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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: R for strong gruesome violence, some nudity and language

Reviewed by: Sue Titcombe

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Thriller Drama
2 hr. 11 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 9, 2001
Hannibal poster
Relevant Issues

sin and the depravity of man

compare to goodness and righteousness

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

murder in the Bible


Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Featuring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Giancarlo Giannini, Ray Liotta
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: Dino De Laurentiis, Edward Saxon, Martha De Laurentiis, Ridley Scott
Distributor: MGM

Prequel: “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

If you can’t handle gore, this is not the movie for you. There were several scenes that were very intense, incredibly violent and just plain gory.

Ten years after “The Silence of the Lambs” ends, we begin “Hannibal.” Clarice Starling is facing some difficulties in her career as an FBI agent when she is presented with new information on the Lecter case. Trying to redeem her reputation, she picks up the case again. She tracks Lecter down in Florence, Italy where he is living and working as the curator of a historic library. Lecter is also being tracked by one of his previous victims and the Florence Police. As the plot unfolds, Lecter’s curator image fades as his true personality comes through.

As one who believes murder is wrong, it was difficult to watch someone brutally killing others for the sake of teaching them a lesson, or doing the world a favor, as is discussed in the movie.

I was struck, however, by a conversation between Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman’s characters near the beginning of the movie. Gary Olman is Lecter’s only victim who has survived, but he is left without a face. He tells Clarice that he has found salvation and asks her if she knows Jesus, but she changes the subject. He says to her “It amazes me that you can look into my face, but you wince when I say the name of God.” I was impressed to hear of his salvation from a sordid past, but disappointed to see the same character living his whole life to seek revenge against the one who hurt him, rather than forgiving and leaving the matter in God’s hands.

Again, don’t see this movie if you have a weak stomach. Viewers will be disturbed by this film. We do not recommend this movie.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
While the last 15 minutes of this film are disturbing even to someone who has seen his share of horror movies, I do question those who question the morality of such a scene. Gravely and unfortunately, this sort of cruelty has happened in reality, as a hideous act of war or some other atrocity.

I believe that exposing cruelty (instead of sweeping it under the rug) will help to educate people that these kind of acts are repulsive and have no place in a civilized world. I believe there are indeed more good than bad people in this world. Perhaps displaying fictional acts of cruelty will cause people to get involved, preventing it from happening in real life.
—Joe, age 27
This is a Ridley Scott film, and anyone who knows his work should know what they’re getting into. For a movie from book adaptation this film is very true to its roots, minus the disturbing ending in the book (I am talking about what happens *after* dinner). My idea of “horrible gore” may be a bit watered down due to the type of movies I have a tendency to watch, this film was nothing in comparison to movies such as “Dead Alive” or the Italian film by Fulci “The City of the Living Dead”.

Also I think many missed the point with Mason Verger, he had *not* redeemed himself. He was *not* a true Christian, he was using that “face” to hide his true feelings and actions from all but those closest to him. Mason Verger was a child molester, rapist and just plain awful person, and was so until the day he died, although the movie did downplay this a bit.
—Basom Knight, age 20, non-Christian
This movie is intended for adults. People seem surprised that there was unnecessary killing in a movie about a psychopathic cannibal. There is a high level of violence but it is used to tell the story line. I was not surprised that scenes describing the world had worldly content…
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Tyson, age 25
This is a movie that is not nearly as gory as people are describing it with most of the horrors occurring off-screen, implied, or just plain covered up. Only the final scene is horrifyingly violent, and if you recognize it’s impossible it’s rather cartoonish. Hannibal serves as an interesting boogeyman for our time as he’s not so much a being of pure evil but the sum of punishment for our crimes.

There is no doubt Hannibal is himself evil, but each who is his victim brings himself to his web by their deeds, attitudes, and lies. In a sense Hannibal is quite literally the Devil and Clarice Starling is his preferred prey because he cannot corrupt her, fleeing her and unable to harm her because of her purity.

Mason Verger isn’t a Christian, it should be noted by the way, his words that he was saved by Jesus may be true in his mind or they may be a cover up but reborn christians should remember that being reborn is accepting him into your life… not just his name.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 4]
—Charles Phipps, age 20
…I really don’t think that this movie is as bad as everyone makes it sound. Even I, being a christian gave it an “extremely offensive” rating for violence but there are several other movies that have come out in previous years that beat this one to a pulp as far as a gross out factor goes. If any of you have ever seen “Starship Troopers” or any other movie by director Paul Verhoven then I don’t see why your so shocked about Hannibal. As far as the movie making quality goes it is very visually well done. I must say that I do agree with everyone else, the last 15 minutes are ROUGH. I definitely don’t suggest this one for anyone under the age of 18.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 3]
—Kyle, age 23
Neutral—Like most Hollywood films it differs from the book it is supposed to be based on. A high level of “gross-out” blood and gore. No sex scene—a surprise for an R rated movie from Hollywood. Not as bad as most sequels, due mostly to a strong performance by Hannibal, (If your taste runs to this kind of film), but definitely not for children, or those with a low tolerance for blood. (enough to sink a small ship—normal Hollywood overkill)
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Karl Cline, age 47
Neutral—Yes, totally offensive. However, keep in mind that this is a movie about Hannibal Lecter, psychiatrist and part-time cannibal. Devotees of “Silence of the Lambs” will not be disappointed by Hopkins’ reprise of Lecter, nor with the new Clarice. As a television student, I was seriously impressed by the cinematography skills of the director. However, I did spend the last ten or fifteen minutes trying to control the gag reflex. If I went to see Hannibal again, I’d simply walk out on the ending.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 4]
—Avoi, age 22
Negative—As a 52 year old I have seen many movies that horrified me with their gross vulgarity and prurient sex. “Hannibal” is perhaps the most offensive movie I have ever seen. The last 15 minutes are out of a Holocaust survivors nightmare. Only a Nazi would enjoy this blood bath.

