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Let it be said: Ralph Fiennes is an extremely capable, even great, actor, but as Francis Dolarhyde, the twisted, enigmatic serial killer of Red Dragon, he’s nothing special. In broad strokes, his performance is effective and believable, but what results is a rather one-note portrayal of a demented, schizoprenic victim of child abuse. What’s lacking is any sense of pathos, so the film is reduced to surface pleasures: a perfunctory thriller without an emotional center.

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