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Overall Rating
3.81

Awesome38.21%
Worth A Look: 32.55%
Average: 11.79%
Pretty Bad: 7.08%
Total Crap: 10.38%

12 reviews, 140 user ratings


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Talented Mr. Ripley, The
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by robertrosado

"A powerful and disturbing thriller."
5 stars

How far would you go to be someone else? If there was someone better looking, wealthier, cooler... what would you give to be them for one day? Actually, forget one day. What would you give to have their life? In Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", based on Patricia Highsmith's classic suspense novel, our protagonist is presented with this tantalizing opportunity, and makes the wrong choice.

Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a step up from being nobody. He is a piano tuner at Princeton, and lives a shabby lifestyle. He is a mystery man, everyone sees him, yet nobody knows who he is. When wealthy businessman Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) mistakes Tom for somebody else, Tom is handed a ticket to Italy, and given a small task: To persuade Herbert's son, Dickie (Jude Law) to come back to America. When Tom meets Dickie and Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), his beautiful fiancée, he believes that he has entered a whole new world, filled with jazz, culture, money, and everything else that Tom never had. As time goes on, that dream that Tom has longed for is threatened by Dickie's arrogant personality and hurtful affairs. As an act of self-defense (and rage), Tom brutally kills Dickie. Now, Tom is desperate to make sure that this way of living stays with him, while not getting caught.

Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") should be recognized as a quality director. His use of color and cinematography is moody, unsettling, and impeccable. Unlike many other filmmakers, his choices always work. In one haunting shot, Ripley closes the cover of a piano. As he steps away from it, his reflection splits into two, illuminating his split personality. His screenplay of Highsmith's novel is terrific. It is filled with horror, light humor, exhilarating drama, and beautifully crafted exchanges. His taut script never loses sight of morbid places it has to go, and the point it has to make. He also throws in some fascinating, sexual undertones between Dickie and Tom.

In his best performance ever, Matt Damon ("Good Will Hunting") is absolutely mesmerizing in the title role. At first, the audience sympathizes with Ripley, given his meek personality and underwhelming existence. As the film goes on, we follow Ripley through his journey, as he evades his friends, and the police. Damon's Ripley is shy, clinging, lonely, and pathetic. A sad character. Through all of the bad things that he does, and all of the lies he tells, we still have no choice but to follow him. And that is because we understand, if not agree, with his motivations.

As Minghella himself once said, the most spoken word in the screenplay is "Dickie". It seems that, throughout the film's two and a half hour running time, all of the characters are fascinated with Dickie. It's the name on everyone's lips. Jude Law ("AI: Artificial Intelligence") exudes self-importance, class, and undeniable sexuality. Dickie is an abusive rascal and playboy, but we can't look away from him. Gwyneth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love") is brilliant as Marge, Dickie's long-suffering fiancée. Marge, like Tom, goes through a long and damaging journey. When she realizes that Dickie is missing, Marge is not sure exactly what to think. She likes Tom, so she doesn't really suspect him. Throughout the film, her thoughts shift back and forth, until she comes to a startling conclusion. In one heartbreaking moment, Marge approaches the door of Tom's apartment. She thinks that Dickie is in there, and she says: "Whatever it is you've done, you've broken my heart. That's one thing I know you're guilty of." It is a wonderful performance, one that was ignored by virtually every awards group.

Cate Blanchett ("Elizabeth") lights up her brief screen time as Meredith Logue, a spirited debutant. While Meredith does love Tom (actually, she is under the impression that Tom is Dickie), it never occurs to her that she is only a cog in Tom's little game. Finally, Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Magnolia") is appropriately slimy as Freddie Miles, Dickie's best friend. Freddie might be a bit of a bastard, but he is one of the more honest characters in the film. Freddie knows that something has happened to his friend, and he's not going to stop until he finds out what.

