Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Silence of the Lambs

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Thriller that made the serial killer a superstar.

Movie R 1991 118 minutes
The Silence of the Lambs Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 39 parent reviews

age 17+

Iconic Horror flick that is too disturbing for kids

This film is an iconic horror film that is still scary even today. It's not so much in your face scary as it is disturbing. I didn't rate it 17 plus for violence because there are only a few very violent scenes and almost no language. I rated it 17 plus because the story is just so disturbing and complex. It's not as disturbing as Saw or the Human Centipede, but it still does have a certain scariness to it in the sense that this could actually happen in the real world, and many things like it have happened. Wait until your child is at Least 16 if not 17 to watch it, and definitely don't watch it with mom.
2 people found this helpful.
age 17+

must watch

this movie to me is one of those that gave me the more uneasy feeling but that’s what i believe in what makes a good scary movie. be careful who you watch it though because it may be too scary for them . it kinda left my mom terrified to even hear the title of the movie lol! i personally loved it though . a classic and has great factors for wanting a scary thriller movie. This movie does include nudity and a ‘solo’ sexual scene with a man so keep in mind.

This title has:

Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (39 ):
Kids say (132 ):

Anthony Hopkins plays Lecter with magisterial authority and aplomb, resulting in a box-office smash that won the Best Picture Oscar and made Hannibal Lecter a much-imitated screen icon. Apart from the visceral suspense and grisly police antics, this film's strength is its girl power; a very sympathetic heroine interacts with the serpentine Lecter and then goes out to fight another human monster, in environments heavy with male-oriented threat and authority (indeed, you can say that the horrendous Lecter treats Clarice with more courtesy and respect than the so-called "normal" men around her). The Silence of the Lambs thus has a complicated sense of virtue and evil coming to bargain with each other.

While the unfortunate consequence glorified a villain in the public mind, the narrative does indeed possess a moral center. Too bad you have to go through the autopsy scenes to reach it.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate