The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Movie Review

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Poster

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

1991 | R | Thriller, Drama, Crime
118 minutes / 1h 58min

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The Silence of the Lambs Plot Synopsis:

FBI trainee Clarice Starling works hard to advance her career, while trying to hide/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 asks her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist imprisoned, thus far, for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer 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 chose her, as a woman, to be able to trigger some emotional response from Lecter. After speaking to Lecter for the first time, she realizes that everything with him will be a psychological game, with her often having to read between the very cryptic lines he provides. She has to decide how much she will play along, as his request in return for talking to him is to expose herself emotionally to him. The case takes a more dire turn when a sixth victim is discovered, this one from who they are able to retrieve a key piece of evidence, if Lecter is being forthright as to its meaning. A potential seventh victim is high profile Catherine Martin, the daughter of Senator Ruth Martin, which places greater scrutiny on the case as they search for a hopefully still alive Catherine. Who may factor into what happens is Dr. Frederick Chilton, the warden at the prison, an opportunist who sees the higher profile with Catherine, meaning a higher profile for himself if he can insert himself successfully into the proceedings.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Review

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) is an American crime thriller that is based on Thomas Harris’ novel, The Silence of the Lambs (1988) which is his second novel to feature Hannibal Lecter. Hannibal is a cannibalistic serial killer and an intelligent psychiatrist. The Silence of the Lambs had a budget of $19 million and grossed over $272.7 million worldwide. Worth mentioning that this film is loosely based on the infamous Wisconsin Serial Killer, Ed Gein. The movie contains sexual references, nudity, serial killer, gross graphic images, violence, bad language, thrills, suspense, drama, action and frightening scenes. Director Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia (1993), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Rachel Getting Married (2008)) did an extraordinary job executing Ted Tally‘s (Red Dragon (2002), All the Pretty Horses (2000), The Juror (1996)) screenplay.

The Silence of the Lambs revolves around Clarice Starling, who is a young FBI trainee interviewing/seeking advice from cannibalistic imprisoned serial killer Dr. Lecter so that she can capture another serial killer. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn - The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Training Day (2001), The Bourne Legacy (2012)) works for the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit. Jack assigned Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster - Panic Room (2002), Elysium (2013), Inside Man (2006)) to interview Hannibal Lecter, who is an incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer and a former psychiatrist. Clarice needs information from Hannibal, who is incarcerated at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane so that she can find a serial killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill loves to skin his female victims. It did not take for long for Hannibal (Anthony Hopkins - Hannibal (2001), Thor (2011), Red Dragon (2002), The Elephant Man (1980)) to grow furious over Clarice trying to figure him out. Hannibal gave her information about an old patient of his who turns out to be linked to Buffalo Bill.

Buffalo Bill kidnaps Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith - Interstellar (2014), In Her Shoes (2005), Series 7: The Contenders (2001)) who is a U.S. Senator’s daughter. After a series of events, Hannibal is out on the loose and the action starts as Clarice has her hand full with serial killer issues and nightmares from her childhood. With all said, this movie was exceptional that excelled in many ways. I gave this film a nine because of the few minor plot holes, goofs, and minor blemishes it had. The movie was a treat in every other possible way with above than average acting, exceptional cinematography, A+ special effects and makeup, top notch editing, and excellent dialogue.

  • The Silence of the Lambs Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 9
  • Overall Score: 8.91
  • IMDB: 8.6
  • MetaCritic: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 9.5

About The Silence of the Lambs 1991

Title: The Silence of the Lambs
Year: 1991
Runtime: 118 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Crime
Score: 4.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 4.46/5 stars from 1,079,385 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 1,079,385
MPAA Rating: R
The Silence of the Lambs Cast Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Frankie Faison, John W. Iwanonkiw, Ted Levine, Tracey Walter, George A. Romero, David Early, Don Brockett, Daniel von Bargen, Lamont Arnold, Jodie Foster, Darla, Kasi Lemmons, Roger Corman, Obba Babatund√©, Paul Lazar, Gene Borkan, Adelle Lutz, Brent Hinkley, Stuart Rudin, Scott Glenn, Brooke Smith, Anthony Heald, Obba Babatundé, Chuck Aber, Tommy Lafitte, Brian Miller, Cynthia Ettinger, Jason Menz, Lawrence T. Wrentz
The Silence of the Lambs Writers: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally
The Silence of the Lambs Director: Jonathan Demme
Production: Orion Pictures Corporation
Language: English
Country: USA