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Hannibal Rising (2007)


Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 143
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 122

Critics Consensus: Hannibal Rising reduces the horror icon to a collection of dime-store psychological traits.

Average Rating: 3.5/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 35

Critics Consensus: Hannibal Rising reduces the horror icon to a collection of dime-store psychological traits.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 549,421


Movie Info

Curious filmgoers looking to get better acquainted with the silver screen's most notorious cannibalistic serial killer are sure to get their fair share of shocks and thrills as director Peter Webber teams with author Thomas Harris to explore the early life of well-read psychopath Hannibal Lecter. Based on author Harris' gruesome novel of the same name, Hannibal Rising travels back in time to World War II-era Lithuania, where an impressionable, well-to-do young boy named Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) … More

R (for strong grisly violent content and some language/sexual references)
Drama , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Thomas Harris
In Theaters:
May 29, 2007
Box Office:


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Critic Reviews for Hannibal Rising

All Critics (147) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (122) | DVD (27)

Thomas Harris is now hoodwinked by his creation's faux pedigree. He's scripted him a ridiculously Eurotrashy upbringing, one so silly, it'll remind you of Dr. Evil's memory-tripping: "Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons..."

Full Review… | February 17, 2007
Time Out New York
Top Critic

Hannibal Rising is basically a Steven Seagal vigilante movie with a hero who eats the people he kills. At least it's ecofriendly.

Full Review… | February 12, 2007
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

In the finest tradition of TV newsmagazines, Hannibal Lecter's penchant for serial murder turns out to be the result of a traumatic childhood.

Full Review… | February 12, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

What this nasty, brutish movie left me feeling was ashamed to be American. First of all: As a folk archetype, a supervillain for our times, this is the best we can come up with? A vaguely Eurotrash schoolboy who eats people's cheeks?

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Top Critic

Tilting his elegantly aquiline features downward while hoisting one eyebrow over a dark orb, curling his lips with Grinchian deliberation, he seems to be determined to kill people on the strength of his cologne alone.

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

If they were going to show how he got to be the brilliant, charming, exquisitely cultured, uh, vicious cannibal psychopath -- couldn't they have come up with something more interesting?

Full Review… | February 9, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Over twenty years after "Hannibal the Cannibal" made his film debut in Manhunter, the Dr. Lecter saga peters out with this misguided sequel.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008

Un intento forzado por seguir explotando el personaje de Hannibal Lecter, vistosamente filmado y producido pero sin otra excusa argumental que intentar explicar lo inexplicable.

Full Review… | April 21, 2008
Uruguay Total

o Webber mazi me ton aytokanibalisti Thomas Harris frontizoyn na makelepsoyn enan ap' toys pio eikonikoys haraktires tis mythologias toy tromoy toy aiona mas, kai na ton ypobibasoyn se enan akomi fonia mias opoiasdipote tyhaias slasher tainias, me proshim

Full Review… | October 14, 2007
Movies for the Masses

There are some pretty sadistic torture scenes for the gore hounds -- but ultimately this pointless prequel is about as thrilling as a wet towel.

Full Review… | August 20, 2007

The material knows it is a prequel, and acknowledges such with tactics that consist of taking viewers from beginning to end in the most straightforward way possible...

Full Review… | July 1, 2007

Hannibal Rising isn't much more than appetizer.

Full Review… | June 25, 2007
IGN Movies

A ponderous, uninspired portrait of a serial-killer-in-the-making with Webber missing every opportunity to build suspense and deliver chills.

April 21, 2007

Uma ótima fotografia em serviço de um roteiro ridículo que se torna ainda mais patético em função do péssimo protagonista.

April 17, 2007
Cinema em Cena

An origins movie that follows the serial killer's early years. As you might expect, those years didn't involve much time in a sandbox, unless of course Hannibal's spade was used as an instrument of death.

Full Review… | March 5, 2007
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Each successive follow-up to The Silence of the Lambs makes further sense of that 1991 film's top five Oscar sweep. Let's hope Rising is the last; it's certainly the least.

