The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) movie poster


Jodie Foster plays an FBI agent who has to interrogate a doctor played by Anthony Hopkins, who is locked away in jail due to cannibalistic tendencies. Through the course of the film, this doctor helps the FBI find someone who is kidnapping young women and eating them. This person turns out to be just as dangerous as he seems.

This 1991 horror movie was well received by critics and audiences alike. It gained five academy awards including “Best Picture” and “Best Director”. Since it came out, The Silence of the Lambs has remained one of the most critically acclaimed movies ever released, according to


  • Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling. Masha Skorobogatov as young Clarice.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
  • Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford.
  • Ted Levine as Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb.
  • Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton.
  • Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin.
  • Diane Baker as U.S. Senator Ruth Martin.
  • Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp.

Towards the end of the 20th century, the American film industry was undergoing a major paradigm shift brought on by new technologies and social changes. After decades of growth at breakneck speed, the American film industry had finally hit its ceiling in terms of audience numbers and financial assets. In 1980, Americans spent an inflation-adjusted $8 billion on going to movies; this figure dropped to just over $6 billion net dollars in 1989. Things were not much better overseas: whereas Hollywood studios once reigned supreme across Europe and Asia, box office receipts from foreign cinemas now equaled those from America. Developing nations such as China saw an impressive increase in movie attendance rates as well.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) rotten tomatoes scores 94% critics, 86% audience.

Similar movies

Hannibal (2001) rotten tomatoes score: 83% critics, 80% audience.

Red Dragon (2002) rotten tomatoes score: 72% critics, 74% audience.

The Silence of the Lambs remakes Hannibal’s (2006) rotten tomatoes score: 59% critics, 61% audience.

Red Dragon remake Red Dragon (2002) rotten tomatoes score 71%/61%.

Silence of the lamb’s sequel Hannibal Rising (2007) rotten tomatoes scores 31%. Those are the scores for each movie in turn so far.

Pros & Cons:

Pros: Anthony Hopkins’ well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor; Jodie Foster’s second nomination in as many years; crisp dialogue; chilling climax; suspenseful score; studied camera work.

Cons: Weak beginning; jarring scene transitions; too long at 2 hours and 4 minutes.

Although it has its flaws, The Silence of the Lambs goes down as one of the most influential thrillers ever made.