The Silence of the Lambs Reviews

John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic
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
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
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
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
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
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
August 12, 2013

It's a gnarled, brutal, highly manipulative film that, at its center, seems morally indefensible.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
Top Critic
August 12, 2013

Jonathan Demme's thriller is artful pulp -- tabloid material treated with intelligence and care and a weird kind of sensitivity.

Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
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
David Ansen
Newsweek
Top Critic
October 18, 2008

This is the grandest guignol Hollywood has produced in years.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
October 7, 2008

A pretty sharp new thriller.

Todd McCarthy
Variety
Top Critic
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.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
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.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
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.

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
March 7, 2005

It's a bona fide classic of its kind.

Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic
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.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
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.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
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
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria.

Rita Kempley
Washington Post
Top Critic
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
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
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
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
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