User Reviews (768)

  • theshadow90812 July 2006
    7/10
    Great prequel.
    Red Dragon takes place just before the events of The Silence of the Lambs. In this movie, a deranged serial killer is killing entire families every month on the night of the full moon. Jack Crawford of the FBI calls in retired agent Will Graham to help catch the killer. Graham left the FBI after being critically wounded while capturing the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter. Now, Graham must interview Hannibal, to see if he can shed any knowledge on the case. Meanwhile, the killer struggles with himself when he begins to fall in love with a fellow employee. This movie is closer to Silence of the Lambs than Hannibal in quality and style, and therefore is more entertaining.

    This movie is basically a reworking of the film Manhunter, except with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, so it connects better with the others. This movie sticks closer to the book than Manhunter did, which will please fans, except that it ads way more Hannibal Lecter interview scenes than were in the book, most likely to bank on Anthony Hopkins' name. The movie has the same suspenseful style as Silence of the Lambs, making up for the fact that Hannibal hardly had any suspense at all. The dialogue and overall fast paced style of the movie made it really worth watching, and if this movie had been released a year before Silence rather than a year after Hannibal, they would be great together. The characters are great and engaging. They seem more realistic than they were in Manhunter. I'm glad this movie managed to be far more successful than Manhunter, because I don't think I could deal with two bad Red Dragon adaptations.

    The acting is superb. I was kind of annoyed with Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal, because he played the role way too differently than the way he played it in Silence. Now, in this movie, he gets back to basics. Edward Norton is great as Will Graham. The role of the Red Dragon/Francis Dolarhyde was made for Ralph Fiennes. He takes the role and makes it his own. Whenever I think Ralph Fiennes now, I think Red Dragon.

    Overall, this is an awesome psychological thriller, and any fan of Silence of the Lambs should definitely see this movie.

    7/10
  • ccthemovieman-11 August 2006
    8/10
    Good Re-Make Of 'Lecter Film'
    This is a very good "remake" of Manhunter" which was the first Hannibal Lecter movie but didn't get the press the others did because it didn't have Anthony Hopkins as the famous criminal. After "Silence of the Lambs" became so popular, and the sequel, "Hannibal," it was decided to re-do that first film and this time obtain Hopkins' services.

    It worked because not only do you have the incomparable Hopkins at Dr. Lecter but you have one this generations best actors, Edward Norton, as the leading character "Will Graham." Norton, as always, gives a solid performance. And - look at the backup cast: Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Not bad.

    This is one of those movies that gets better and better with each viewing. On my first look, I was disappointed Hopkins didn't have a bigger role but, after I knew what to expect, subsequent viewings made me appreciate the film's effort as a whole, and it's an underrated flick and a fine addition to the "Lecter" series.
  • mattrochman3 July 2006
    9/10
    Another great film that slipped under the radar of most
    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.
  • ackstasis6 October 2006
    8/10
    A Terrific Thriller!
    On paper, it looked a bit uncertain. The long-awaited prequel to 'The Silence of the Lambs' and 'Hannibal' was to be directed by Brett Ratner, most famous for the two 'Rush Hour' movies (1998, 2001).

    However, the final result is pleasantly surprising. 'Red Dragon' opens with a wonderfully suspenseful prologue detailing the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter's (Anthony Hopkins) capture, and the unbearable tension rarely lets up for the remainder of the film.

    Lecter's capturer, Will Graham (Edward Norton), is coaxed out of retirement by Jack Crawford (Harvey Keitel) to help track down a ruthless serial killer nicknamed the Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes), who is murdering seemingly-random families in their sleep. Graham believes that Lecter may hold the key to capturing this killer, and, in order to prevent any further murders, he must revisit his old demons.

    The acting performances are first-rate. Hopkins is good (as always) as the cold, calculating serial killer Lecter. Norton handles a demanding role exceedingly well. Throughout his career, Fiennes has excelled at portraying loathsome villains (i.e. Amon Goeth in 'Schindler's List,' 1993), and here he turns in perhaps his greatest performance. The facially-disfigured, mentally-unstable Francis Dolarhyde is shown not to be an inherently evil killing machine, but an emotionally-troubled young man who is still battling the overwhelming demons of an abusive childhood.

    Strong supporting performances from Emily Watson ('The Proposition,' 2005), Harvey Keitel ('Pulp Fiction,' 1994) and Philip Seymour Hoffman ('Capote,' 2005) round off a terrific thriller, and one for which widespread recognition is long overdue.
  • badguy-14 October 2002
    8/10
    Not as good as "SILENCE...", but better than "HANNIBAL".
    Only having seen "Manhunter" once, years ago, and not remembering much about it, I won't attempt to compare that film to it's remake, "Red Dragon". I've also never read any of the Thomas Harris novels that they are based on, so I won't compare them to the books either. But I will compare it to the other, more recent films in the Hannibal Lecter series, "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal".

    I think most would agree that, "Silence..." is a classic. It's one of those movies where everything came together beautifully. The director, the actors, the story, etc. It's to serial killer, suspense films as "The Godfather" is to mafia movies. I feel the only other movie of it's type to have even come close after "Silence of the Lambs"' release was "Se7en" with Morgan Freeman & Brad Pitt. So, it was with a lot of disappointment that I left the theater after seeing the long awaited sequel to "SOTL", "Hannibal". Jodie Foster didn't return to play the part of Clarice Starling, Jonathon Demme didn't direct, and worst of all, Sir Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter was almost cartoonish. On top of that, the film was just "ugly". It felt nastier and dirtier than it's predecessor. More concerned with gore and blood than telling a decent story.

    Well, I'm happy to report that "Red Dragon" has put the series back on track. This time around, Hopkins plays Hannibal, more as we first remember seeing him in "SOTL". meaning more subtlety and slyness and less of the scenery chewing and over-acting that went on in "Hannibal". Edward Norton is just fine as FBI agent, Will Graham, who puts Lecter behind bars and then comes out of retirement to help solve the case of "The Tooth Fairy". Ralph Fiennes gives a very creepy and effective performance as Francis Dolarhyde, so good is he IMHO, that I expect him to get an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor next year. It helps that his character is more fleshed out, pardon the pun, than Ted Levine's serial killer in "SOTL".

    The director, Brett Ratner, has done a fine job of ending, (hopefully), this series on a high note. I say, hopefully, because as much as I enjoyed "SOTL" and now, "Red Dragon", one more trip to this well, will probably produce nothing but mud.

    The only thing that stands in the way of higher praise on my part, is that it's a sequel, er prequel, to a well loved and admired film. We've seen some of these characters and situations before. The meetings between Graham and Lecter are good, but they don't enthrall me the way they did between Starling and Lecter. All in all, a fine job on everyone's part. It may not be as groundbreaking as the original "SOTL", but it has helped to wash away the "bad taste", sorry, left behind by "Hannibal".
  • Maddyclassicfilms14 November 2008
    8/10
    A superb ending to The Silence of The Lambs trilogy
    Warning: Spoilers
    Red Dragon is directed by Brett Ratner, based on the novel by Thomas Harris, has music by Danny Elfman and stars Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Harvey Keitel.

    This is the last in the trilogy but is the first story written by Harris and is set before The Silence Of The Lambs. In 1986 there was another film adaptation of this story called Manhunter. That film was directed by Michael Mann and starred William Petersen as Graham and Brian Cox as Dr. Lector, it's well worth a watch and is a great thriller.

    F.B.I agent Will Graham(Edward Norton)is a profiler who has the ability to recreate how a murder took place before his own eyes.We learn that it was he who caught Dr.Lecter and he has a massive scar on his side to prove it.

    Years later Graham is sent to see Hannibal in the same secure prison from Silence of The Lambs and get his help on catching a killer called the Toothfairy(Ralph Fiennes)who is so much more disturbed and creepy than Lecter could ever be.

    The story shows how Will Graham comes to peace with who he is himself and his special ability(he hates what he sees through it)and how he manages to make himself face Lector again.

    Norton is superb as the emotionally tortured Will Graham and there's strong supporting performances from Emily Watson as Reba, a blind woman who is in love with the killer (but she doesn't know who he is)and Harvey Keitel as Agent Jack Crawford Will's boss and friend. This is a must see and there is a nice tie in with The Silence of The Lambs at the end.
  • Bgb21710 November 2002
    10/10
    Excellent film, also an excellent adaption of the book.
    Well I finally saw Red Dragon, and having the book be one of the best I've ever read, I was wary of seeing it. I never really cared for Manhunter, but boy did I get a surprise with this version, a version that actually cared enough about the original work to call it by that name, obviously Red Dragon. I also thought that they would change it around to put more of everybody's favorite cannibal in, which they really didn't. So he's in the beginning more, but that was what basically happened in flashback in the book, they only drew it out more in the movie. And the other scenes with Hannibal that were added helped to cover all the ground they needed to do with the story, and they worked perfectly. Let me explain.

    Who woulda thunk it that Ed Norton would be the perfect fit for Will Graham? I didn't, but he was. I think he's such an incredible actor, and he more than proves it here, bringing the character to a great and realistic life. Of course we need not say anything about Anthony Hopkins, who is more than the brillant fit for Hannibal Lector. But Ralph Fiennes as Dolarhyde? I thought that was a really bad choice-- I was proved wrong there again. He gives such a performance as the Tooth Fairy that I now believe he was perfect, and did perfect in, for the part. Emily Watson as Reba was also incredible, as was all the other supporters. The actual shots of the movie were incredible, and along with the rather brillaint script it worked perfectly. Of course some things were changed, but little things, and not much. And not a single changed thing took away from the original story, I am astounded at how good an adaption this turned out to be. (And I usually am very unforgiving with film versions of great books).

    In conclusion, Red Dragon is a great film. Brilliant performances and an excellent adaption of a screenplay play out perfectly in this incredible film. Did the novel it's very deserved justice in my opinion. And the ending, the final part, of course it wasn't in the book, but that was incredible! Loved what they did there!
  • KillerLord5 October 2008
    10/10
    A Very Well Done Prequel
    Warning: Spoilers
    The Silence of the Lambs introduced to us among the most complicated characters of all times - Dr. Hannibal Lecter, brilliantly played by Anthony Hopkins. The portrayal was so strong that one would have felt that there was a need to remake the Manhunter and so it was done - The Red Dragon is worthy remake this time with Anthony Hopkins in another brilliant portrayal as Dr. Lecter. But this movie is different from Silence of the Lambs in many ways. I would not prefer making the comparison and lowering credit for this movie because it is different from the Silence of the Lambs.

