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The Silence of the Lambs
Year:
1991
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Jonathan Demme
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ted Levine as Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb
Frankie Faison as Barney Matthews
Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar as Pilcher
Dan Butler as Roden
Lawrence T. Wrentz as Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett as Friendly Psychopath in Cell
Frank Seals Jr. as Brooding Psychopath in Cell
Stuart Rudin as Miggs
Maria Skorobogatov as Clarice Starling
Diane Baker as Sen. Ruth Martin
Leib Lensky as Mr. Lang
George 'Red' Schwartz as Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)
Lawrence A. Bonney as FBI Instructor
Jeffrie Lane as Clarice's Father
Storyline: Young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter, who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator, has the answers to their questions and can help locate the killer. However, Clarice must first gain Lecter's confidence before the inmate will give away any information.
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Reviews
Fueled by it's atmosphere and great performances The Silence of the Lambs is a horror masterpiece
The Silence of the Lambs

Director: Jonathan Demme Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

I honestly feel bad sometimes for the people faint of heart. Not in an insulting way I just do. I love movies that can scare me and some of the greatest are great because of creepy atmosphere that creeps up on you and grabs you and throws you into a world where everything is mysterious and scary. This is one of those movies. Dr. Clarice Starling's (Jodie Foster) tale of finding the killer Buffalo Bill with the aid of the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is a creepy, well acted, and not for the faint of heart film that has many thrills in store for the viewer. The greatest thing that this film has to offer is the atmosphere. It's engrossing. The dark hallways,and the unblinking eyes of Hannibal Lector shake you to your core. That alone without the well done mystery could make the movie. Oh, but it is a good mystery. Jodie Foster is Clarice Starling a new FBI psychiatrist who is ordered to interview the cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for the purpose of finding a killer. Foster's character is optimistic and more upbeat. This is good because of the dark nature of the rest of the film. She's kind of like the balance for the creepy stuff happening, and light in the darkness. That also kind of help her character. See she's optimistic at first, but as time goes on she seems to fall deeper and deeper into this world her character changes to someone more hardened. This is perfect character development. Then there is Anthony Hopkins. This is one of my favorite performances of all time. He is unblinking,scary and smart. It's unsettling. Hopkins said that the way he played Hannibal Lecter was still. I now know why. See people are always moving and doing something. Lecter is completely still and extremely soft spoken. Even more menacing is that Lecter is actually smarter than Clarice. He outsmarts her. This just adds to the fact of how menacing he is. He's not the villain though. The real villain is a creepy transvestite murderer named Buffalo Bill. His story arch is interesting, but it comes to an abrupt close. He is scary none the less and is also a little weird. I mean a transvestite who… I'd rather not write it. It's messed up and the details will shock you. The actors really do drive the story and everything comes off very shocking and convincing. For better or worse.

The acting is really good,but so is everything else. The production design in this movie is grounded in reality,but still is creepy. The prison set that was built for the film looks very good and the darkness of the whole this adds to the atmosphere and makes everything pop. The camera-work is good, but also nothing special, yet at moments the camera having a staring contest with the wide eyes of Hannibal Lecter add to the sheer unsettling nature of the film.

This is overall an incredible movie. Scary, atmospheric, and chalk full of performances that are Oscar worthy (and won Oscars). I give The Silence of the Lambs a 9.8 out of 10 Seriously though it's really messed up.
2014-05-21
masterpiece
The film "The Silence of the Lambs" has changed a lot, above all, our standards. The audience drastically changed their view of the concept of a good thriller. Balanced center of gravity was found on the graphical violence but also the intellectual and psychological rally, where there was essentially what we are already showing what is sketchy, with the potential to happen. With each repeated viewing, we recognize the key elements behind the facade fascinating serial killer in order to discover a whole range of people of different walks of life, crossed in a single unattractive existence. Almost twenty-two years since first screening, "The Silence of the Lambs" remains the definition of thriller of our time. Too bad Jonathan Demme did not direct not nearly as good as this that today is undoubtedly a classic.
2015-11-16
One of the best filmed stories
The acting is of a very high level. Foster put down a good role as Clarice Starling and the supporting cast was very good (think of Buffalo Bill, for example). The star of the show is Anthony Hopkins. The role he put down here is really nothing less than genius. The dude is perfectly cast and is both friendly and polite, and very creepy and smart about it. I think it's an incredibly and fascinating character. Hannibal is for me one of the best psychopaths I've ever seen in a movie.