America is doomed if this is what free speech, modern American creativity and government funding for the arts leads to. What is left to portray in the minds of our country as well as the world. If I were in a foreign country and saw this I might think the world would be better off without a country that produces trash like this. God save us because we’re sliding down the slippery slope of something worse than bad morals, no moral value at all.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 3]
—Steve Hanson, age 52
Negative—Well, even though I knew this would definitely NOT be a movie that God would approve I go to (I have since repented), I REALLY enjoyed “The Silence of the Lambs” and was eager to see the sequel. From the standpoint of a movie buff, I would say that Hannibal was a big disappointment. …it didn’t follow the book, only one scene scared me at all, most of it was just gore… The story was bad, because the very strong woman we saw in “Silence…” was not anywhere found in this movie. I see why Jodi Foster didn’t want to play in it. Anthony Hopkins did his normal wonderful job, but even that could not save this bad story. So, this was a waste of my time, as it was a disappointment of a very hyped movie and was definitely NOT anything that glorified God.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1½]
—Anonymous, age 23
Negative—After seeing the results of the number of people that watched this movie, it sickened me. And what truly irks me is that I was one of those people. This movie is far from “Silence of the Lambs” in that it is not a suspense thriller but an outright gore fest.

The character Mason Verger is another example as to how Hollywood loves to portray warped personalities as Christians. Hannibal is portrayed as a genius that only kills and/or eats those that are evil, therefore doing society a favor. Several scenes that were uncalled for to name a few: A drug dealer is shot and killed by the FBI while carrying her baby. A man is disemboweled and hung from a balcony. There is a scene in which wild boars are seen eating live humans. A child is given a piece of human brains to eat.

God forgive me for paying money to see garbage like this. Please don’t make the mistake I did. Go see Left Behind!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1½]
—Michael, age 27
Negative—…My husband and I went to see “Hannibal” over the weekend. We sat through about 25 minutes of what seemed like an eternity. We walked out of the theater, (in shock). It was the most horrible thing we’d ever seen. It is pure EVIL. As christian’s we could not sit and watch such disgusting scenes. We should all have more value for human life, than to be entertained by such vulgar mess. Are we so desensitized, that we don’t feel bad about watching these kinds of movies. Please don’t waste your hard earned money on this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Carla Miller, age 29
Negative—Hype is what attracted me to this follow-up to “Silence of the Lambs”… don’t always believe the hype. This movie was a complete let-down. The acting was OK, but just like most sequels, this movie left me wondering why I had spent my money on cheesey special effects… The final 10 minutes, billed as the “scariest ever filmed”, left me feeling cheated as well as let down. The special effects used in that part of the movie could have been MUCH better.
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Kurt, age 36
Comments from young people
Negative—…some scenes were very graphic, and, to tell you the truth, the finale was the most horrifyingly graphic and disturbing thing that I have ever seen before. It was also the film’s most ridiculous scene
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 4]
—Adam, age 18
Negative—I went into this movie expecting it to keep me on the edge of my seat. Instead I found my self repeatedly covering my eyes because of the extreme gore. If you are looking for another “Silence of the Lambs” you will be very disappointed. If you are looking for gore, then this is a movie for you. It seemed the director was more interested at grossing out the audience than keeping them in suspense. Though Anthony Hopkins acting was excellent Hannibal just wasn’t as good as it could have been.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2]
—Jodi Epp, age 18
Movie Critics
…Profanity consists of at least 2 “f” words, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases …
Scenes include a graphic disemboweling and a bloody scalping prior to disgusting views of a brain.
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Normally, I’m not one to comment on movies I haven’t seen. But I’d like to share something I experienced with regards to this movie. I saw a clip from it on YouTube, not knowing what was going to happen, at first, the scene where Lecter does the thing with the guy’s brain (if you don’t know what that is, be glad). Shocked, I stopped watching. After reading a little more about the movie, it became clear that I didn’t have to watch it to know that it was downright evil.

In addition to having exploitative gore, Hannibal gets away at the end and then feeds cannibal food to a little boy! That’s just the sickest, most disturbing, hellish thing. Are the storywriters psychos? I mean, even for a secular film!

Anyway, here’s what I wanted to share: I was feeling sick one day, and for some reason I had a recollection of what I had read and briefly seen of Lecter’s gory cannibalism at the end. I tried to stop thinking about it, but it was too late. I vomited. Which makes me even more thankful I’ve never seen it, and, if this is even possible, more certain that I never will.

If you don’t believe me because I never seen the film, just read a synopsis of it. That’s really all you need to know that you should by no means whatsoever watch this movie. And I warn you: just the synopsis is disturbing.
Gabriel Mohler, age 25 (USA)