Hannibal Rising

Out Now On-Demand

Based on Thomas Harris’ latest novel in the enduring thriller series, this prequel traces the beginnings of Hannibal Lector - from childhood to before his capture by FBI agent Will Graham in Red Dragon (Bit of history: Red Dragon was first adapted in the 1986 Michael Mann film called Manhunter which starred Brian Cox as the brainy madman. The subsequent Anthony Hopkins trilogy ended with a 2002 re-make of the same novel, under the book’s original title. The others in the series are Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal).

Hannibal Rising follows Hannibal Lector (Frenchman Gaspard Ulliel) from his childhood during WW2 in Lithuania, time in France, and 10 years in England. Through his travels, Lector’s intelligence and the self-knowledge of his dark nature, start to become clear.


Directed by

Written by



Rating: R18 contains sadistic violence

France, UK, USA

Official Site



Unfortunately, there's none of the dark humour of The Silence Of The Lambs and the dialogue's often simplistic. Gong Li is a visual treat as Hannibal's particularly beloved aunt, but like Ulliel, her character is a bit thin. A straightforward revenge drama with added gore, Hannibal Rising is worth a watch out of curiosity, but don't expect it to give you deep, probing insights into the psychology of everyone's favourite cannibal...

Empire Magazine [UK]


Gong Li is welcome as Hannibal's Japanese aunt-in-law/mentor, Gaspard Ulliel isn't a bad young Lecter and Webber's direction is intermittently classy -- but this is a footnote rather than a film...

Hollywood Reporter


It's all quite a mess, with awkward performances, worse dialogue and a painfully protracted running time conspiring against any chance of enjoyment, even in a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure way...

Premiere Magazine [USA]


1/2 The story's beginning is in a rush to get to the the killings, which get more and more disgusting...

San Fransisco Chronicle


Hannibal Rising isn't a classic, but it's entertaining and a surprisingly fitting addition to the franchise...

The New York Times


Silly, slack and unforgivably tedious, Thomas Harris's screenplay is padded with interminable flashbacks and a bombastic score that telegraphs every emotion Hannibal represses. And there are a lot of them...

Variety [USA]


This upmarket slasher is a well-produced but slow-moving thriller that never quite roars to life...