Friday, November 26, 2010

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 10 out of 10
Director: Jonathan Demme
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Scott Glen
Rated: R
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Run Time:118 minutes
Prequel: Manhunter (1986), Red Dragon (2002), Hannibal Rising (2007)
Sequel: Hannibal (2001)

The Silence of the Lambs has been sitting somewhere at the bottom of my movie list for a very long time.  I'm usually not the best with horror films, so this was one that I staunchly decided that I would never actually watch, seeing as I had no one to watch it with (ah, excuses, excuses!)  And, up until this point, I didn't even really know what the movie was about!  All I had to go off of was the iconic image of Anthony Hopkins in a straight jacket and bite mask, but since I was unfamiliar with the plot, this meant nothing to me.

So, I finally saw the film thanks to my wonderful roommate's comments of quid pro quo, and attempts to freak me out by telling me about Silence.  I finally decided that it would just be a good idea to see the movie.  I LOVED IT!  It was one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time!  Graphic?  Yes (perhaps too much for me).  Suspenseful?  Yes.  Thrilling?  Yes.  If you're a fan of crime drama or suspense, have a strong stomach, and don't faint at the sight of blood (or Anthony Hopkins), then this is the film for you!

A brief summary is in order: Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a young FBI trainee who is trying to track down serial killer "Buffalo Bill," (Ted Levine) who kills his victims and then skins them.  To do so, she must enlist the help of captured serial killer and cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).  In return, however, Dr. Lecter requests a quid pro quo: the right to "pick her mind," uncovering painful memories from her childhood.  The question hanging in the air during almost the entire movie: Does Hannibal Lecter know the identity of Buffalo Bill?  And if he does, will he give up the information before yet another victim dies?

I can't recommend this film enough, although I want to warn you that its not for the faint of heart.  There are some pretty nasty scenes in here, but I'd say its worth it to see an amazing performance by Hopkins, Foster, and Levine.  Hopkins was especially memorable as the sophisticated sociopath.  And I'd love to see more of his movies specifically because of this one!

All in all, 10 out of 10 for this film.  And hopefully, the other movies in this series will soon be popping up on this blog, since I had requests from one of my film buff friends that he would like to see the others, too.  (And of course, its always nicer to watch a movie with someone else, even if they do laugh at all the scary scenes and scare you during the suspenseful ones....)

**This movie has 3 bonus features!**


  1. I agree - this is the perfect thriller. Many thrillers over the years have tried to capture its mesmerizing sense of menace and suspense, but none can surpass it. Hell, even the sequels couldn't. On a short list of good thrillers that includes "In the Line of Fire," "Collateral," and "Panic Room," this one will forever be right on top.

    I also have to mention that I like how you picked up on Levine's performance. In a film led by brilliant acting, Buffalo Bill frequently has fallen in between the cracks. But his performance is at least nearly as haunting - if not way more menacing - than Hopkins.

    Overall, great review!

  2. We still need to see "Hannibal" and "Red Dragon."


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