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Manhunter

Mann hits top form with this splendidly stylish and oppressive thriller adapted from Thomas Harris' Red Dragon. The plot is complex and ingenious: FBI forensics expert Will Graham (Peterson), blessed (and tormented) by an ability to fathom the workings of the criminal mind through psychic empathy, is brought back from voluntary retirement to track down a serial killer, the 'Tooth Fairy'. Focused on the anxiety and confusion of the hunter rather than his psychotic prey, the film functions both as a disturbing examination of voyeurism, and as an often almost unbearably grim suspenser. Mann creates a terrifying menacing atmosphere without resorting to graphic depiction of the seriously nasty killings: music, designer-expressionist 'Scope photography, and an imaginative use of locations, combine with shots of the aftermath of the massacres to evoke a world nightmarishly perceived by Graham's haunted sensibility. The performances, too, are superior, most memorably Cox's intellectually brilliant and malevolent asylum inmate. One of the most impressive American thrillers of the late '80s.

Release details

Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Mann
Screenwriter: Michael Mann
Cast: William Peterson
Kim Greist
Joan Allen
Brian Cox
Dennis Farina
Stephen Lang
Tom Noonan
David Seaman

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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benjamin ross

if you haven't seen this film i urge you to. forget silence of the lambs and forget anthony hopkins as hannibal lechter. manhunter is so much better and brian cox is the real lechter. probably the best movie in the serial killer genre, this will grip you from start to end. great soundtrack, great images, great performances. michael mann's best film. it's my favourite american movie ever