The Silence of the Lambs - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Silence of the Lambs Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 24, 2014
A stunning and scintillating thriller with remarkable characters portrayed larger than life by Foster and Hopkins.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2010
This breathtaking psychological thriller and terrific character study will always be remembered for its iconic depiction of one of the most fascinating monsters ever created, Dr. Lecter, having deserved every award that it won, although Ted Levine should have also been remembered for his fantastic performance.
Super Reviewer
April 20, 2011
A taut thriller, 'Silence of the Lambs' is one of the most gripping cinematic experiences out there. With the help of a devilishly good performance from Hopkins, a kinetic pace, and a potent script, 'Lambs' has easily crafted its place in cinematic history, as well as tapped into crime thriller gold.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
So far, only two other films besides this one have the distinction of winning all five of the major categories at the Oscars (picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay). This also has a reputation for being one of the all time best thrillers in general.

And all that claim and praise is quite justified, Based on the best selling novel by Thomas Harris, this is the story of Clarice Starling, a young and talented FBI trainee who, despite her lack of experience, is deemed talented enough to help the bureau out with an investigation concerning a killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill who has a penchant for kidnapping and killing women, then skinning their bodies. Starling is tasked with interviewing the brilliant psychologist Dr. Hannibal Lecter who also happens to be a psychopath serving a life sentence due to various acts of murder and cannibalism. It is believed that he could give valuable insight into the FBI's investigation, and would be willing to cooperate with Starling given that she's an attractive yet tough female that he could find intriguing and trustworthy.

Lecter is indeed enthralled with Starling, and is willing to help, but his services come with a price In exchange for case related help and information, Starling has to provide Lecter with her own life, and let him get in her head and poke around, something that just might be more dangerous than going after Buffalo Bill.

While there are some grisly visceral thrills here, this is primarily an intense and complex character study of multiple people that are all quite fascinating. This is quite deep, intelligent, and engrossing stuff, and despite having less than twenty minutes of screen time, Anthony Hopkins cemented himself into cinematic and pop culture with his supremely chilling and memorable turn as Lecter. In fact, it was because of this movie that the Academy now makes it mandatory that a performer has to have more than twenty minutes of screen time to be considered a lead role.

He absolutely knocks it out of the park, and, despite how little screen time he has, he makes his presence felt throughout the whole film, which is a truly impressive feat. Foster gives one of her absolute best performances, and she truly shines as the multifaceted Starling. She easily sells the various layers of the character, and holds her own against not one, but two of the creepiest screen antagonists ever. Ted Levine, playing Buffalo Bill, is a real force to be reckoned with. He's a guy that you don't want to lower you guard around, and the climax of the film is one of the most gripping, suspenseful, and absolutely scary sequences ever. The film is a horror film in a sense, but is mainly a psychological suspense thriller.

That ending though, is truly one of the few sequences that I feel could be deemed horrific, and it certainly something not easily forgotten.

This movie has been the subject of countless parodies imitations, and ripoffs, and that's a shame since it seems that these things tend to cheapen the original product. It is also to the credit of screenwriter Ted Tally and director Jonathan Demme that they were able to take material that could easily be construed as high grade lurid pulp and turn it into a high brow intelligent masterpiece that appeals to both thinkers and fans of the gruesome alike.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2012
Its understandable why this is such a shocking yet superb masterpiece. With iconic performances and highly recognised lines and scenarios.Jodie Foster plays as the determined Clarice Starling. At the same time, the sophisticated Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lector. Finally, Ted Levine portrays the gut wrenching 'Buffalo Bill'. While it misses out the side stories, this is a very strong adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel. This is possibly the best serial killer movie in film history.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2010
The acting is superb and the drab yet eerie atmosphere in which the film takes place makes it an intoxicating and thrilling piece to view.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2011
This is a perfect movie. The suspense and the dialogue are priceless. Jodie Foster proved why she was one of the best actors in the world, but Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter stole the show. To this day whenever I see that guy, I think of him as Lecter. My favorite scene is when he escapes from prison wearing that guard's face. Great movie, if you haven't seen it, watch it.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
This rare case of the Academy awards recognizing a psycho thriller for most of their Oscars has become an iconic piece of film-making in the 20 years since it came out. Hopkins' performance as Hannibal the Cannibal is still terrifying. Back then there wasn't enough praise of Ted Levine's Buffallo Bill, though. Jodie Foster created an iconic character with her Agent Starling caught between those two psychos. The calm menacing story-telling makes for a lot of the atmosphere of the film, but the script is also excellent. The conversations between the protagonist, Lector's escape, the night-vision showdown, all scenes deeply manifested into pop-culture by now. A masterpiece of the genre.
Super Reviewer
½ April 23, 2007
24/11/2011 (ONLINE)
Super Reviewer
½ November 21, 2011
The best horror film of all time, the most deserving of every Oscar award out there..? I wouldn't describe it that way, no. Sure it's a good mystery, but it leaves a lot out. It also isn't very disturbing or scary to a horror film fanatic. Even for 1991, this isn't as scary as it could be. Overall, it's only a good mystery film, but it did leave me thinking about what the significance of the lambs is supposed to be.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2011
A psychological thrill ride that's sure to disturb you in all the right way, but the chemistry between Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins was what made this film all throughout effective and nerve wrecking.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2010
As difficult as it can become to watch, "Silence of the Lambs" is an extremely provacative psychological thriller that will have you either cringing in fear or deeply seduced into the mind of Hannibal and panting as you watch Buffalo Bill slowly destroy a woman's life. This film put me on the edge of my seat and there are moments where I want to look away, but the fact that I can't, makes the film that much more realistic. Jodie Foster gives one of her better performances as trainee in the FBI and the chemistry that she has with Hopkins is breathtaking. The dialogue is sharply written, there is not a dull moment ever on screen, the violence is gruesome (yet amazing), and the cast oddly fit their roles perfectly. This is now one of my favourite psychological thrillers and is definitely one I will never forget!
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
A scarily strong, realistic depiction of Cannibals, their motives, their minds and how they simply tick, and what makes them smile, makes us quiver with fear and jolt with adrenaline.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2011
A truly scary film, and so well made.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2011
5 stars because there had never been anything both horrific and thrilling before this film, and 5 stars because to this day, there still hasn't been something like it in the genre. Brilliant on all levels, this film gets me every time.
Super Reviewer
August 25, 2011
When people ask me to define what horror is I simply utter the title of this movie. Before Jigsaw there was another slightly deranged savant with a taste for blood and his name if Hannibal Lecter. This movie is the definition of horror and every movie that has come before or since it, in some manner or another, attempts to walk in its colossal footsteps and nine times out of ten fails. One of the best horror movies ever made, and a pretty accurate book adaption.
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2011
Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. 

