The Silence of the Lambs Movie Poster
  • Released
  • September 6, 1991
  • R, 1 hr 59 min
  • Suspense/Thriller
  • 338 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Silence of the Lambs is a horror film that won Best Picture and got condemned by both sides. Family-values advocates like Michael Medved called it too gruesome and disgusting (albeit well made) to deserve the Academy Award. Gay-rights activists said it stereotyped transgender people as freakish monsters. Still, kids may be curious. The movie concerns extreme psychopaths and the graphic atrocities they commit, including references to twisted sexual urges and perversities. Much of the worst violence is offscreen, in autopsy photos or just discussed -- but that's close enough, and we witness some representative brutality and horror near the climax. The murderous psychologist-serial killer Hannibal Lecter is something of a "gentleman" killer, contrasted with the grotesque "Buffalo Bill," who is shown at one point fully nude. There is an oppressive atmosphere of menace, especially towards women.

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