- Directors: Brett Ratner
- Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
- Writers: Screenplay, Ted Tally, Novel, Thomas Harris
- Genres: Drama, Thriller
- Actors: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Louise Parker, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison
In his Baltimore townhouse, famous local psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter hosts a dinner party. The main subject of conversation over dinner is the disappearance of a local musician who was criticized for playing several wrong notes at a concert that Lecter attended. He then serves what the guests see as a delicious meal.
After dinner, Lecter is visited by Will Graham, a young gifted FBI agent, with whom he has been working on a psychological profile of a local serial killer. Edible body parts of the victims, such as the kidneys and liver were removed from the bodies after being killed, and Graham is convinced that the killer is actually a cannibal. During the consultation and brainstorming session, Graham discovers evidence implicating Dr. Lecter in the murders, shortly before Lecter returns and attacks Graham, wounding and nearly killing him before Graham resists and subdues him.
Lecter is subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane while Graham, severely traumatized by the experience, retires from the FBI.
Years later, another serial killer appears. Nicknamed the Tooth Fairy, he stalks and murders seemingly random families during sequential full moons. Hoping to speed things up and capture the killer before his next attack, Special Agent Jack Crawford seeks out Graham and pleads for his assistance. Graham, believing the death of another family to be an unbearable burden on his conscience, reluctantly agrees. After checking over the crime scenes, with only minimal insight, he comes to the realization that most of his previous successes were achieved due to the insightful collaborations of Dr. Lecter, and concludes that he must once again visit Lecter and seek his help in capturing the Tooth Fairy.
It is learned in Hannibal that Lecter chose his victims based on his belief that they were rude in some manner. In the film, it is mentioned that he had attended the concert in which the missing musician had played the wrong notes, ruining the piece. This falls directly into Lecter’s definition of someone being rude. Since Red Dragon was written before Hannibal, this was also not mentioned in the book.