    Let us have a small comparison to begin with. The Silence of the Lambs is more about Agent Starling and her interaction with Dr. Lecter rather than about the man they are trying to catch. Dr. Lecter's interest in the FBI trainee and Starling's apprehension of dealing with a man of Hannibal's reputation is the central theme of the Silence of the Lambs. We are not keen on exploring the past evolution of the Buffalo Bill character. He only defines the purpose that brings the two central characters together. On the other hand, the Red Dragon is more about the guy they are trying to catch and also the intense feelings the two lead characters have for each other. Hannibal was scary in the first movie and a great part of the scariness came because Starling was scared of him as well. But here you have Will Graham who is not completely scared of him though discomforted by his presence. Will Graham is more bold and straight in his approach making Hannibal's presence less effective but that is how it ought to be because somebody who has faced the worst with Hannibal already cannot be expected to fear him as much as an FBI trainee with a troubled past. Moreover, Will Graham also has a similar gift like Lecter which allows him to explore minds other than his own. So, honestly, the fear and tension of Silence of the Lambs will not be found here. But I feel that this toe-to-toe standing up of Lecter and Graham to each other is the treat of this movie.

    The character who is being chased is a complex character indeed. He has emotions but is disturbed enough to commit brutal crimes to bring about what he believes to be the most important transformation in his life. He is not an average serial killer who is killing out of sadistic motives. He has a complex motive and the very attempt to step inside his shoes and imagine what he is thinking is a thrill. Ralph Fiennes fits the role of Francis Dolyerhyde beautifully. His love interest Reba again wonderfully played by Emily Watson plays a very important few minutes on screen as well. Overall, he proves himself to be a complex and a scary villain in his own right.

    The direction of the movie is very decent. A changed director can easily lead to a steep fall of the effectiveness of the franchise. But Brett Ratner does a wonderful job. The way the first scene has been shot is simply brilliant. The camera shows a crowd and there is something about the way it has been done but your eyes cannot but catch hold of Lecter sitting in the middle and his expressions are so rich.

    Overall, I loved the movie and I think that down rating it because it does not have the element of fear that Silence of the Lambs had is not fair. I cannot think of a better way of doing this movie. I simply love it when Hannibal finds a near equal in Will Graham and deep down inside knows that he are Will are matched rivals.

    A splendid movie indeed! My personal all time favorite.
  • Alex Brown6 November 2002
    8/10
    Much better!
    Having seen the disappointing Hannibal, I was a bit reticent about seeing this. The original Manhunter film was simply on the edge and excellent, and another prequel could have gone either way.

    Prequels are the fashion of the moment aren't they?

    This was actually very good, and most enjoyable. Fiennes and Norton added much to the story, and were both absolutely excellent.

    Hopkins gave the performance you'd have expected from him in his role, and this was also notable for a fine performance as Fiennes' blind girlfriend of the bird that appeared in the ever-so-nauseating and vomit enducing Angela's Ashes [which gave a whole new meaning to stereotypical grim films].

    Don't be put off by Hannibal, definitely see this one.
  • tinmra2 October 2002
    9/10
    This first serving of Hannibal may prove to be the best
    The movie going public is obviously well acquainted with the most famous serial killer, cannibal, in cinematic history, Hannibal Lecter. In 2002's 'RED DRAGON,' Hannibal is back with force and vengeance, thanks to the brilliant portrayal of Sir Anthony Hopkins and inspired writing of screenwriter Ted Tally. He's got some of the best lines in the business. 'RED DRAGON,' for the most part is a remake of Michael Mann's 1986 'Manhunter.' Obviously there isn't a lot of variation between the two since they are both adaptations of Thomas Harris' book 'RED DRAGON.' But that is were the simularity ends. Sure, some scenes are structed the same, but to be fair this latest installment is closer and more true to the novel. For those that read the book or saw 'Manhunter,' it's no surprise that Hannibal had a rather small role. Ted Tally took some license and beefed up the character for some crucial scenes, adding a very interesting and inventive twist. From the onset, we see the capture of Hannibal by FBI Agent Will Graham, played flawlessly this time around by Edward Norton. We are also privy to a rather more intense Lecter, anger and resentment for being caught and put away. Hopkins doesn't need to do much to convey his distaste for Graham, the true talent of an excellent actor. Lecter is not over the top as many say he was in the third film 'HANNIBAL.' But this is really not a Lecter story. It is focused more on Graham and the new killer on the block, Francis Dolarhyde (played to an eeriely perfection by Ralph Fiennes). One not of advisement, if 'The Silence Of The Lambs', or 'Hannibal,' gave you nightmares, you may not be prepared for 'Dragon.' It is absolutely brutal in it's visuals and psychological mind games. Dolarhyde, aka the 'Tooth Fairy' is a brutal serial killer who has killed two families and may be on the hunt for a third. It is this that brings Jack Crawford (Harvey Keitel) on the quest to seek out a retired Graham. Reluctantly, Graham decides to help with the investigation. Graham does possess a certain gift, he can think like the killer. But it does cause a dilemma. The one person that could really give our detective the insight he needs is the one man who tried to kill him, Lector. As Clarice in 'Silence' Graham must once again delve into Lecter's world of the asylum. Frederick Chilton is back as the head of the asylum, again played by Anthony Heald (the 'old friend for dinner' guy). Heald is an absolute delight in a awkward sort of way. He's definetly a one off. Basically, he's not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Possibly the most disturbing character of the film is played by Fiennes. He is essentially a sympathetic killer, and yet you really want to see this guy go down. Fiennes is stunning in this role and adds his own spark to the role. Emily Watson plays Fiennes uninformed love interest who happens to be blind, lucky for her. Philip Seymour Hoffman is the sleazy tabloid reporter who in time is destined to get his comupance. It is really unfortunate that the Academy Awards does not hand out status to ensemble casts. If they did, 'RED DRAGON,' would probably be the only nomination in the catagory. There hasn't been a cast like this in many years. There is an equal balance between the three main characters, Lecter, Graham, and Dolarhyde. Lecter was in it just enough to keep it constantly fresh and on edge. Dolarhyde takes it over the edge and Graham brings it subtly back. Brett Ratner as the director did an excellent job in setting the scenes, the creepy atmosphere, and letting the actors do what they do best. This film is a winner all the way around. If any thriller were put up against 'Silence,' this may be the one that could surpass it in regards to thrills, chills and just plain excellent storytelling. Though the 4 movies are destined to be lumped together, 'Manhunter,' 'The Silence Of The Lambs,' 'Hannibal,' and now 'The Red Dragon,' which is completely understandable, 'Dragon' stands on it's own. And does so extremely well. This movie is obviously not for everyone. There is graphic violence that is disturbing. Yet in this vehicle it is not overplayed as say, your average slasher movie. If you're going to plunk down your hard earned cash for a movie, 'Red Dragon,' is the one. It is a good solid interesting movie that never lets go. Once it's got you, it's got you. And that ride starts as the lights in the theater go down. There's not too many movies that can boast that.