"May The Silence Be Broken"

Silence of the Lambs is a movie that is in a unique league of horror films. It may play more like a Thriller, but it's subject matter is that of a horror film. When it comes to horror films; let's be honest, a great majority suck. They really on cheesy acting and gimmicks, gore and surprise scares that aren't scaring anyone over the age of 12. There are however a few that are so far ahead of every other movie in their genre. In my opinion these unique horror movies are Psycho,  Rosemary's Baby and Silence of the Lambs. Sure there's others I love like The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Omen, but those three, in my opinion, are vastly superior to any other horror film ever made.

I hate to say what everyone else has been saying for the last 20 years about this masterpiece, but it's standard when talking about the movie. Everyone knows about the two powerhouse performances from Jodie Foster and the legendary Anthony Hopkins. Foster plays the role of a young FBI agent to perfection. She brings out everything in her character that should be brought out. She's a confident, strong and smart woman. We see all this in every scene, even the ones where she's visually afraid. As for Anthony Hopkins, what can be said that hasn't already been talked about. The lasting image I take away from this movie is the moment we see Hannibal Lecter in his cell. He stands straight up, hands behind back, waiting for Clarice. I haven't seen a movie where I feared a character after one second of him being on screen. Hopkins delivers one of the most sinister performances of all-time. He never blinks and the way he talks, stares and moves is head is downright terrifying. He plays his character so well that if I ever saw Hopkins walking down the street, I'd probably shit my pants and run in the opposite direction.

Silence of the Lambs deserves every single bit of praise it has gotten. It deserved every one of it's Oscars and is a classic film that has stood the test of time and will continue to do so. On a side note, it inspired the best episode of South Park ever too; so that's a plus.

Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming? 
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2011
Creepy, tenseful, and all around awesome. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is hunting down mass woman murderer named Buffolo Bill (Ted Levine). The only person who has ever had contact with Bill is cannibal and former doctor Hannbal Lector (Anthony Hopkins), a genius and sociopathic man who is in prison after being arrested many years ago. She must commune with Lector, while tring to keep her sanity, but the trail that leads to Bill will give Lector the upper hand and may be deadly. Anthony Hopkins possibly the greatest performance in film history, along with Jodie Foster doing amazing as well. The plot is great, and you would be really dumb not to be taken in by this genius movie. If you see this you will agree it is one of the greatest films ever.
shahmeer h.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2011
Horror movies are either going to be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. They either scare you to death, or you love them. Now most people would say the scarier, the better. But if something is scary to you, I don't see how you could like it. And yet, this film had scared me like never before and yet I can never let go of the feeling of how amazing it was. The Silence of the Lambs is a crime-suspense thriller, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. It's about a FBI trainee Clarice Starling, who is assigned to help capture a serial killer by the name of Buffalo Bill. She simply has to question a former murderer, Hannibal Lector, better known as "Hannibal the Cannibal". The FBI believes there might be some sort of connections between the two killers, and asks Clarice to figure out what. And what begins as a small questioning process begins to evolve into one of the greatest crime story ever told. The Silence of the Lambs won 5 Academy Awards, including Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and Best Picture. It truly deserved all these wins, especially the acting. Jodie Foster's acting as Clarice Starling was great, but what really made this film worthwhile was Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector. Never have I seen a villain so kind, yet so sinister and evil. Every word and breath he takes is haunting. You know that even when he talks so kindly to Clarice, he has some evil thoughts or something processing in his mind that the viewer can't just understand. That's what makes Anthony Hopkins the best thing about the whole film. Then I believe the second best thing is the cinematography. This film's cinematography is excellent, and done like no other movie before. You see that whenever there's a new character introduced, it's shown in the perspective of the main characters eyes; facing and looking right at you. It makes the audience feel as if they are in the film, and makes them feel as if they are part of the atmosphere, the crime, and the danger. It's all just perfect. Then the third best part of the film is the story itself. Its originality is up on the highest level. I would have never thought of a story of a FBI trainee going off to interview a serial killer to find another serial killer and then the interviewing serial killer becomes a major part of the story and so on so forth. It's just so smart and so thrilling. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this film was the fact that it was kind of slow, and could've been a little more fast paced. Otherwise, it's wonderful. The sad part is that after this film, so many sequels to Hannibal's story have tried to be made, but they simply fail and will not work out. And that's how the film should be. It's a masterpiece of a film on its own and doesn't need any more storyline afterwards. The film wants the audience to use their imagination to figure out what happens next. And I can tell you, my imagination is running wild.
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