Parents' Guide to


By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Thoroughly distasteful. Not for kids.

Movie R 2002 131 minutes
Hannibal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 18+


This is dark Peppa Pig Youtube long before it was cool. People being eaten alive by pigs, a brain scene and more.
age 15+

Gory but interesting

This movie has a lot of gory scenes ( boar are eating animals, Dr Lecter kills and eat someone's brain...) However, the plot and the relationship between Lecter and Starling are interesting. Enjoy!!!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (14 ):

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.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 27, 2002
  • On DVD or streaming: October 27, 2002
  • Cast: Anthony Hopkins , Gary Oldman , Julianne Moore
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: MGM/UA
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Run time: 131 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: stong gruesome violence, some nudity and language
  • Last updated: April 5, 2023

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