Manhunter ★★★★

"In-a-gadda-da-vida, baby, Don't you know that I want you?" -Slayer,

How can you tell that a serial killer is blonde?

When a serial killer who goes by the "Tooth Fairy" begins his campaign of murder, the FBI gets profiler Will Graham to come out of retirement for one last case. The fractured man does his best to solve the predicament but relies on help from Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (first appearance) to unravel the clues of the tooth fairy. This is an intensely focused crime drama with great performances and a wonderful script. Manhunter is a deeply influential movie that laid the blueprint for serial killer films and TV shows like Criminal Minds for the coming decades.

Great characters in this film. Our lead, Will Graham is a creepy dude who is on the edge because of all the shit he has seen. William Peterson is an underrated actor in my opinion and he is perfect for this character who is on the edge of breaking. Hannibal Lecktor is different in this film and I have to admit that in some ways I like him better than the character in The Silence of the Lambs. He seems more like a real person here which I find scarier. I love the rest of the grizzled detectives and the sleazy journalist. Tom Noonan is great, as always, in the role of the Tooth Fairy... it's a buffet of interesting persons.

This is a basic crime movie but also a film about obsession with the job. Manhunter spends a ton of time on police procedure and the inner workings of the case and I appreciate that. Some may wish that there was more focus on the actions of the serial killer but I like the restraint and focus on the actual investigation. The film shows how the case impacts Will Graham's family life as well and I found that all of that stuff was done very well. It kind of has a lull in the second act but by the third act it's all about geniuses solving crimes time.

It's a vibey crime drama that I loved. Recommended to people that like crime procedurals and the gritty 1980s aesthetic.

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