In a scene with Peter Smith-Kinglsey (Jack Davenport), a concert pianist and friend of Marge, Tom says: "I've always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody, than a real nobody". This is what the film is all about, and this is what the audience must decide on. The eerie and atmospheric score is provided by Gabriel Yared, the arresting cinematography by John Seale (practically a dreamy showcase for Italy), and the smooth editing by Walter Murch. These elements, combined with a stellar cast and Minghella's talent, form a masterpiece. This is a powerful and disturbing thriller, one that I will not soon forget.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3426&reviewer=394
originally posted: 12/18/04 06:02:08
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell not a bad flick 4 stars
5/17/17 Louise Love this film - seen it several times. Brilliantly made and great story. 5 stars
5/24/14 The king Stunning italian backdrop with great disturbing story 5 stars
5/06/14 Jason Probably Damon's best performance 5 stars
2/06/14 PAUL SHORTT OVERLONG, DISTURBING, SLOPPY SUSPENSE DRAMA, DESPITE GOOD PERFORMANCES 2 stars
2/07/11 Pamela White Contrived is the word, terrible not talented at all 2 stars
2/09/10 Craig D. An insulting dumbing down of the story. Read the book or watch Purple Noon instead. 2 stars
10/28/09 the dork knight Mostly crap. And I think they forgot to add an ending. 3 stars
10/06/08 Mike B Freaking great movie. I don't care what you say 5 stars
8/15/07 The Sucky MR. Ripley The voice impressions sucked, his life sucked, this movie sucked. 1 stars
1/11/07 Phil M. Aficionado Could we make it any more contrived? Not possible? OK, just had to ask. 2 stars
1/10/07 David Pollastrini not horrible 2 stars
8/12/05 ES Zzzzz... huh what? =thank god its over 1 stars
3/02/05 Andrea Hale The Great Gatsby meets Alfred Hitchcock! Destined to be a classic. 5 stars
2/13/05 John Bale Well crafted and acted off beat thriller with great scenary 4 stars
12/31/04 DM Creepy and unsettling 4 stars
5/27/04 Vince Loved this one. Highly Recommended! 5 stars
4/10/04 Kendall Tomlinson The best film I've seen in the last 20 years! 5 stars
3/18/04 u've The film is great esp with Jude Law. He's definitely way hotter than Damon. 5 stars
1/19/04 Helen Bradley Matt excellent, last scene a problem 5 stars
1/08/04 A F Boring yet strangly boring 3 stars
12/20/03 Kent I simply loved this film. Captures the 50's 5 stars
9/22/03 Darryl Damon sucks in everything. At least the story here is pretty interesting. 3 stars
5/22/03 JL Sounds good, but when i tried to watch it i got bored & left half way through. 3 stars
4/02/03 Marcia Lartz Philip Seymour Hoffman gives best performance; Jude Law's Oscar nom. made no sense. 3 stars
12/07/02 Kyle I don't like Damon very much. But Law is luscious! 4 stars
11/28/02 Lady who hates romantic comedies Jude Law is 1000+ times hotter than Matt Damon - Gwyneth is paltry as always 4 stars
11/01/02 Jenny Madere The movie's unexpected events made it intresting to watch 4 stars
10/28/02 Butterbean It's something I'll see only once, but I just wanted to give Ripley a hug. 3 stars
9/22/02 Brahmsian Gwyneth is gorgeous, and the scenery is too, but the movie? Snore City. 2 stars
9/14/02 Riki Once you can understand the characters, this movie is AMAZING. 5 stars
8/08/02 . Just a weird movie, BOOOOORINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG 2 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi god, i hated this, id rather watch.....ants phucking each other...hehehe, thatd be funny... 1 stars
4/02/02 Marcia Lartz Philip Seymour Hoffman gives best performance; Jude Law's Oscar nom. made no sense. 3 stars
12/25/01 ryan movie is methodical but not boring 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary A solid, stylish adaptation. Damon is a fantastic actor & Blanchett lights up the screen. 4 stars
8/18/01 Mike The movie was more boring than a root canal. 1 stars
7/15/01 Josh Tybur I'm sorry, the acting was great, but this movie bored me to tears. 1 stars
6/21/01 Gary Acting is excellent, particularly Blanchett and Damon, but is overlong and lacked impact. 3 stars
5/31/01 Dann What a cool film! Why do most of the people here not like it? I loved the ending. 4 stars
5/31/01 Matt Dorsey Despite fine acting and an origional feel, still one of the worst movies I've seen. Go fig. 2 stars
5/26/01 Basil I felt really sorry for Tom. God I hated Gwyenth Paltrow. 5 stars
