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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Manhunter (1986)



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Before Anthony Hopkins made Hannibal Lecter a screen icon, Michael Mann directed this adaptation of Red Dragon, Thomas Harris' first novel featuring the character. Here he is played by Brian Cox as a supporting character with little screen time.

In contrast with the 2002 remake, Manhunter is a more serious crime drama. It expedites the portrayal of the killer and his relationship with a blind woman, but counterbalances that with a more sound handling of FBI agent Will Graham (William L. Petersen, better known for the role of Gil Grissom on television's CSI) and his relationship with his family. It's a solid, evocative piece of filmmaking. Pros and cons all added up, though, Red Dragon is the better version.

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