Mention "Silence of the Lambs" to someone, and they will most likely say something involving Hannibal Lecter. Most notably portrayed by Anthony Hopkins, this psychologist/psychopath has become an iconic villain, and rightly so. His portrayal of the well-bred, intelligent, witty, and utterly sociopathic Lecter is eerily convincing.
But Silence of the Lambs has more going for it than just Lecter. Most of the other actors are perfectly cast: Jodie Foster as the desperately-trying-to-escape-her-hillbilly-roots Starling, Anthony Heald as the slightly slimy and very unpleasant Dr. Chilton, and Ted Levine is terrifying as Buffalo Bill. One personal side note, Jack Crawford was nothing like I had imagined him upon reading the book. What I expected him to be like was more like Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction. But that's something you'll always get with film adaptations of books.
When you cut right down to the core of the film, it is really just a basic "whodunnit." There's several crimes, some clues, and the protagonists have to find out who did it before he does it again. But it's the addition of Lecter that takes it to the next level, making this film one of the scariest I have ever seen. If you're not adverse to some gore, I very much recommend this film, which deserves its status of "A classic."