Hannibal

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Hannibal Movie Poster Image
Thoroughly distasteful. Not for kids.
  • R
  • 2002
  • 131 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 17 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to drug use.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bytuxswarm March 6, 2021

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... Continue reading
Adult Written byRarityfan2019 November 22, 2019

Tasty

This is dark Peppa Pig Youtube long before it was cool. People being eaten alive by pigs, a brain scene and more.
Teen, 15 years old Written byWay2Dramatic April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byNoahMark June 24, 2021

Not as scary as People say

The movie had some scenes you would Think a litlle about but The only like scary Scene is The last one were he feeds him The brain

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?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

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

Movie details

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