    T. Mrazik
  • The_Void20 January 2008
    7/10
    Nothing on Silence of the Lambs and the novel it's based on, but a decent thriller in it's own right.
    After the return of the infamous Hannibal Lecter to our screens in 2001 with Ridley Scott's film version of the best novel in Thomas Harris's Lecter trilogy, it's not surprising that a new version of the first novel in the series got an update a year later considering that it's previous screen version, Michael Mann's Manhunter, doesn't fit in with the other two films in the series. I do have to say that this version is both more true to Harris' novel and an overall better film than Manhunter; though it does have numerous shortfalls and has nothing on the masterpiece 'Silence of the Lambs'. The plot is quite similar to the one in Silence of the Lambs, and features a cop on the hunt of a serial killer and receiving help from the incarcerated Hannibal Lecter. FBI Agent Will Graham, the captor of Hannibal Lecter, is called out of retirement to help catch a serial killer dubbed "The Tooth Fairy" by the media. The killer has already slaughtered two families and the FBI believes that another one is soon to join them; meaning that Will Graham has no choice but to ask Hannibal Lecter for help with the case.

    The casting is one of the things that many critics pick up on, and that's not surprising. Anthony Hopkins effortlessly slips back into the role that he will always be associated with; although he's far more comical here than in previous Lecter films. As anyone who has read the book will tell you, Edward Norton is completely wrong for the role of Will Graham as the role needed a grittier actor. Harvey Keitel is a great actor, but Scott Glenn from Silence of the Lambs fit the role of Jack Crawford much better. There's nothing wrong with the rest of the supporting cast, however, with Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman all fit into their respective roles well. There's not a great deal wrong with the plot pacing, although the film is a little slow at times and the book is much more exciting on the whole. Certain parts of the plot could have been cut out to streamline the film for the screen, although Ted Tally's screenplay is good in that it does encompass most of the important parts of the book. Obviously this film is always going to come under criticism for not being as great as Silence of the Lambs and it does have nothing on the book, but overall Red Dragon is a decent enough thriller in it's own right and I cant say I dislike it.
  • Kristine7 September 2004
    9/10
    Better than "Hannibal", but not up with "Silence of the Lambs"
    But it was pretty damn close. "Red Dragon" was a great movie to watch. I have to admit that I had my doubts. I heard some bad things about this movie from my friends. I had bought the movie for my mom, and she said just to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. "Red Dragon" goes back into the roots that "Silence of the Lambs" did. It had high action and drama. I was very impressed. And Anthony Hopkins does a great job as his most famous role as Hannibal Lector. I really have to say that I didn't stick to my friend's opinions. This was a great movie. I would recommend for the "Silence of the Lambs" fans.

