All 5 Hannibal Lecter Movies in Order

Hannibal lecter movies in order

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Hannibal Lecter is a fictional character created by author Thomas Harris. Lecter is a serial killer and a cannibal, he was based on Dykes Askew Simmons who was a killer who could “package his victim in a surprisingly small box”. He appeared in four novels that were adapted into five films and two TV series.

Hannibal Lecter is a child of the Lithuanian nobility. He is highly intelligent, and cultured and he has impeccable manners. Even though he is a cannibalistic serial killer, he says he only “prefers to eat the rude”. He was a respected forensic psychiatrist, and after his imprisonment, he was consulted by the FBI to help them find other serial killers.

How Many Hannibal Lecter Movies Are There?

There are five Hannibal Lecter movies. The first came out in 1986 called Manhunter and it was based on the book Red Dragon. In 1991 The Silence of the Lambs was based on a book of the same name. Ten years later in 2001, the third book Hannibal was adapted into a movie of the same name. Red Dragon is the second attempt to adapt the first book, it came out in 2002. In 2007, the last book was adapted into a movie called Hannibal Rising.

Hannibal Lecter Movies In Order (At A Glance)

Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal and a serial killer. There are five movies telling his story, from his youth all the way to his imprisonment. Here are all five movies as a list for easier viewing.

  1. Manhunter (1986)
  2. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  3. Hannibal (2001)
  4. Red Dragon (2002)
  5. Hannibal Rising (2007)

In the first movie, Hannibal is portrayed by Brian Cox. In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon he is played by Anthony Hopkins who earned an Academy Award for his role.  In the prequel, Hannibal Rising Gaspard Ulliel took on the role of Hannibal Lecter.


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What Is The Best Way To Watch Hannibal Lecter Movies?

The best way to watch all five Hannibal Lecter movies is chronological. The first movie to watch is the prequel, Hannibal Rising (2007). After that we have Manhunter (1986) and Red Dragon(2002) as we follow Lecter as he helps the FBI from behind the bars, leading to his eventual escape from prison in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). In the last movie, Hannibal (2001), we see Lecter in Italy as he is being hunted by a rich deformed pedophile obsessed with him and by the police.

Hannibal Lecter Movies In Order (Chronologically)

1. Hannibal Rising (2007)

Director: Peter Webber
Screenplay: Thomas Harris
Starring:Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys Ifans, Dominic West
Run time: 121 minutes

Synopsis: After witnessing the violent deaths of his parents at the end of World War II, young Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) flees to his uncle’s home in Paris. He learns his uncle is dead, but the man’s mysterious Japanese widow, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) welcomes him nonetheless. An aptitude for science helps Hannibal gain acceptance to medical school, where he hones the skills he needs to exact revenge for the atrocities he witnessed.

2. Manhunter (1986)


Director: Michael Mann
Screenplay: Michael Mann
Starring: William Petersen, Stephen Lang Brian Cox, Tom Noonan
Run time: 119 minutes

Synopsis: FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (William L. Petersen) is called out of early retirement to assist on a serial murder case involving a killer known as the “Tooth Fairy” (Tom Noonan). Graham enlists the help of imprisoned serial killer — and cannibal — Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), who is the reason Graham took early retirement. Soon, Graham and the FBI are entangled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game between the Tooth Fairy, Lecktor, and an interfering journalist (Stephen Lang).

3. Red Dragon (2002)


Director: Brett Ratner
Screenplay: Ted Tally, Thomas Harris
Starring: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes
Run time: 119 minutes

Synopsis: Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process of capturing the elusive Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). After a series of particularly grisly murders, Graham soon realizes that the best way to catch this killer, known as the Tooth Fairy, is to find a way to get inside the killer’s mind. For Graham, that means confronting his past and facing his former nemesis, the now-incarcerated Lecter.

4. Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Director: Jonathan Demme
Screenplay: Ted Tally, Thomas Harris
Starring: Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine
Run time: 119 minutes

Synopsis: Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

5. Hannibal (2001)


Director: Ridley Scott
Screenplay: Thomas Harris, David Mamet, Steven Zaillian
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta
Run time: 131 minutes

Synopsis: Seven years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) escaped from custody. The doctor is now at large in Europe. Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) remembers Lecter too and is obsessed with revenge. Verger was Dr. Lecter’s sixth victim, and though horribly disfigured, has survived. Verger realizes that to draw the doctor into the open, he must use someone as bait: Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore).


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Where To Watch Hannibal Lecter Movies?

You are able to stream Hannibal Rising (2007) on Plex, Pluto, and Tubi. Manhunter (1986) currently can’t be streamed on any platform. Red Dragon (2002) is streaming now on HBO Max. Right now The Silence of the Lambs can be streamed on Showtime, fuboTV, and Amazon Prime. And lastly, you can watch Hannibal (2001) on fuboTV.

All movies can also be rented or purchased on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play.

Are Hannibal Lecter Movies Connected?

The movies are connected. Each is a part of the Lecter’s life story, but they can be enjoyed and understood separately. To simplest way to describe it is:

In Hannibal Rising (2007) we find out the reason why Hannibal Lecter is the way he is. Manhunter (1986) and/or Red Dragon (2002) show us the man he was before he became the man he is today. Silence of the Lambs (1991) shows us who Lecter is today. And Hannibal (2001) is the representation of the man he will be tomorrow.

Will There Be More Hannibal Lecter Movies?

With all the information we have now, there are no new Hannibal Lecter movies have been scheduled for the future. The book series written by Thomas Harris was completely adapted to the big screen. There are projects involving Hannibal Lecter on the small screen like the Hannibal TV series starring Mads Mikkelsen that came out in 2013 and continued for 3 seasons. Hannibal Lecter is a fictional character that is still referenced in pop culture as a brilliant, but disturbed mind.

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