Overall I highly recommend this movie if you love thrillers and detectives because this is definitely one of the best in its category for me. And i think this movie is also in my top 10 films!!
2013-05-15
A most unusual treat.
"The Silence of the Lambs" will have to go down in history as one of the most ingenious movies of all time. After a string of bizarre murders, FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is hired to interview psychopath Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to find the perpetrator. In the process, we get to learn some very interesting things about both Starling and Lecter. The main thing is that, despite how vile Lecter is, we can't help but admire him. And I don't mean just because he's helping Clarice; something about the guy, you just gotta love him.

In case you're squeamish, I should remind you that this movie contains some very ugly scenes. But don't worry, director Jonathan Demme knows how to handle them. This masterful combination of acting, directing and writing helped "The Silence of the Lambs" win the top five Academy Awards, putting it in a league with only "It Happened One Night" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Watching the movie, you will agree that the movie deserved these awards. In fact, you just might want to have an old friend (over) for dinner.
2005-10-21
The granddaddy of all serial killer flicks
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is, quite simply, a breathtaking movie. It's the granddaddy of all serial killer flicks, a film that even the almost-as-good SE7EN can only aspire to, a movie that gets into the mind and soul of a serial killer like few others. It inspired a huge sub-genre of similar movies that came out during the 1990s and 2000s, and it's up there with Hitchcock's PSYCHO as one of the most gripping looks at the subject matter of all time.

Where to begin? There's a pitch-perfect Jodie Foster, gradually leading us into the depths of the storyline as the naive FBI agent, and the oft-overlooked Ted Levine who excels as the supremely skin-crawling Buffalo Bill. Of course, the film is dominated by Anthony Hopkins, giving the best and most memorable performance of his career in just 16 minutes of screen time. Hopkins chills you to the bone in this, and Jonathan Demme's direction is a perfect match for his talents.

The storyline is engaging, ably mixing the criminal investigation strands with scenes involving the killers themselves. There are gory and monstrous set-pieces which make your flesh crawl while watching, yet it's all rather restrained and intellectual, a surprise given the subject matter. Most importantly, it's never less than gripping and completely frightening. A true masterpiece of a movie.
2014-05-11
Silence of the Lambs
Silence of the Lambs (1991) follows the story of the young and ambitious Clarice Starling in her attempt to apprehend the serial killer named "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine). Starling goes to the infamous Hannibal Lecter (nicknamed Hannibal the Cannibal for his exotic tastes). Clarice relies on Lecter for his expertise and knowledge about the mind of a serial killer. Whereas Hannibal toys with Clarice in order to amuse himself. Clarice and her fellow agents are forced to rely on the help of a killer in order to catch another.

Jodie Foster does an excellent job playing the young and eager Clarice. She portrays her Southern accent as often painfully obvious, which Lecter pounces upon as an insecurity. Foster speaks with a wavering voice at times, showing Clarice's inexperience and disgust with the crimes committed by Buffalo Bill. Hopkins is completely absorbed into the role of Hannibal Lecter. To create his creepy and psychotic persona he stares unblinkingly, forcing both the audience and Clarice to return his cold gaze. Hopkins keeps as still as possible while acting, looking like a snake poised to pounce upon less intelligent prey, and in comparison to Lecter everyone is less intelligent, and is therefore potential prey. Hopkins keeps a soft smirk on his lips throughout the film as if to say he knows something no one else does. The film's soundtrack is absolutely haunting and mysterious. It works well with the film to create tension and anxiety in the audience. However, the director (Jonathan Demme) knows when silence is just as powerful. In a tense scene in complete darkness we are left with no sound save for the heavy breathing of Buffalo Bill. The cinematography is excellent for this film. The colors of the film are gray and lifeless, which complement the film's dark subject matter. At pivotal moments the camera angle switches to first person. This view works perfectly when Clarice rounds the corner and sees Lecter for the first time. We are able to truly appreciate Lecter's piercing gaze, because we see it first hand through Clarice's eyes. The performances of Hopkins and Foster would have been flat if it were not for the well written script. The small anecdotal stories about Lecter help to build his character even before we meet him. Lecter's lines are meant to sound sophisticated and cultured in order to create his paradoxical character as a gentleman-psychopath. Buffalo Bill refers to his victims as "it" in an attempt to destroy their humanity in another example of brilliant writing.

