Manhunter ★★★★★

When random families are brutally murdered in their homes, an FBI profiler who chases serial killers by learning to think like them is brought out of retirement. When he delves too deeply into the minds of madmen, however, he finds his own sanity at stake.

The horror-edged 1986 police thriller, Manhunter, directed by Michael Mann, is adapted from the Thomas Harris novel, Red Dragon. In my eyes, it is still the best movie adaptation of a Harris story, even eclipsing the 1991 adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs. Tom Noonan is fantastic as Francis Dollarhyde and Brian Cox is chilling as the first screen incarnation of Hannibal Lector (spelled Lecktor in this film), but the real win is the mix of cinematography and music, which had the same 1980s sheen as Mann's Miami Vice television series. I lost count of how many times I used to rent this movie back in the late 1980s when I was in high school.

Manhunter was filmed partly in Atlanta, Georgia, with the Hannibal Lector sequence taking place at the High Museum of Art, which is depicted in the film as an institution. My familiarity with some of the settings added immensely to my enjoyment of this movie during my teenage years.

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