Critic Reviews

85

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Variety
A mesmerizing thriller that will grip audiences from first scene to last.
100
San Francisco Chronicle
The interplay between Starling and Lector as they share an indefinable, dark understanding gives the film its unforgettable and unsettling power. [14 February 1991, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
100
Rolling Stone
The superbly crafted suspense thriller…slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror.
100
USA Today
A movie with this kind of haunting power comes along only once every decade or so. [20 February 1991, Life, p.11D]
90
Hopkins plays the cannibalistic doctor with a quiet, controlled erudition, lacing his performance with moments of black humor. His Lecter is a sort of satanic Sherlock Holmes whose spasms of violence are all the more terrifying because they erupt from beneath such an intelligent and refined mask.
90
A smart, restrained entertainment, it doesn't splash around in blood and hysteria. It doesn't have to.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
It has been a good long while since I have felt the presence of Evil so manifestly demonstrated as in the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.
70
Chicago Reader
An accomplished, effective, grisly, and exceptionally sick slasher film that I can't with any conscience recommend, because the purposes to which it places its considerable ingenuity are ultimately rather foul.
70
The New Republic
Demme's pacing is tight throughout, marred only by some low-angle close-ups of the cannibal that are right out of old Vincent Price thrillers. [Feb 18, 1991]
50
Chicago Tribune
Billed as one of the most frightening, depraved films ever made. Would that it were so. Instead, this is a case of much ado about nothing. [15 February 1991, Friday, p.C]

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