This stylish psychological thriller was adapted by Michael Mann from the novel by Thomas Harris. Will Graham (William Petersen) is a burned-out FBI agent who retired after hunting and capturing Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox), a psychopathic but brilliant serial killer. Will reluctantly returns to work to help find a new killer, who specializes in killing entire families. Will uses his empathic understanding of the motivations of the killers to help catch them, despite the psychological toll this takes upon him and his family. Brian Cox, in a great cameo as Hannibal Lektor, gives an interestingly physical and sexually menacing performance in a role which later won an Academy Award for Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Tom Noonan, in an interesting, psychologically complex performance, plays the killer whom he makes surprisingly understandable. Joan Allen is also fine as the blind woman whom the killer falls in love with. Their love scene -- as the killer experiences compassion and normal sexual attraction for the first time -- is outstanding and unforgettable. While it is overshadowed by the widely acclaimed Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter, based on the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon holds its own as a suspenseful, psychological thriller directed with flair and style.
"One of the most impressive American thrillers of the late '80s." - George Andrew, Time Out
"An unpleasantly gripping thriller that rubs one's nose in a sick criminal mentality for two hours." - Michael Speier, Variety
"Cox's Hannibal is a masterclass in moderation." - Amber Wilkinson, Eye For Film
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