Reviews - The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
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8.6

Based on 947 118 Ratings

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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Taglines: Prepare yourself for the most exciting, mesmerising and terrifying two hours of your life!

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writers: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally

Stars: Jodie Foster, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons, Lawrence T. Wrentz, ...

FBI trainee Clarice Starling works hard to advance her career, including trying to hide or put behind her West Virginia roots, of which if some knew would automatically classify her as being backward or white trash. After graduation, she aspires to work in the agency's Behavioral Science Unit under the leadership of Jack Crawford. While she is still a trainee, Crawford does ask her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist imprisoned thus far for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer, he who cannibalized his victims. Clarice is able to figure out the assignment is to pick Lecter's brains to help them solve another serial murder case, that of someone coined by the media as Buffalo Bill who has so far killed five victims, all located in the eastern US, all young women who are slightly overweight especially around the hips, all who were drowned in natural bodies of water, and all who were stripped of large swaths of skin. She also figures that Crawford...

100 | Staff [Not Credited]

A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
Read More: Variety

100

The interplay between Starling and Lector as they share an indefinable, dark understanding gives the film its unforgettable and unsettling power. [14 February 1991, Daily Notebook, p.E1]

100 | Peter Travers

The superbly crafted suspense thriller…slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror.
Read More: Rolling Stone

100 | Rita Kempley

Delicious with foreboding, a masterly suspense thriller that toys with our anticipation like a well-fed cat.
Read More: Washington Post

97 | Jean Oppenheimer

Though the film's subject matter is grisly, the electricity between Foster and Hopkins during their prison tête-à-têtes could power every maximum-security prison in this country.
Read More: Mr. Showbiz

90 | Staff [Not Credited]

Hopkins plays the cannibalistic doctor with a quiet, controlled erudition, lacing his performance with moments of black humor. His Lecter is a sort of satanic Sherlock Holmes whose spasms of violence are all the more terrifying because they erupt from beneath such an intelligent and refined mask.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

90 | Desson Thomson

A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria. It doesn't have to.
Read More: Washington Post

89 | Steve Davis

At long, long last: the real thing.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

88 | Roger Ebert

It has been a good long while since I have felt the presence of Evil so manifestly demonstrated as in the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

88 | James Berardinelli

Chilling and creepy, and there's no denying that the most celebrated aspect of the film -- the Clarice/Hannibal connection -- could not have been accomplished with greater skill.
Read More: ReelViews

70 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

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.
Read More: Chicago Reader

50 | Jay Scott

The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)