A key strength in this film is its character development. Not just Lecter or Clarice's development, but their relationship itself. The audience watches as Lecter and Clarice grow closer and closer in a bizarre exchange not unlike two friends sharing secrets. As Clarice learns more from Lecter, so too does Lecter learn more about Clarice. The audience can see that Lecter values this relationship because he does not hunt her down for as Clarice puts it, "He would consider that rude".

Silence of the Lambs is a gripping and disturbing film, filled with fascinating characters. It remains a timeless horror film that draws from the darkest and foulest corner of humanity's existence. It is a terrifying movie because it reminds us that the monsters in our world are not imaginary, but could pass us on the street any day.
2016-02-22
Stunning and unforgettable cinema
Now over twenty years old, Silence of the Lambs is still one of the most intriguing films ever made. Ambitiously blurring the lines between the genres of horror, psychological thriller and crime drama, Silence is intense but not overpowering, and complex without ever losing sight of its grand narrative.

As with all great films, many components come together to create a masterpiece; excellent screenplay, directing, cinematography and musical score to name but a few. However for me, the acting is what makes Silence the unforgettable experience that it is. Jodie Foster's portrayal of the young and inexperienced FBI agent instructed to investigate the actions of a serial killer is as flawless as acting can be, inspiring many later performances from actresses in similar roles, and providing the audience with a first person narrative to stabilise some of the more horror-centred segments of the film.

Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter is equally magnificent. Despite appearing in less than a quarter of the film. his combination of intensity, calculated calmness and slow-burning character development without ever truly revealing the character's true history or even motivations, the audience is presented with, in my opinion, one of the greatest psychopath film characters of all time, breaking stereotypes of violent and out-of-control villains and creating something far more terrifying.

It is the lack of prolonged scenes of graphic violence, blood and torture that give Silence its edge over almost all other horror films. It is unassuming when watched for the first time, and slowly becomes increasingly fascinating, impossible to watch and not become totally immersed into this world which is, after all, the real purpose of fiction.

A timeless classic that will never lose its terrifying yet understated charm or relentless quest to redefine chilling and breathtaking cinema, this is a film that the viewer will dwell on long after the credits roll.
2015-03-04
Silence of the Lambs, an emotional ride of disbelief and terror
The 1991 suspense thriller, Silence of the Lambs, finds Clarice Starling, actress Jodi Foster, as a student at the FBI academy in Virginia. She's been chosen by her instructor, actor Lawrence Bonney, due to her noticeable keen senses, to visit with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, actor Anthony Hopkins, an incarcerated murderer. The intention is that Starling can use Lecter's insight into the mind of a murderer to find Buffalo Bill, actor Ted Levine, a serial killer whose victims are young girls.

The theme of this film is control or power. In the film Clarice Starling is controlled by her drive to succeed as an FBI agent. She also has not found the power to control her memories of her childhood and the screaming of the lambs, which through her dealings with Dr. Lector she realizes. Ironically Dr. Lector himself, through his ability to manipulate minds, is perfectly able to control any and all situations; even through his incarceration has the power to affect others. Buffalo Bill on the other hand believes himself to be a transsexual and had been turned down for sex change surgeries from all major hospitals in the area. Therefore, his only way to express his control was by abducting young girls and murdering them and using their skin to create a woman's body. Ironically enough there is a pattern here. The majority of the power and control struggles are between Clarice and the men throughout her life and the story line, and with Buffalo Bill and his sexuality, and the young girls that he kills.

