Manhunter ★★★★★

What makes Brian Cox's Hannibal the best for me, is that he displays an almost lazy approach to evil that pivots away from convention in how to portray him. I like to say that it's the villainous inversion of Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption. A lifer, not really cynical, but almost resigned to his fate. I don't think you see him stand for any more than 10-20 seconds at all. Most amusing to me is that he's laying down in his meager jail cell bed, when he talks to Will Graham about church roofs caving in and the power God possesses.

It's certainly one element that makes this one of Michael Mann's most enduring works. The cinematography, choices in music and of course writing and performances stand today (even if it feels firmly planted in 1986). It's influence can be felt later on, mostly in television (not the least, the procedurals that have dominated the basic networks for years now), but still stands above most serial killer films as the most dramatically dynamic and heart-pounding.

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