    9/10
  • Bozo24 February 2008
    9/10
    Hate to say it but...beat Manhunter
    Yes, it is very hard to admit when a remake surpasses its original, but in this case, it is needed. Red Dragon is a remake of Manhunter, and it managed to surpass it. This movie was excellent (as Manhunter was). Manhunter has this movie beat in acting for some parts. William Petersen plays a better Will Graham. But Harvey Keitel plays a better Jack Crawford. Tom Noonan played a better Francis Dolarhyde, but Anthony Hopkins plays a MUCH better Hannibal. This movie fills in the blanks where Manhunter left them wide open. There's a part in the beginning where it actually shows how Will caught Hannibal. Some scenes were souped up in this movie from the original but over all it worked out. The ending of this movie was actually played out much better than in Manhunter. This movie even ends right as Silence of the Lambs begins, which helps a lot. I recommend this movie to fans of Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Manhunter. 9/10.
  • Saad Khan25 August 2010
    8/10
    Hannibal legacy Continues
    RED DRAGON - CATCH IT ( A- ) Red Dragon is an intriguing prequel to the Silence of the Lambs. The story and serial killer (Red Dragon) in the movie is really intriguing and thrilling. Hannibal Lecter is such an iconic character that we always wanted to see how he got caught and who did it. There is very interesting relationship and chemistry between Anthony Hopkins and Edward Norton's characters. Though, its nothing as compare to Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster's chemistry but still much better then what was between Julianne Moore and Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal. Anthony Hopkins was Outstanding as Hannibal Lecter as always, it's astonishing to see that with how much ease and relaxation Anthony Portrays Hannibal Lecter. He is scary and captivating & when he is on screen you just can't take your eyes off him. Edward Norton did a fantastic job by standing next to him. But this movie completely belongs to Ralph Fiennes, he was incredibly creepy and brilliant. Watching him in Red Dragon is simply great; I don't think there is anyone else who could have portrayed Red Dragon. The chemistry between Ralph Fiennes and Emma Watson is captivating and one of the best parts of the movie. Emma Watson as a blind woman did a incredible job. Mary-Louise Parker & Philippe Seymour Hoffman did a respectable job. Director Brett Ratner presented the movie in very intriguing and captivating way. It's nice to see a director doing completely different from its famous genre. the only flaw in the movie I found was the Cliché and quick ending of Red Dragon's character, I think it could have been little innovative and mind boggling. Nonetheless great movie, which bind a spell while watching it!
  • JackStallion26 January 2008
    10/10
    this is a truly excellent film.
    Warning: Spoilers
    I felt the need to comment on this film after reading several negative opinions of it on the 'Manhunter' boards. 'Red Dragon' is, in my opinion, the better of the two. As well as the second best of all the Lecter films. I think we can all agree how great 'Silence of the Lambs' was. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were tremendous. Hopkins has the meatier role, so tends to get the press, but Foster's vulnerable portrayal is truly what sells the film. Then, along came 'Hannibal'. The less said about that cartoon the better. So, my hopes weren't very high for 'Red Dragon'. Especially with Mr. Rush Hour at the helm. But, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. It's a very nuanced film that builds upon who Hannibal Lecter really is. The opening scenes with Lecter at the symphony, hearing those off notes; then later his sly, evil, bourgeoisie charm at the dinner party is in full effect. It gives a rich portrait of the man. And, the scene in the study with Norton and Hopkins is fabulous. The back and forth between the two is fascinating. Edward Norton has this boyish, world weary maturity that suits the character so well. And, most people fail to mention how truly terrifying and gentle Ralph Fiennes makes his Dolyrhyde. The scene where he eats the red dragon painting is fantastic. The cast on a whole is wonderful. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is the perfect sleaze tabloid reporter. You just can't wait for his liver to be served with some Chianti. All in all, I've seen this film four or five times and come to appreciate it more and more. 'Manhunter' lovers, i feel your nostalgia, but 'Red Dragon' is firing all cylinders; 'Manhunter', while original, is really just an exercise in 80's pop art...
  • Roland-charleer3 March 2003
    10/10
    Exciting Hannibal-movie
    I think it's better than 'Manhunter' and 'Hannibal'. Red Dragon stays exciting until the end, and that's what I like about a movie. I never expected Brett Ratner to make a movie is good as this, but hey, he did a great job. The music (Danny Elfman) was fantastic and was a good addition to an already exciting movie. The acting performances were also good, especially Anthony Hopkins (Of course) and Ralph Fiennes. I think Ralph Fiennes even deserved an Oscar nomination. Through the movie there was an ominous atmosphere which resulted in the confrontation between Edward Norton and Ralph Fiennes. I actually experienced this scene as one of the most exciting scenes I've ever seen. Nothing but good words about Red Dragon, so I'd give 5 out of 5.
  • namashi_131 January 2011
    10/10
    An Oustanding Thriller!
    Based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name and featuring psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter, 'Red Dragon', like, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, is also An Outstanding Thriller!

    Author Thomas Harris wrote Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who has gone on to become one of the most interesting & terrifying characters ever to be seen in the big-screen. Dr. Hannibal Lecter and his list of stories are no less than extra-ordinary in my opinion. 'Red Dragon' which actually comes first chronologically, succeeds big time, by becoming a gripping thriller cinematically as well. Brett Ratner directs this taut-thriller with unmatchable ease, and does absolute justice to Ted Tally's adapted screenplay. Dante Spinotti's Cinematography also deserves a mention.

    'Red Dragon' is 124 minutes long in running time, and each minute there is something gripping in store for you. I easily rank this film to be amongst the most gripping thrillers ever made!

    Now to the performances! Sir Anthony Hopkins is brilliant as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He plays the serial killer once again with rare command. Edward Norton is superb. Philip Seymour Hoffman is first-rate. Ralph Fiennes is outstanding as the villain. Emily Watson is good. Harvey Keitel is stylish. Mary-Louise Parker and Frank Whaley are decent.

    On the whole, 'Red Dragon' offers a Legendary, Gripping Screenplay, in-tact with Taut Direction, Worthy-Cinematography & Super Performances. Just Don't Miss This thriller At Any Cost! Two Big Thumbs Up!
  • JoeB1314 December 2010
    9/10
    More Hannibal- and more explosions!
    They already made this book into a movie, but that was before bit player Hannibal Lecter was made into a household word by "The Silence of the Lambs". So of course, they had to remake the movie with HOpkins in the role in a more prominent position.

    Overall, this is a pretty good adaptation, made with a much bigger budget than 1986's "Manhunter". They put in a scene only hinted at earlier of how Lecter was caught. The ending of the book is closer to the original novel as well.

