A vicious psychopath is murdering women throughout the Midwest. Believing it takes one to know one, the F.B.I. Sends agent Clarice Starling (Foster) to interview a prisoner who may provide clues to the killer's actions. That prisoner is Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a brilliant, demented cannibal who agrees to help Starling only if she'll feed his morbid curiosity with details of her own complicated life. But as their relationship develops, Starling is forced to confront not only her own hidden demons but also an evil so powerful that she may not have the courage - or strength - to stop it!