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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Trauma during WWII produces Hannibal the Cannibal; his fierce Trauma during WWII produces Hannibal the Cannibal; his fierce fixation on vengeance leads to serial murder and decapitation; though he understands he is "wrong," he persists.
Violence & Scariness
Brutal violence and bloody results. Wartime explosions, shooting, fires. Children witness their mother's fatal injury in an explosion, and their father is shot dead in front of them. An SS officer is shot in the head; wolves eat dead parents; Grutas eats a bird, showing his bloody mouth; Grutas threatens children with hatchet; villains eat little sister (off-screen, but fragmented memory repeats throughout, with screams and disturbing images); stabbings with forks, knives, swords; martial arts with poles; bloody wound stitched in close-up; several decapitations; repeated references to losing families in war; villain is squeezed to death by rope (blood splats on Hannibal's face, and he tastes it); Hannibal drowns a man; Grutas shoots Hannibal and another character; fight includes burning hand on stovetop; head is stabbed from chin through the top (seen from back); man squished between boat and dock (end is off-screen); Hannibal stabs villain's legs repeatedly, carves "M" in his chest, then eats his cheeks.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual attraction between Hannibal and his aunt by marriage (brief, passionate kiss between them); verbal references to Lady Murasaki's "p--y" Grutas keeps a sex slave and forces her to bathe him in a tub; he appears out of the tub with a towel around his waist; Grutas licks Lady Murasaki's face, then puts his finger near her crotch and straddles her on a chair (very ugly threat of rape).
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"F--k," "hell," "bitch," and sexual slang ("p--y," "d--k"). Disparagement of a Jew.
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Products & Purchases
Hennessey Cognac sign.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes frequently; villains (including Hannibal) drink liquor and wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this bloody Silence of the Lambs prequel isn't for kids. Since it's about the "birth" of famously evil character Hannibal the Cannibal, it's no surprise that it's all about brutality (usually involving swords and knives) and cannibalism. Other violent scenes include wartime shootings and explosions, stabbings, decapitations (heads are prominently displayed and bloody), and a drowning (a man is locked in a hospital corpse tank). Villains also drink, smoke cigarettes, and abuse women (bruises on one victim). A few uses of "f--k," plus rude sexual slang. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The deaths are grotesque and the blood splatty, but Hannibal the movie doesn't demonstrate the cultural sophistication that Hannibal the character will later develop. (If Silence of the Lambs is any indication, that is.) Here, he's a bitter, anxious boy-man, a medical student who prepares cadavers for other students' autopsies -- discovering as he does so not only his pleasure in such activities, but also his gift. He is a grandly self-absorbed killer. When at last Murasaki begs him to stop, he cannot. His reason always: "They ate my sister." It's a terrible refrain and leads to a revolting psychosis. You can't help but miss Anthony Hopkins, whose sly wit alleviated at least some of Hannibal's thudding brutality.
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Our Editors Recommend
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