100

Salon.com

The best Hannibal Lecter movie and one of the greatest suspense movies ever made... A lurid masterpiece that pays homage to the seductiveness of pulp, not by dressing it in the trappings of fine art but by stripping it to the essentials of what we responded to in the material in the first place.
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90

Film Threat

As with all of Mann's films, Manhunter is an intense experience. All of the actors, including even legendary goofball Chris Elliott, give brooding, serious performances.
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90

The A.V. Club

By Keith Phipps
Mann takes all the instincts he learned as a Miami Vice producer and trims them of their excesses, and the result is an unsettling thriller whose detached style perfectly complements its psychological intensity.
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88

Chicago Tribune

By Gene Siskel
William L. Petersen (''To Live and Die in L.A.”) gives another mesmerizing, seeming nonperformance as the brilliant agent on the trail of a serial killer who has murdered families in the South. [29 Aug 1986]
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83

Entertainment Weekly

The brilliance of Michael Mann's Manhunter is that it appreciates that the true nexus of humanity is our shared closeness.
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80

TV Guide

Petersen is superb as the obsessive investigator who risks madness each time he takes on a case, and Tom Noonan is absolutely chilling as the psycho killer.
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70

Chicago Reader

I'm rather intrigued with what Mann does with his stylistic envelope: it's simultaneously hypnotic and enervating, meditative and empty, like a white-noise background or a field of electronic snow on the tube.
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70

Variety

An unpleasantly gripping thriller... Interesting Hitchcockian guilt transference territory and Mann's grip on his material is tight and sure. Director is at all times preoccupied by visual chic.
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50

Los Angeles Times

By Sheila Benson
With Manhunter, there seems to be some danger that style has overrun content, leaving behind a vast, chic, well-cast wasteland. [15 Aug 1986]
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25

San Francisco Chronicle

Without a compelling - and convincingly compelled - character at its center, the details in this film lack an agonizing drop-by-drop tension. The various pieces fall apart like the shattered mirrors that figure in the crimes. [15 Aug 1986]
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78 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.