if not in body. His intelligence is, if remorseless and amoral, open and searching and methodical. We are time and again shown his superiority to the FBI, who rush hither and yon after clues they don't begin to understand, and to the pettiness of his jailor, Dr. Chilton, who subjects Lecter to televangelist broadcasts as punishment for brutal misbehavior.

Yet Lecter is poorly contrasted throughout the film, and his intelligence is falsely elevated by comparison to the unimaginative mediocrities he is up against. Starling is a dreary feminist with a white trash inferiority complex, Dr. Chilton is a preposterously snide asshole, and none of the other characters rise above their status as plot devices. There is something particularly prim and humorless and unlikeable about Starling, and it is impossible to determine why Lecter would take an interest in her childhood trauma about lambs.

Several points regarding Lecter's escape make no sense at all, and at crucial stages the total incompetence of his captors is required to pull it off. That Hopkins manages to keep the suspense going is a testament to the actor's ability to rise above the script. Regarding the ultimate capture of Buffalo Bill, it is too much to swallow that Starling's success hinges upon uncovering photographs in the victim's abandoned bedroom years after it had been scoured for evidence by FBI agents. This twist hangs one ridiculous premise on another and is a sorry attempt to justify Starling's centrality to the story.

The cinematography and direction do contribute something interesting to the tumultuous descent to Lecter's asylum cell, but are otherwise unremarkable. Buffalo Bill is more bizarre than chilling, and the final confrontation between him and Starling is contrived. The film ends on a note that suggests it could have been alot better.

Warning: If you purchase the DVD of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, resist the urge to listen to Jodie Foster's commentary. While the lambs may be silent, it is next to impossible to get her to shut up. Her grating, man-hating (and totally outdated) style of feminist rhetoric comes close to self-parody, although not often enough to be truly entertaining. Conclusion: this über-bitch is a gaseous windbag. But if you don't believe me, listen for yourself. You'll be saying "Pass the Chianti" before you make it through the first reel.
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This must be the most overrated movie in Hollywood history
saffron-36 October 1999
This film has a silly premise, a lousy script, an implausibility factor of about +100 and a dreadful performance by Anthony Hopkins. It's the last point that I'll mention about first: has a more pretentious, breathy performance ever been seen on film before (outside of the Richard Burton oeuvre)? As for plausibility: can you imagine the FBI sending a trainee to interview a serial killer, seeking information about another serial killer on the loose? That was a major flaw in the (also overrated) novel. I guess it's easier to write about, or make a movie with, a younger woman who's still apt to get all scared-ified and emotional and who doesn't have those annoying crows-feet. The script is terrible, too--it tries to present Hannibal Lecter as being some kind of 'psychic vampire'. Witness Hopkins' expression after Jodie Foster tells him her tale of lamb-napping woe--like a famished person who's just been given a good meal. Give me a break! And don't tell me that the FBI couldn't have made a connection between the missing skin pieces on the dead girls' bodies and figured out what the loony-tunes they were chasing was doing. It takes Jodie Foster's character seeing a dress pattern with darts on it to make the connection. What a group of dim bulbs. And they wait until HOW MANY young women are killed before they scratch their heads and say, "Hmmmm, maybe the killer knew one of the victims!" How did this stupid waste of celluloid ever garner any critical praise? I mean, I know the Oscars annually bestow 'Best Motion Picture' awards on undeserving titles, so I don't care that this movie won so many--but what were the nation's film critics thinking when this made so many 'Top 10' lists?
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Best thriller ever made!
manikas87 November 2005
One of the best movies of the 90's and one of the few thrillers that can match up with Alfred Hitckok's movies.Certainly the perfect choice for the character of Hannibal Lekter, Sir Anthony Hopkins who manages to make the "cannibal" a kind of hero. The film won 5 academy awards but in my opinion it worths for more. I would like to stay more in the performance of Anthony Hopkins that is really majestic and gives the film more quality.Hopkins gets to the skin of his role and makes you to feel that he is a real psycho killer.Also the direction is perfect by Demme and makes the viewers to be absorbed by the fight of the FBI agent Clarice Starling and Dr. Hannibal Lecter.Jodie Foster fairly wins the Academy Award for Best Actress in Leading Role.
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Silence of the Hams
NEFARlOUS25 March 1999
Having read both the Prequel (Manhunter) and Silence of the Lambs, I was looking forward to seeing how the transition to the screen went.

A while back "Manhunter" was released, and although abridged and with a different (but better) ending, I loved it. Particularly Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter, soft spoken, analytical and very, very calm. However, always an undercurrent of danger and a mere whisper of insanity.

Now on to "Silence of the Lambs" - Hannibal Lecter has gone from being an all too believable real-life monster to a giggling Hollywood psycho - a veritable troll complete with his own dungeon (alas, no smoking torches) and a set of eyes wide enough to make Marty Feldman blink.

Serial murderers such as this, particularly highly intelligent ones, do not prance about revelling in how evil they are, nor do they speak in such ridiculous snidley tones.

They appear quite normal - the reason why they managed to get away with what they did for the length of time they did. Occasionally they speak in monotones and look at nothing in particular. Check out interviews of real-life serial killers - you won't find Anthony Hopkins's fairground pastiche there.

The story itself rambled, the interplay between the two characters did'nt work - Hopkins possibly due to the material, Foster due to the lack of a believable protagonist. They have thankfully both done far better work than this both before and since.

There were some (very few) well designed moments and images but the end was both predictable and dissapointing.

Films are supposed to mirror real life, not the expected perceptions of the mainstream. Otherwise, what happens to creativity?

Oh dear - we're back in Hollywood again.

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