4/23/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Subtle themes of sex and mental illness, which work beautifully. Gwyneth still blows goats 4 stars
4/09/01 ChErRyRiPe What a boring piece of shit! 1 stars
3/20/01 hum avoided this due to all the hype. sorry I didnt see it sooner. 4 stars
2/14/01 Jake Good have been so much better. Lost interest after first hour 2 stars
1/26/01 movie chick A damned fine movie if you ask me. 5 stars
1/15/01 Yoshi What idot could think this piece of absolute shit was entertaining?I'd rather watch Pokemon 1 stars
12/24/00 Marc Lookout Hated every second. Faggot shit. Ripley talented only at sucking dick. 1 stars
11/06/00 F. W. Awesome! Matt Damon excels. Every bit as gripping as the novel. 5 stars
10/04/00 Elvisfan Gwynnie aside, I liked it very much. Matt & Jude & Cate were great 4 stars
9/03/00 The Extreaminizer Horrible Matt Damon........Get Back to Good Will Hunting......Bagger Vance will save you... 1 stars
8/03/00 Jed Acting was alright but the film goes down in flaws and is overlong. 3 stars
7/31/00 Matthew Bartley Quite possibly the worst film ever!Sucks all ass does not even come close! 1 stars
7/30/00 Jude Law is superb! Chris 5 stars
7/24/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Nothing like the book. Rewritten to please stupid Hollywood folks. Ripley should kill them. 1 stars
7/05/00 Michael Grimm ending blew chunks, director is full of himself 1 stars
4/11/00 Ernie Levesque Tiring and Ambivalent. Paltrow is wonderful. 3 stars
4/07/00 Tim This movie bored me and I couldn't wait to get out of the theater 2 stars
3/29/00 Jessica Brilliant. Any movie that shows Matt and Jude naked is all right by me. 5 stars
3/27/00 Richard Wright A well acted, gripping film with surprises aplenty and a career best performance from MD. 4 stars
3/27/00 Linn Cool, so deep so thoughful! 5 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs CRAP! It was made out to be one of the best movies out. Too long. Matt was crap! 1 stars
3/04/00 Phlipit Jude Law's Butt 5 stars
3/03/00 Matthew Bartley Pompous, boring, badly acted, over inflated crap 1 stars
3/01/00 Booyah! Crap. But then Minghella's stuff is always overrated. 2 stars
2/29/00 Rachem it was an ok flick, great cinematography and such, but i say relegate it to the renter pile 3 stars
2/26/00 Allan Spellbinding. Beautifully made. Cate Blanchett/Jack Davenport-THE BEST. 5 stars
2/25/00 Matthew Smith terrific performances, a thriller in hitchcockian style. 5 stars
2/24/00 Mic Bland, predictable, implausible, contrived, unconvincing. 3 stars
2/24/00 tom matt damon--wheres the oscar nom, or the oscar for that matter 5 stars
2/16/00 Heather One of the year's best! 5 stars
2/12/00 Skye Chapman very pretty, but hardly profound. the gay guy did it (again!) 4 stars
2/11/00 CRAIG BEST THERE'S MUCH MORE HERE THERE INITIALLY MEETS THE EYE; A VERY RICH SUBTEXT 4 stars
2/10/00 Greg Harris Hot Hot Hot Matt Damon 5 stars
2/06/00 jess wonderfully disturbing. 5 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Somebody kill Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm sick of that overrated, whey-faced toothpick. 2 stars
2/06/00 Adelina Minghella has produced yet another wonderful film. Everything about it was just superb. 5 stars
1/30/00 Kevin Cho, movie-buff Oscar-worthy - 2nd best film of the year, BEST big-producer movie. 5 stars
1/30/00 P.S.O.K it was slow as hell! at least i had a nice picture to look at. 4 stars
1/30/00 Charles Improved on the book 5 stars
1/29/00 Ami the Wonderbread Fantastic. Loved the story, the characters, the visuals, and Jude's performance! 5 stars
1/23/00 chick a great, great movie, a little slow, but *very* disturbing. 5 stars
1/21/00 tom the book is good but the movie is amazing-the oscar shouldhave damons name all over it 5 stars
1/21/00 LC Too slow! It was nice to take a $7 trip to Italy. 3 stars
1/18/00 Mike Hunt Chilling. Reminiscent of thrillers of the past. Damon is tremendous (in every scene)! 5 stars
1/18/00 Jerry Endeecott I love this film, fucking creepy, but also fucking good!! 5 stars
1/18/00 Karean Peterson This Movie Sucks. I would wait to see this movie on NBC. I almost went to sleep!! 2 stars
1/17/00 vickie All characters brilliantly played & you'll be talking and thinking about it for a long time 5 stars
1/17/00 Bueller Extremely well made and disturbing film. Damon was laughable while imitating Paltrow. 3 stars
1/16/00 Joe Shapira Creepy but wonderfully acted! 5 stars
1/13/00 Corey Shaw It Was Pure Unadulterated CRAP!!! 1 stars
1/12/00 Gracia totally shitty 1 stars