Full Review… | March 3, 2007

The most terrifying movie of the new year.

March 2, 2007

And now, the prequel Hannibal Rising, which answers several questions: Where did Hannibal come from? What made him what he is?... It does not, however, answer the better question: Who fricking cares?

Full Review… | March 2, 2007

If Hannibal Rising catches fire, it may spark a new literary trend with Hollywood aspirations--i.e., when old monsters were kids

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Film Journal International

Alas, in our current Oprah-fied, memoir-ridden, tell-all culture, even the great screen villains now suffer from dopey developmental traumas explaining away their misdeeds.

Full Review… | February 27, 2007
Philadelphia Weekly

"Memory is a knife," warns Murasaki, who lost family in Hiroshima. "It can hurt you." You can only hope the image of the doglike Hannibal, ripping at a victim's cheeks, fades soon.

Full Review… | February 24, 2007

Gone is the nuance, the mystery, the fright factor, in its place a near-campy Dr. Phibes-like obsession with revenge.

Full Review… | February 23, 2007
Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)

Director Peter Webber clearly wants Hannibal Rising to be a class production. Unfortunately, he makes the whole affair too artsy and staid for its own good, which results in a plodding pace that induces more eyelid drooping than tension.

Full Review… | February 18, 2007
Q Network Film Desk

This murky thriller is more of a pig's ear than a pearl earring. The actors, mostly British, speak with sinister furrin accents.

Full Review… | February 18, 2007
Observer [UK]

Lecter is fascinating because he's an enigma; his deadly allure more appealing because his past is a mystery.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
Mark Reviews Movies

Audience Reviews for Hannibal Rising

Not only an unnecessary prequel but also terribly written: overlong, filled with clichés and ridiculous dialogue, and failing to depict in a believable way the character's evolution to become a monster. Even worse, Gaspard Ulliel is absolutely awful.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


From the very start, HANNIBAL RISING is established as a careless, failing effort to make us care about the villain. After three films that had no phrase other than "sick b##tard" running through our minds, are we honestly supposed believe that Hannibal Lecter has heart? The story sets up in 1944, when eight-year-old Hannibal (portrayed by Aaran Thomas) and his sister Mischa (Helena-Lia Tachovská) are taken hostage by Nazis during World War II. Hannibal is enraged, not to mention scarred for life when his beloved sister is eaten by the Nazis (??). Fast-forward eight years, when Hannibal (portrayed for the rest of the film by Gaspard Ulliel) has moved out of his aunt's house, where he has undergone unwanted attempts to calm his soul via some sort of spiritual Asian ritual (??), and on to medical school, where he finds his forte. Knowing that most of the serial killer's aggressive attempts to avenge his sister take place in the very spot where he earns his doctorate, why not just call the film Hannibal Unsurprising?

Read it all at

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

A well made film with great locations, that explains a little about how Hannibal became to be what he is in The silence of the lambs. However I feel a lot is still unexplained and wouldn't be surprised if a further film takes us right up to date with his story, to the point of him being in prison at the start of The silence of the lambs. Still better than Hannibal though.

Dean !

Super Reviewer


Harris did the screenplay of his own book, so he has no-one but himself to blame in that regard; however, the blame only partly lies with the script - the acting is very uneven and the casting in some cases abyssmal (Murisaka is attrocious - reduced to "Oh Hannibal" - showing no depth or nuance). Much more should have been made of who she was and how she relates to the young Hannibal, but alas. There were also attempts made to show that the Inspector was sympathetec, but too little, too late - I feel that to have gone in depth into those areas would have made a far different, and for my money, a better film, but some studio exec probably pushed for a more action type thriller.

As a thriller there is some small merit here - the way in which Hannibal blithely walks right into danger; he's either so warped by his traumatic experience or so bent for revenge that he feels invincible or he simply doesn't care.

There are some nice cinematic elements, especially the beginning scenes with the war going on all around the chateau, but in the end I felt unfulfilled (pun intended) - perhaps a nice chianti.... ah never mind.

paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

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