Hannibal Movie Review

Release: 2001, Rating: R, Runtime: 131 min.


The Hannibal book is a big disappointment; that’s easy to see if you’ve read my Hannibal book review. However, much to my surprise (it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it), the Hannibal movie managed to remove all the unnecessary crap from the book and changed the ending for the better. It may still be a long movie, with some flaws, but it sure as hell beats the book. If you would like a nice meal, read on for a tasty treat…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Hannibal returns to America and attempts to make contact with disgraced Agent Starling and survive a vengeful victim’s plan. 

Hannibal picks up 10 years after The Silence of the Lambs and replaces Jodie Foster with Julianne Moore, as Clarice Starling (more on this later). Clarice is still with the FBI and managed to get into a hot mess, when a shoot out goes south. The higher ups at the FBI, use her as a sacrificial lamb and thanks to Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta), she is about to lose her job. However, the only known survivor of Hannibal Lecter, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman in a role that will have you amazed that it’s him), would like to talk to Clarice Starling, to find out more about Hannibal and possibly use her to bring him in. You see, Hannibal has been missing for those 10 years and Mason wants his revenge. So, Clarice is now getting roped up in the hunt for Hannibal Lecter.

We jump to Florence, where we find out what Hannibal has been up to. (So far, the book is being followed closely, but has removed a good portion of the unnecessary crap, with no testosterone jacked sister to be found.) Hannibal is going under the name of Dr. Fell and is in the running to be the next library curator, thanks to the unusual disappearance of the last curator. Due to this disappearance, Chief Inspector Renaldo Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini), has a talk with Hannibal and starts to suspect something about him. Now Hannibal Lecter’s identity is in jeopardy and not everyone is going to make it out alive.

I won’t spoil much more of the movie (although I’m sure most people have seen it, but you know, I would rather be nice if you haven’t seen it). The movie runs a little long at 131 minutes and drags a little come the second half, which does lend itself to the awfulness of the book. Honestly, any fault with this movie, falls squarely on the book. The movie does it’s best to fix whatever is unnecessary, but still manages to fall a little flat, when compared to The Silence of the Lambs. Still, Anthony Hopkins returning as Hannibal Lecter, is a wonderful thing and he seems to be having an absolute blast with the role.

As for Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling. She might not be as great as Jodie Foster in the role, but the Clarice here is supposed to be different, she is brass and comes off hard assed and that to me is how I pictured Clarice maturing. Julianne Moore does an admiral job taking over and damn does she look good in that black dress!

Hannibal beats the living shit out of the book. It reworks that crappy ending and provides something a hell of a lot better and manages to not tarnish the characters. It does become long, but come the end, it was an enjoyable trip. It might not beat Lambs, but no Hannibal Lecter movie* will.

*As for the TV series, Hannibal, it’s definitely doing the right thing to be the best Hannibal Lecter related material ever.


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10 years ago

Unnecessary crap that the book had?? Are you out of your fucking mind? What Thomas Harris thought of in the book was pure genius. It is definitely more impressive than the movie. I don't know why you even wrote this.

Michael Tatlock
10 years ago

I take it you didn't read my book review of Hannibal. I wasn't a huge fan of the book and really disliked a lot of the stuff Thomas Harris added to it, especially when compared to the wonderful Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs novels.

As I'm sure you're probably aware, this is just my opinion and I knew not everyone would agree, as it does seem like a good amount of people liked the book better. I must be in a small, weird group. Haha. Thanks though for checking out my review and commenting. 🙂

1 year ago

Hannibal is farcical turd compared to Silence of the Lambs! One has a feeling that Harris just got sick of writing about Lecter so he chose an ending for Hannibal to ensure the publishers won’t harass him anymore- and he did it in spectacular fashion! Aside from the full-frontal anti-German propaganda peppered in the Lecter series of books- which I thought was absolutely unnecessary and perhaps it has to be included in order to satisfy the Jewish masters at Hollywood if the books were to be adapted into films- either way, I reject the f*cking farcical propaganda and only enjoy… Read more »

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