The Silence of the Lambs Reviews

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Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News
February 17, 2015
The movie, scary and graphic to cause timid souls (such as this writer) to close their eyes at certain points, has a vise-like grip on the audience.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 12, 2013
Jonathan Demme's hypnotic adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel has a seriousness and intensity that's been entirely lacking in horror movies lately.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 12, 2013
Hopkins' cumulative screen image is one of civility and decency, and the association adds to the withering, macabre effect of his murderer. It is a remarkably lucid portrait of lunacy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
August 12, 2013
Demme comes at Harris' material from another angle: His movie may deal with madness, but his perspective is mercifully sane.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
August 12, 2013
It's a gnarled, brutal, highly manipulative film that, at its center, seems morally indefensible.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
August 12, 2013
Jonathan Demme's thriller is artful pulp -- tabloid material treated with intelligence and care and a weird kind of sensitivity.
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Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2013
Hopkins' performance may be the film's bravura showpiece, but Foster's goes the whole distance, steadfast, controlled, heartbreakingly insightful, a fine addition to her gallery of characterizations.
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Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
January 16, 2013
Foster's character, who is appealing, is dwarfed by the monsters she is after. I'd rather see her work on another case.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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David Ansen
Newsweek
October 18, 2008
This is the grandest guignol Hollywood has produced in years.
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
October 7, 2008
A pretty sharp new thriller.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 24, 2007
The juiciest part is Hopkins,' and he makes the most of it. Helped by some highly dramatic lighting, actor makes the role the personification of brilliant, hypnotic evil, and the screen jolts with electricity whenever he is on.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
February 5, 2007
An accomplished, effective, grisly, and exceptionally sick slasher film that I can't with any conscience recommend, because the purposes to which it places its considerable ingenuity are ultimately rather foul.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Understandably, much has been made of Hopkins' hypnotic Lecter, but the laurels must go to Levine's killer, admirably devoid of camp overstatement, and to Foster, who evokes a vulnerable but pragmatic intelligence.
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 7, 2005
It's a bona fide classic of its kind.
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Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
The Silence of the Lambs is pop film making of a high order. It could well be the first big hit of the year.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 12, 2001
For all the unbridled savagery on display, what is shrewd, significant and finally hopeful about Silence of the Lambs is the way it proves that a movie can be mercilessly scary and mercifully humane at the same time.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
There is little doubt that the most memorable aspect of The Silence of the Lambs is Anthony Hopkins' incomparable performance as Lecter.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria.
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Rita Kempley
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Adroitly directed by Jonathan Demme, it lurks about the exquisite edge of horror, before finally leaping into an unholy maw of bloody bones and self-awareness.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
The popularity of Jonathan Demme's movie is likely to last as long as there is a market for being scared.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
February 13, 1991
Demme has created a supremely sensuous and hypnotic thriller, one that's likely to become his first major hit.
Full Review | Original Score: A