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The Silence of the Lambs
Buy the DVD  Barnes &
Length:1h 58mins
Cast:Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn

One of the most gripping and horrifying thrillers ever, The Silence of the Lambs introduced moviegoers to the screen's most blood-curdling antihero: brilliant, urbane, softspoken Hannibal Lecter -- a psychotic killer and confirmed cannibal. As depicted with three-dimensional fidelity by Anthony Hopkins, Lecter's a shrewdly manipulative but devilishly charming fiend to whom maximum-security incarceration is merely a temporary setback. Jonathan Demme's bone-chilling adaptation of the bestselling novel by Thomas Harris initially focuses on FBI agent Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster), following her exhaustive but ineffectual search for a serial killer. She approaches Lecter for help, persuading him to give her valuable insights into the workings of a similarly affected criminal mind. But the importance of Starling's quest recedes dramatically when the evil genius escapes, and Demme tantalizes viewers with her dilemma: Can she find the killer before Lecter finds her? An intense, unforgettable thriller that confounds genre expectations, Silence draws its effectiveness from a beautifully crafted screenplay rich in characterization, Oscar-winning performances by Hopkins and Foster; and the sure-handed direction of Demme. Ed Hulse

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