The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Silence of the Lambs1991

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)



Critic Consensus: Director Jonathan Demme's smart, taut thriller teeters on the edge between psychological study and all-out horror, and benefits greatly from stellar performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster.

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Movie Info

In this multiple Oscar-winning thriller, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy whose shrewd analyses of serial killers lands her a special assignment: the FBI is investigating a vicious murderer nicknamed Buffalo Bill, who kills young women and then removes the skin from their bodies. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into this case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out. Lecter does indeed know something of Buffalo Bill, but his information comes with a price: in exchange for telling what he knows, he wants to be housed in a more comfortable facility. More important, he wants to speak with Clarice about her past. He skillfully digs into her psyche, forcing her to reveal her innermost traumas and putting her in a position of vulnerability when she can least afford to be weak. The film mingles the horrors of criminal acts with the psychological horrors of Lecter's slow-motion interrogation of Clarice and of her memories that emerge from it. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Jodie Foster
as Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins
as Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Scott Glenn
as Jack Crawford
Ted Levine
as Jame Gumb
Anthony Heald
as Dr. Frederick Chilton
Diane Baker
as Sen. Ruth Martin
Kasi Lemmons
as Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith
as Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar
as Pilcher
Danny Darst
as Sgt. Tate
Charles Napier
as Lt. Boyle
Cynthia Ettinger
as Off. Jacobs
Brent Hinkley
as Officer Murray
Roger Corman
as FBI Director Hayden Burke
Chris Isaak
as SWAT Commander
Ron Vawter
as Paul Krendler
Lawrence A. Bonney
as FBI Instructor
Lawrence T. Wrentz
as Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett
as Friendly Psychopath
Frank Seals Jr.
as Brooding Psychopath
Masha Skorobogatov
as Young Clarice
Jeffrie Lane
as Clarice's Father
Leib Lensky
as Mr. Lang
George "Red" Schwartz
as Mr. Lang's Driver
Jim Roche
as TV Evangelist
James B. Howard
as Boxing Instructor
Bill Miller
as Mr. Brigham
Chuck Aber
as Agent Terry
Pat McNamara
as Sheriff Perkins
George Michael
as TV Sportscaster
Kenneth Utt
as Dr. Akin
Adelle Lutz
as TV Anchor Woman
Obba Babatundé
as TV Anchor Man
George Micheal
as TV Sportscaster
Jim Dratfield
as Senator Martin's Aide
Stanton D. Miranda
as Reporter #1
Rebecca Saxon
as Reporter #2
Steve Wyatt
as Airport Flirt
David Earle
as Spooked Memphis Cop
Alex Coleman
as Sergeant Pembry
David L. Early
as Spooked Memphis Cop
Andre B. Blake
as Tall Memphis Cop
Bill Dalzell III
as Distraught Memphis Cop
Daniel von Bargen
as SWAT Communicator
Tommy Lafitte
as SWAT Shooter
Josh Broder
as EMS Attendant
Buzz Kilman
as EMS Driver
Harry Northrup
as Mr. Bimmel
Lauren Roselli
as Stacy Hubka
Lamont Arnold
as Flower Delivery Man
George A. Romero
as Memphis FBI Agent
John Hall
as State Trooper
Chad Dowdell
as Scared Man (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Silence of the Lambs

All Critics (105) | Top Critics (34)

I remembered that Lecter toyed with her as not just a trainee but a younger woman... I had no sense of how baked into every frame of the movie Clarice's awareness of her femininity is.

February 19, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It is competent melodrama spun off from a fiendishly clever book.

February 3, 2020 | Full Review…

Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs has everything you want in a popular thriller. It's stylish, intelligent, audacious rather than shocking, and stolen by a suave monster you'll never forget.

April 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Hopkins' performance is spectacularly unnerving and should win him future award nominations. Holding her own against Hopkins' hare is Jodie Foster as the tenacious, tortoise-like trainee.

February 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Anthony Hopkins is devastatingly demonic in Jonathan Demme's truly horrifying thriller.

January 2, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Are these the laws of desire in a decaying culture built on the husks of atrophied ideals, where longing is a destructive touch and relationships are made out of perverse torment?

November 6, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Silence of the Lambs

i really enjoyed the hannable lecter films and i loved this one i find them really good and entertaing i think there worth a watch for anyone who likes thrillers

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

This breathtaking psychological thriller and terrific character study should always be remembered for its iconic depiction of one of the most fascinating monsters ever created, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and it deserved every award it won, although Ted Levine should have also been remembered for his fantastic performance.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A stunning and scintillating thriller with remarkable characters portrayed larger than life by Foster and Hopkins.

Adriel Lim
Adriel Lim

Super Reviewer

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