    The scenes with Grahmm are quite good, and Edward Norton does a much better job rounding out the character than William Petersen of CSI fame did. Hopkins in his third outing as Lecter continues to play the character with a sense of menace.

    Oh, one more point. In the 1986 version, they had a right out sex scene between the killer and the blind girl. In this one, they had the old implied they had sex bit, but didn't actually show it. Again, another example of how the prudes in the MPAA are good with violence but just stuffy on sex.
  • Spikeopath8 August 2010
    7/10
    I am not a man. I began as one, but now I am becoming more than a man, as you will witness.
    Red Dragon is based on the novel of the same name written by Thomas Harris and is directed by Brett Ratner and written by Ted Tally. It stars Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary-Louise Parker & Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Dante Spinotti is on cinematography and Danny Elfman scores the music.

    Red Dragon is a prequel to the hugely successful Silence of the Lambs. The story had already been filmed as Manhunter in 1986 directed by Michael Mann. The signs weren't particularly good for Red Dragon. The previous year had seen Ridley Scott tackle Silence Of The Lambs follow up, Hannibal, with tepid results. While at the helm here was the director of such fodder as Rush Hour 1&2, and of course Mann's take on the story is viewed as a grainy and skin itching cult classic. Nice to report then that even tho it's hardly in the same class as "Lambs," it's a willing entertainer that genuinely manages to unease.

    Firstly one has to get past the Hannibal Lecter factor to fully enjoy (and dampen expectations) the movie on its own terms. Lecter (Hopkins enjoying himself but going thru the motions) is a secondary character. Important? Yes! But still secondary to Norton's troubled but gifted FBI agent Will Graham and Fiennes bonkers serial killer Francis Dolarhyde (AKA:The Tooth Fairy). Red Dragon is first and foremost a ripping good old detective story, with Ratner and Tally wisely using the bits that made Harris' novel such a page turning success. They have added their own bits of course {the pre-credit sequence involving Lecter & Graham sets things up perfectly}, but ultimately it's a loyal enough telling of a gripping and goose flesh inducing story.

    The makers have wisely filled the film out with quality performers. Norton underplays Graham nicely, a character unable to stay away from the job that threatens his family, he becomes an easy guy to root for as things start to get troubling. Fiennes too doesn't go over the top, in great physical shape and with piercing blue eyes, he exudes menace without resorting to being a cackling caricature. Hoffman was a shoe in for a weasel reporter since he does it so well, while Keitel, tho not having to stretch himself, offers up a stoic turn as Jack Crawford. But the main performance, and sadly unheralded, comes from Emily Watson as the blind Reba. With Reba acting as both a romantic and redemptive foil to Dolarhyde's split-personality, Watson gets the tough gig, and comes up trumps with an affecting turn featuring the right amounts of spunk, sadness and needy tenderness.

    It's a bit too polished to be a nerve shredder, with Ratner unable to give the film an atmospheric feel befitting the darkness at its core. But it does deliver on the promise of not only that opening segment, but also on Harris' fine procedural narrative. 7/10
  • johnnyboyz24 June 2010
    8/10
    Effective and wonderfully unravelled thriller that sees the Lecter cannon gem we all know of accompanied by another supremely competent effort.
    Brett Ratner's wonderful 2002 Lecter-canon thriller Red Dragon begins in the early 1980s with Lecter on the loose, in the years before any kind of incarceration, and at large still continuing his lifestyle driven by a triple threat combined of murders, mayhem and meals wrapped up into one. The series' previous film, Ridley Scott's 2001 film Hannibal, did not have a particularly positive critical consensus; a film that rather jumped ship in having Lecter out and about around Italy and America doing what he did and evading capture, rather than indoors and creating a film revolving around a particular case that just happened to have a devilishly intriguing supporting character tossed in for measure. In beginning Red Dragon with Lecter at large, before having the film's lead figure him out in a moment of near-fatal ingenuity, Ratner addresses what perhaps he and most certainly the critical contingent saw wrong with said 2001 piece and includes an epilogue in which Lecter is at large; caught and then placed (back) in his cell. It's an event that sees both us and him have respective senses wash over us of odd nostalgia and sheer frustration at being caught.

    Red Dragon certainly leans more towards Demme's awesome 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs than Hannibal did, but rather than use said example to feed off of and create nothing more than a by-the-numbers templatelike thriller, Red Dragon feels original enough and ends up weaving a tale that's close to all but just as fascinating and just as gripping. The film's lead is indeed a certain Will Graham (Norton), an experienced and well endowed professional FBI agent with an unnatural gift for tracking serial killers and solving homicide cases. At one point in Red Dragon, Graham states something along the lines of deducing the killer kills because of a God-like feeling it gives him. When asking a female colleague if she'd give up "feeling like God", she lets off a disgusted look at the thought of being invited to think like the killer or share his viewpoint; thus further emphasising Graham's ability to shut everything off and get inside the minds of these people whilst highlighting a degree of superiority he has over his coworkers.

    In rendering Graham of this ilk, the necessity for the sorts of development on show in The Silence of the Lambs regarding Jodie Foster's character is unnecessary. Rather, and quite possibly again in response of prior criticisms from the 1990s aimed at the character of Buffalo Bill from groups of a specific sexual orientation, this spare time and these items are replaced with a burrowing into the life and mentality of the film's antagonist; a fleshing out, if you will, of a man you'd be quick to label a freak. The character in question is a part-time film stock lab worker and additional family-targeting serial killer known as Francis Dolarhyde (Fiennes), and just as The Silence of the Lambs was a title that linked itself to the lead and her plight with Hannibal gearing more towards Lecter, Red Dragon is a title more orientated towards the enemy of this particular piece.

    Dolarhyde inhabits a house and has rather a few characteristics that are quite clearly indebted to 1960's Psycho; in that his tall, old, decrepit and isolated multiple storey house is reminiscent of Norman Bates' house-on-the-hill; the one which neighboured his motel. His childhood relationship with his grandmother is akin to Norman's with his own mother and the split personality item is additionally most certainly prominent in the pair of them. Dolarhyde will additionally go on to strike up a friendship with blind girl Reba (Watson); her total inability to see anything at all enabling Francis to succeed in doing the opposite and see exactly what he is as feelings resonate and attitudes threaten to change. In his ongoing battle with Graham and the F.B.I, something born out of the fact he has killed two families, he shares a characteristic with Graham in that his unnatural attraction to specific texts is what keeps him going in this relatively sordid existence. For Graham, the ability to be talked out of retirement despite a grotesque tragic past-happening and then allow the case of Dollarhyde to seduce him into getting heavily involved. This, as Dollarhyde's own obsession with a William Blake painting known as 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun' consumes him before, to some extent and somewhat unfortunately, he returns the favour to said piece.

    Suspense and tension are kept at a reasonably high level throughout, in that Dollarhyde's targets are families of which are grossly similar to the sort Graham himself has, something that combines with the fact they're so far away from one another and are vulnerable, which acts as a persistent and uncomfortable back-burning item. Later on, when the discovery that lunar eclipses are linked to the killings, a certain installation of suspense is captured and a race against time scenario until the next one becomes additional to proceedings. The film knows Lecter is the would-be star of the series, and despite Graham's expertise; the film shoots his slow trudging up the corridor towards Lecter's cell with the same nervous energy given to most whom we have witnessed venture up there. Lecter is rendered a threat, but he is at what most perceive to be his most effective whilst behind bars and bantering with an agent on a job; in the case of his relationship with Graham, a vastly shifted dynamic is in place in that he is a male and responsible for Lecter's incarceration rather than of Clarice Starling's younger; female and less experienced ilk. Red Dragon hits the mark for neat, taut and exhilarating investigative-infused thrills, running on excellent attention to character and premise. Ratner is by no means one of my favourite directors, but in being given the right amount of weighty and substantial initial material, he has certainly created one fine thriller.
  • DylansFearFiles17 February 2009
    6/10
    Behold I See A Great Red Dragon
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a loose remake of the critically-acclaimed film, Manhunter. Which was based on the book that Dr. Hannibal Lecter first appeared in, Red Dragon, by the New York Times bestselling author, Thomas Harris. This, I have to say, though many will disagree with me, is an equal match to its original and better than The Silence of the Lambs.

    To compare this to Manhunter is a completely unfair comparison. The two are very different. But, the two are both masterpieces of the thriller genre.

    Michael Man (Manhunter) used music and acting to accelerate the tension of his film. Brett Ratner uses good acting and gritty cinematography to create suspense and tension. Both Hannibal Lecters were great (Anthony Hopkins and Brian Cox), as well as both Francis Dolarhydes (Ralph Fiennes and Tom Noonan), though Tom Noonan was scarier than Fiennes, but I found Fiennes as more sympathetic and tortured. Edward Norton also did a fine job, but did not come even close to recreating the Will Graham that William Peterson portrayed in Manhunter and the Graham that Thomas Harris created in his novel.

    The plot of the film is very similar to The Silence of the Lambs. Will Graham (Edward Norton) is a retired FBI profiler who worked under Jack Crawford (Harvey Kietel). Graham retired after capturing the diabolical and cannibalistic psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Now Graham is called by into the job by Crawford to aid in the capture of a ritual killer that brutally murders entire families called the Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes). Graham decides to seek Dr. Lecter's help in catching the Tooth Fairy.

    Their is also a subplot about the tortured killer, Francis Dolarhyde. Dolarhyde was shaped by his traumatic early life into a human monster and also idolizes Hannibal Lecter. He also has an obsession with the William Blake painting, The Great Red Dragon and the Women Clothed In Sun. Francis Dolarhyde knows that Will Graham is coming and he intends to stop him. By killing, Dolarhyde believes, he can become the Dragon. But now Dolarhyde's killing spree is put on hold when he falls in love with a blind co worker, Reba McClane (Emily Watson). Will he stop his murder spree and his search for Graham or will he become the Dragon? This film is sure to please the fans of The Silence of the Lambs.

    There is quite a bit of "battle" going around about which cast was better. But that can't be decided by them, but you as the viewer. Please, sit back and see what Dr. Hannibal Lecter is up to this time in Red Dragon. If you enjoy this film, I recommend you the original novel as well as the original version of this film, Manhunter.
  • youngcrowe6 October 2002
    10/10
    If you like the book, you'll DIE for the movie
    I went in expecting "Red Dragon" to be terrible. I am a huge fan of the book by Thomas Harris. I was shocked when I came out of the movie COMPLETELY satisfied. I LOVED it. It followed the book so closely, and was done so artistically I almost couldn't believe I had seen a "Hannibal" movie. This went all for story and NOT for gore, the opposite of what was done with "Hannibal", the movie based on Thomas Harris' book of the same name. It kept all of the characters the way they should have been, and amazingly did not over use the character Hannibal, which was my biggest fear of how the movie was going to be. Instead, I was able to sit and recite the lines along with the movie the first time I saw it because it was STRAIGHT from the book. Like I've said before and I will say again, stick to what Thomas Harris writes and you'll get a good movie, don't and you get junk!! (Like Hannibal). This is a MUST SEE, especially if you like the book.
  • lopcar199314 December 2009
    8/10
    A great prequel to the mind blowing "The Silence of the Lambs"...
    Red Dragon, while not as good as Silence of the Lambs, lives up to it's horrific roots exceedingly well and gives us a great look at evil contained.

    Red Dragon is set prior to the events in the 1991 classic Silence of the lambs. In this we see how Lecter was captured and incarcerated at the Psych hospital it also introduces to us yet again retired FBI agent William "Will" Graham the man who captures the beast. After Lecter is tried and convicted of 11 murders an sentenced to 9 consecutive life terms, a new serial killer dubiously nicknamed "The Tooth Fairy" and later "The Dragon". emerges and murders two family in tow different cities a month apart. Naturally this catches the attention of the FBI and they immediately seek out Will Graham(Norton) to help track down this psychopathic mad man. Graham reluctantly agrees to help track down, "Red Dragon." Red Dragon is brilliant, dark, complex, sadistic, horrific and relentlessly suspenseful it's one of the best of the series. But the haunting similarities between this prequel and "The Silence of the Lambs" keeps it from being the truly terrifying epic it could have been. Brett Ratner(Director of X-3 and The Family Man) does amazing here directing season actor Anthony Hopkins at his terrifying best. Ratner understands the material and he understands what Lecter is and how he should be played out on screen. The film is well conceived and well played out in every way imaginable it works on some many levels that when your watching it you don't feel like your seeing a movie but living it. It's extremely nerve jangling. All in all "Red Dragon" is an amazing piece of film making that is sure to please fans of the series and new comers alike.

    Anthony Hopkins is more terrifying and sinister than ever as the diabolical Hannibal Lecter but he is left mostly as a bit player. But the scenes he is in are truly terrifying and solidify that Hopkins is one of the best actor of our generation. Edward Norton is fantastic and at the top of his game in this twisty and mind blowing thriller. Norton's Will Graham is much more resourceful and more brilliant than William Petersen version of Graham in Michael Mann"s "Man hunter". Ed Norton use every inch of his genius acting ability to make the character believable and worth watch on screen . Ralph Fiennes steals the show as the malicious and psychotic Tooth-fairy, Fiennes almost outclasses Hopkins and Norton in his role which is sad to see but also amazing at the same time. Fiennes performance truly blows your mind it may also shock you at the same time how crafty and sinister he can be. It's truly a sight to see. But all in all the cast is truly brilliant and something to admire in this heart stopping psychological thriller.

    Brett Ratner's "Red Dragon" is enthralling in the fact that it draws you into a world you think you know and then completely spin it around on you and gives you something you've never seen before. It's as mind boggling and it is intriguing it will engage you every minute and every second you watch it. It's one of those films that must be seen not for the characters or the action but for the psychological aspects it relays onto the audience. All in all Red Dragon is one manhunt you'll want in on.
  • samkrainak11 December 2005
    10/10
    a well made prequel and remake of Manhunter.
    The prequel of Silence of the lambs is well done film. its less about Lecter and more about the nature of human evil. 16 years prior to this film was man hunter, the first movie to the adaptation of the novel. This one is better made, better of the based off the novel. you are about to meet Franices Dahlrahyde, an unspeakable human monster, who became that way threw years child abuse. The FBI nicked named him the tooth fairy. Franices hates that, because he says he becoming the RED DRAGEN. We see Dahlrahyde as a shy, very strong,heres voices of the red dragon,his abusive grandma, and a John doe serial killer, who believes he's ugly and wants to change. When fellow co-worker Reba, who's blind, gets romantically close Dahlrahyde she sees him as a human bean. This changes him, because she dose not see is ugliness. we also meet FBI agent Will graham, who has a brilliant gift of entering a killers mind. He's experienced because he captured the en genus and infamous Lector. We also meet Lecter when Will captures him, and visits him. lecter gives Will little clues to the tooth fairy because Lecter is more curious of Will s mind. The crime scene's are wickedly evil. The slides we see with Francis are also wicked, but tell how Francies wants to be reborn.
  • Raiderofthelastfries7 October 2002
    1/10
    Dissapointing
    A flat, dull move. Its loathsome the way Anthony Hopkins has turned Hannibal Lecter into a camp caricature (and casts a pall on the great Silence, more so than his performance in Hannibal because this movie is practically the same as the original). Edward Norton gives a merely okay performance that has nothing on William Peterson's superior turn in Manhunter. Quite simply he isn't developed enough for us to care much about him anyway. In order to justice to do the novel, a Red Dragon movie would have to be at least three and a half hours to cover both Graham's, and Dolarhyde's (well played by Fiennes here, though again, Tom Noonan in the original is a helluva lot more menacing) unique psychological idiosyncrasies...

    DO LET THE BAD REVIEWS SCARE YOU OFF. Sadly there's nothing here that hasn't been picked over in the decades since Red Dragon's publication in tv shows, or that wasn't done much better in Silence of the Lambs. If you absolutely MUST get your Lecter fix, buy a ticket to a better movie, and sneak in. At least deny Brett Ratner the fool idea that's crafted quality entertainment.
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