Hannibal

  • Review Date: June 25, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002

Common Sense Media says

Thoroughly distasteful. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: June 25, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2002

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A physically disabled, disfigured, revenge-crazed character claims to be a born-again Christian, although what he practices is anything but. The rural-born Clarice Starling is taunted as

Violence

People are eaten by pigs, sliced with razors and medical instruments, hanged, shot, and hit by cars. One individual's brain is exposed--while he's still alive. (You don't want to know what happens to him next.) Danger of violent death/dismemberment by ei

Sex

Verbal references to homosexuality, child-molestation, and sexual harassment. Fleeting nudity, among the Florence Opera chorus and in drawings and evidence photos.

Language

Slight, but it includes derogatory references to female genitals.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that various characters face cruel death -- their own or their loved ones'. The heroine is rejected by the law enforcement agency she serves. Later she finds herself stalked, drugged, imprisoned, and threatened with amputation by a love-struck killer. Danger of violent death/dismemberment by either slow torture (including devouring by other humans or wild animals) or quick evisceration. A hideously scarred villain's visage fills the screen. A physically disabled, disfigured, revenge-crazed character claims to be a born-again Christian, although what he practices is anything but. The rural-born Clarice Starling is taunted as "tornado-bait trailer-park white trash." Dr. Lecter expresses his love by tormenting the virtuous heroine. Slight profanity, but it includes derogatory references to female genitals. Characters dwell on revenge in various hideous forms. References to drug use. Verbal references to homosexuality, child-molestation, and sexual harassment. Fleeting nudity, among the Florence Opera chorus and in drawings and evidence photos. People are eaten by pigs, sliced with razors and medical instruments, hanged, shot, and hit by cars. One individual's brain is exposed -- while he's still alive.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

HANNIBAL is set 10 years after its prequel, The Silence of the Lambs, left off. Agent Starling (now played by Julianne Moore), is taken off field work and put back on Hannibal Lecter's case.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's a bit of an overstatement (and a really sick pun) to say that many viewers will find Hannibal thoroughly distasteful. Indeed, the climactic murder and epilogue are especially repellent. Excellent performances and literate dialogue place this material on a rung above all of those Nightmare on Elm Street or Scream sequels--beloved by teenagers -- in which gore takes on a carnival-spookhouse dimension, and audiences are invited to laugh at the bloodletting. The sadism's not funny here, except maybe when the erudite Lecter utters an easygoing "okey-doke" before killing someone. Even Lecter's victims -- especially Mason Verger -- are thoroughly creepy. Lecter's code of conduct, according to a former prison guard who actually became friendly with him, is to "eat the rude." Keep that in mind as you watch how filmmakers can transform the predatory serial killer into a hero -- as long as his targets look like they deserve their fates.

Fortunately, in this dark and often jumbled world (thanks to a globetrotting, somewhat confused narrative), FBI Agent Starling serves as an incorruptible force, determined to enforce the law fairly (even to the point of protecting Lecter). Hannibal's gruesome, much-discussed ending centers around whether Starling will join in Lecter's (literal) thirst for blood as his mate, or resist the seductive madman's evil to the very end. Jodie Foster read the Thomas Harris novel, but then declined to play Starling a second time (even after winning an Oscar for the role in Silence of the Lambs). Note: The movie alters the novel's ending.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Agent Starling's moral stance.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 27, 2002
DVD release date:October 27, 2002
Cast:Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore
Director:Ridley Scott
Studio:MGM/UA
Genre:Thriller
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:stong gruesome violence, some nudity and language

This review of Hannibal was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written bythe phantom April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 15 years old Written byDVS Cable Polenin April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I luv this movie! :P

I rekon this movie was awesome. i loved it. the violence to me wasnt really all that bad. id say the worst part is where you see hannible cuts open someones head and then begins frying his brains. it sounds really yucky and gross but its not as bad as it seems..before i watched the movie i was really worried kinda thing thinking it would be a really horrifying movie. it turned out to be much different than i expected. if your not big on violence then i dont reccomend you watch it, otherwise good ahead.

Teen, 15 years old Written byWay2Dramatic April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Wow, was this gross.

This movie still is pretty good, although there is no comparison between it and The Silence of the Lambs. The only main issue here is violence. Let me start by saying I don't get grossed out eaisly. Yet there is one scene involing a brain (I won't go into detail for the sake of whoever is reading this) and it had my stomache doing backflips for the next 12 hours. There are also people who are eaten by pigs, hung, disembowled, peel off their face (most of it is not seen because of the way the cinematography is) and a big shoot out. I say if you ever get grossed out, DON'T WATCH IT.

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