1/12/00 Carl A dark indentifiaction with Ripley may prompt the viewer to stay witht the movie. 4 stars
1/11/00 Maruice Nelsona I love this film!!! Very deep, dark, and terrifying, with excellent acting!!! 5 stars
1/11/00 Linda I found it disturbing but overall it didn't gel--but Jude Law is beautiful. 4 stars
1/10/00 Marlowe I want my 2 hours back. 1 stars
1/10/00 Zode Just what kind of movie is this, anyways? 2 stars
1/10/00 sherrie matt could have taken on more characteristics of dickie to create more of a mystery! 3 stars
1/07/00 Marcellous Wallace The best film I've seen in years! Don't miss it! 5 stars
1/07/00 Marvice Nelson What can't Anthony Minghella do? Matt was great too. 5 stars
1/06/00 StapleGirl Jude Law made the whole film. 4 stars
1/06/00 marcy piss poor acting/piss poor plot (tended to jump around a lot). and the ending. no..just no. 1 stars
1/06/00 Richard Miller Dark and creep, excellent acting, overall great film! 5 stars
1/06/00 Jerry Nicolason This film surpassed every expectation of mine, I absolutely loved it! 5 stars
1/06/00 Richard Miller Dark and creep, excellent acting, overall great film! 5 stars
1/06/00 meg Gorgeous scenery, good musical score, fabulous cast, but it left me feeling dank. 3 stars
1/05/00 Ryan Phillipe got hit by a car and it rules! This movie was about as fun as getting fucked in the ass by aliens w/ sladgehammer heads 1 stars
1/05/00 Laura Keating Jude Law is brilliant, film is beautiful, but story is dumbed down. The book was better. 4 stars
1/05/00 Jen absolutely amazing! 5 stars
1/05/00 jules the acting and filming superb-but so CREEPY i wanted to walk out 4 stars
1/04/00 Harvey Richardson The best film of the year! Nothing short of a masterpiece!! Go Matt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/04/00 Harvey Richardson The best film of the year! Nothing short of a masterpiece!! Go Matt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/04/00 Anthony B. So fucking good!! 5 stars
1/04/00 MAXOMENOS This movie felt like I was taking a bad drug. The acting was great, the plot sickening. 2 stars
1/04/00 ScottA2001 Tight story & makes sense all the way around 5 stars
1/03/00 SJKelley Damon makes up for his bad acting in Private Ryan. Jude Law! Too many contrivances at end. 4 stars
1/03/00 Jo Jo The Idiot Circus Boy It's about ME! IT'S ABOUT ME!!!!! 5 stars
1/03/00 Ben Ryan Is there anything Matt Damon is bad at? Doubtful 5 stars
1/03/00 George Whelan III Exptriatism at its best! 4 stars
1/03/00 El Tigre Beautifully filmed, nicely creepy. 5 stars
1/02/00 oiu [kpk 5 stars
1/02/00 Adam Hey, ambiguity in a movie's good...but not when it bogs the story down 1 stars
12/31/99 natasha I can't wait to see it again without the loud people who couldn't appreciate it. 5 stars
12/30/99 K. Lackey A hauntingly errotic tale that leaves you wanting more. 5 stars
12/30/99 Richard Miller What a great film!! I loved every second of it, I've already seen it twice,it's sooo good! 5 stars
12/30/99 blue b. A bit disturbing, but definitely worth seeing. 4 stars
12/30/99 Theresa Loiacano Wonderfully acted by Matt Damon. Makes a star of Jude Law. 4 stars
12/30/99 Jimmy Chang Beautiful and unsettling, especially the ending. A lengthy film without a dull moment. 5 stars
12/29/99 Anthony Burroughs Absolutelty, fucking brilliant! Nothing short of a masterpiece! 5 stars
12/29/99 Alexis What a creepy movie - good acting but too creepy for my tasts. 3 stars
12/29/99 kevin miller i feel the opposite about damon. thought he wasn't believable enough. everyone else good . 4 stars
12/28/99 Gene Miller Mr. Ripley's talent was to bore his audience to death. About forty people walked out . 1 stars
12/28/99 Dorien Grey Disturbing movie--it would have been much better had the last three minutes been left out. 4 stars
12/27/99 Magyarpoet Who could idenify with some spoiled rich punks living well in Europe. Not believable story 1 stars
12/27/99 jenn "Blu Smrf" i agree with malbert, way over hyped with not enough story to back it up 3 stars
12/26/99 Malbert Overhyped, Matt Damon is extremely creepy&definitely pulls off his character 4 stars
12/24/99 Marc Amazing film. Matt Damon sends chills up my spine. One of the best films of the year. 5 stars
12/22/99 Andy Little more than a travelogue of pretty places and pretty faces 3 stars
12/19/99 dick-78 An amazing story with many twists and turns. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Dec-1999 (R)
  DVD: 21-May-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Feb-2000




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