7.2/10
252,008
816 user 200 critic

Red Dragon (2002)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.

Director:

Brett Ratner

Writers:

Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
1,261 ( 265)
4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Edward Norton ... Will Graham
Ralph Fiennes ... Francis Dolarhyde
Harvey Keitel ... Jack Crawford
Emily Watson ... Reba McClane
Mary-Louise Parker ... Molly Graham
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Freddy Lounds
Anthony Heald ... Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ken Leung ... Lloyd Bowman
Frankie Faison ... Barney Matthews
Tyler Patrick Jones ... Josh Graham
Lalo Schifrin ... Conductor
Tim Wheater Tim Wheater ... Flautist
John Rubinstein ... Dinner Guest
David Doty David Doty ... Dinner Guest
Edit

Storyline

After escaping death by the skin of his teeth while on the hunt for the elusive madman, Dr Hannibal Lecter, the now-retired and emotionally scarred FBI agent, Will Graham, finds himself back in action. Reluctantly, as yet another monstrous serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy" terrorises Baltimore, Graham turns to Lecter, the evil mastermind who's been under lock and key for three long years, to lend a hand in this challenging and time-sensitive case. But, to delve deep into the demented mind of a killer, one must first face his inner demons, and Will already knows that his insane imprisoned assistant is a gifted manipulator. Can Graham find the horrifying Red Dragon in time before another family suffers? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FBI Agent Will Graham Is About to Enter the Mind of a Killer. He Must First Let Hannibal Lecter Inside His Head. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Brett Ratner originally wanted Michael Mann, the director of Manhunter (1986), to do a cameo as a taxi driver in this movie. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 26 mins) At the point when Reba McLane is examining the sedated tiger her wristwatch watch reads 11:20 (though the hour hand is out of sync). However 30 seconds later on the same scene, the veterinary assistant's wristwatch watch reads just before 11 o'clock. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hannibal Lecter: Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state, fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation See more »

Connections

References Get Shorty (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude in F minor
(uncredited)
from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier II
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
[played during Lecter's dinner]
See more »

User Reviews

 
Another great film that slipped under the radar of most
3 July 2006 | by mattrochmanSee all my reviews

This was a fantastic film, but it slipped under many people's radar for three reasons:

1) The critics said (and rightly so) that it is not as good as the Silence of the Lambs. However, I find it difficult to compare the films, largely because Will Graham (Norton) is completely different to Clarice Starling (Foster). The different dimension they bring to the investigation is enough, by itself, to distinguish them beyond comparison.

2) This was the third film in the series. The problem with the Hollywood pumping out an absurd number of sequels and prequels (even when the original film was terrible to begin with) is that it alters the public's attitude towards them. People are usually happy to see the "part 2" but beyond that, you're usually down to loyalists. In fact, this situation has been made worse due to the fact that many of the sequels made are shockingly bad (eg, the American Pie sequels, the Highlander sequels). Some are so terrible that they can actually tarnish the memory of the original (eg... Matrix Revolutions). So a third Hannibal film was always going to be an uphill battle.

3) This followed an awful sequel: Hannibal. People who thought Hannibal was terrible (and there's no shortage of them) are likely to turn their nose up at any further sequels or prequels. That's what Hollywood always overlooks - once you pump out one bad sequel (eg, Ocean's Twelve 2004), fewer people will even consider seeing the next sequel, unless it receives almost unanimous critical acclaim.

I did not like Hannibal either and I think that many stars in Hollywood would have turned it down after reading the script. Jodie Foster, with the offer of reprising her academy awarding winning role, and Jon Demme (director of Silence of the lambs) walked away from the Hannibal after disagreements with author (Harris) over the character directions. Hopkins nearly left when Foster and Demme walked, but was persuaded to stay (probably with a nice salary increase!). In any case, key elements were gone and in my view, they ultimately failed to attract a strong supporting cast.

By contrast, I think many actors would have been falling over themselves to land one of the roles in Red Dragon after reading the script. Accordingly, we ended up with Hopkins (reprising his academy award winning role to absolute perfection), Norton (who is the rightful winner of the academy award for American History X in my view, even though the academy went to someone else that year), Harvey Keitel, Ralph Finnes and the brilliant, but under-rated, Phillip Seymore Hoffman. They combine to breath tremendous life into this investigative/thriller. And the opening 5 minutes is magnificent.

However, I have two criticisms that cost it a star. First, it wasn't quite dark enough. Perhaps that masterpiece, the Silence of the Lambs, used up all the visceral attributes that were so pathetically contrived in Hannibal and present, but not powerfully present, in Red Dragon. There certainly was a dark edge, but it just didn't get under my skin the way Silence of the Lambs did (if you'll forgive the pun).

Second, I felt that there were a few off-shoots to the main plot that could have been worked around or seemed to play no real role in the film whatsoever. For example, the tense relationship between Norton and the reporter (Hoffman), Finnes taking the blind girl to listen to the sedated tiger (or lion or whatever it was), Norton teaching his wife to shoot ... and many others. Most of the time, I felt that they should have been left on the cutting room floor as they were of little interest, had little (if any) role in the context of the story and accordingly, unnecessarily bulked out the running time of the film.

Otherwise, terrific viewing. Don't be dissuaded by Hannibal - this sequel achieves where that one so dismally failed.


127 of 158 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 816 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

4 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Dragon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$78,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,540,945, 6 October 2002

Gross USA:

$93,149,898

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$209,196,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed