100

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The superbly crafted suspense thriller…slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror.
Full Review
100

San Francisco Chronicle

The interplay between Starling and Lector as they share an indefinable, dark understanding gives the film its unforgettable and unsettling power. [14 February 1991, Daily Notebook, p.E1]
Full Review
100

USA Today

By Susan Wloszczyna
A movie with this kind of haunting power comes along only once every decade or so. [20 February 1991, Life, p.11D]
Full Review
97

Mr. Showbiz

Though the film's subject matter is grisly, the electricity between Foster and Hopkins during their prison tête-à-têtes could power every maximum-security prison in this country.
Full Review
90

TV Guide

Hopkins plays the cannibalistic doctor with a quiet, controlled erudition, lacing his performance with moments of black humor. His Lecter is a sort of satanic Sherlock Holmes whose spasms of violence are all the more terrifying because they erupt from beneath such an intelligent and refined mask.
Full Review
89

Austin Chronicle

By Steve Davis
At long, long last: the real thing.
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
It has been a good long while since I have felt the presence of Evil so manifestly demonstrated as in the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Chilling and creepy, and there's no denying that the most celebrated aspect of the film -- the Clarice/Hannibal connection -- could not have been accomplished with greater skill.
Full Review
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Jay Scott
The plot is squeezed dry in this bloody Valentine from Hollywood and becomes annoyingly predictable. Thriller stumbles on its own success
Full Review
50

Chicago Tribune

By Gene Siskel
Billed as one of the most frightening, depraved films ever made. Would that it were so. Instead, this is a case of much ado about nothing. [15 February 1991, Friday, p.C]
Full Review
84 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.