The lighting and the angles used in the basement scene where Agent Starling was in the home of Buffalo Bill attempting to arrest him also aided to the theme of control. Buffalo Bill had shut off the lighting to the basement, leaving Starling unable to see a thing. Consequently, Buffalo Bill had on night goggles and was able to see every move Starling made. A terrified Starling scrambled around the basement, although blinded, searching for Bill. Finally, the simple sound of the trigger of Bill's gun being pulled back was all it took for Starling to locate bill and shoot the deadly shots that ended his terror (Bloch 1960). The overall lighting of the scenes throughout the film also aided to the theme of control. Early on the scenes tend to be more dark and dismal, but it seemed as though as Clarice gained more control, by having increased confidence, more insight, more acknowledgment from Crawford, and more trust from Lector, and got closer to solving the crime, the lighting itself became brighter throughout.

The plot of the movie is to find a missing girl in West Virginia and to end serial killer Buffalo Bill's rampage. Special agent Jack Crawford, actor Scott Glenn, chose Cadet Clarice Starling for the task of interviewing a psychotic murderer Dr. Hannibal Lector in hopes that he could aid in the arrest of Buffalo Bill. Throughout the film Starling runs into obstacles and snares that seem to stand in her way, however her drive in solving the crime is stronger than those things standing in her way. One such obstacle is Dr. Frederick Chilton, actor Anthony Heald. Dr. Chilton is, to me, a little squeaky, weasel type character. He is out for self gain only and is trying to use Lector and his knowledge for his own benefit. Ultimately, Dr. Chilton met his doom in the end of the film by none other than Dr. Lector himself. After a botched attempt, at the direction of Jack Crawford, to find the most recent missing girl, Crawford and Starling were not permitted to speak to Lecter further. However that did not stop her from attempting to find and speak to him in attempt to find the killer. Although the male FBI agents had their leads, Starling had her own, and she was the one that ultimately solved the case.

I can compare the theme of control and power of this film to that of Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. This film also has heavy displays of gender and power. The circumstances that stand out to me most are that of mental illness displayed in both films, the way that Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill have similar conflicts and are somewhat trapped in their roles and act out in a sinister way. There is one particular scene that I recall that immediately brought to mind the comparison of the two films. The scene where they were reviewing pictures of some of Buffalo Bill's victims showed a young girl lying face down, naked. Her eyes were wide open (Bloch 1960), and as they showed a close up of that picture I instantly saw the shower scene where Janet Lee lay on the bathroom floor, eyes wide open, and the shower water running (Bloch, 1960).

Overall, I rate this movie very high. The suspense thriller allows the viewer to enter into the minds of Agent Starling, Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill. It exhibits the affects of control and power, be it strong and weak, psychologically stable or unstable, educated or uneducated, male or female. Silence of the Lambs, takes us on an emotional ride of disbelief and terror as we see the story unfold.
2014-05-03
A Suspenseful Masterpice
What separates this movie from other horror movies is, nowadays horror movies have lots of gore and blood. But this one had scary dialog, and real suspense.

Hannibal Lecter really got me! I mean he was described as a psychopath and he looked calm, then he showed us his true colors!

"Buffalo Bill" was crafty and crazy! The only thing he shows affection for is his poodle "Precious"

Clarice Starling proved that she has what it takes to be a professional when she used her skills to track down the sadistic "Buffalo Bill".

For these reasons and more this movie will remain a suspenseful masterpiece.
2012-08-04
Brilliant! Amazing! The best thriller of the 90's!
First of all I have to say that "The Silence of the Lambs" is the film which inspired all the serial-killer films of the 90's (good ones like "Se7en" and silly ones like "Kiss the Girls"). But "The Silence of the Lambs" has many things the other thrillers don't have.

In this film we can see two of the best performances ever. Anthony Hopkins is just perfect as Hannibal Lecter, and so is Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling. The dialogues between these two characters are brilliant, and so is the whole screenplay.

The film has a great story which explores deeply the main characters. It is not just a serial-killer story, but above all a deep dramatic thriller.

"The Silence of the Lambs" impressed me so much that I've watched it many times.

So if you hadn't watched it, take your time and see it.

Surely one of the best films ever made.

Rating: 10/10

I heard that Ridley Scott is about to direct the sequel of "The Silence of the Lambs", with Sarah Michelle Gellar as Clarice Starling. Well... I truly love Sarah and she's one of the greatest actresses of her generation. But we see Clarice Starling as Jodie Foster and, you know, many people will compare Sarah's acting with Jodie's.
1999-10-09
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