More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome38.1%
Worth A Look: 32.38%
Average: 11.9%
Pretty Bad: 7.14%
Total Crap: 10.48%

12 reviews, 138 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay, Part 1 by Daniel Kelly

Goodbye to Language by Jay Seaver

Mea Culpa by Jay Seaver

Homesman, The by Peter Sobczynski

Hunger Games, The: Mockingjay, Part 1 by Peter Sobczynski

Purge, The: Anarchy by Rob Gonsalves

Raid 2, The by Rob Gonsalves

Fault in Our Stars, The by Rob Gonsalves

Dumb and Dumber To by Brett Gallman

Space Mutiny by Jaycie

subscribe to this feed


Talented Mr. Ripley, The
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"A stylish miss."
3 stars

At best, "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a smoothly executed thriller with lovely shots of Italy; I wonder if all those critics would have named it one of 1999's best films if it were set in, say, Cleveland.

The movie goes tidily about its business, without much of the perversity you'd expect of a Patricia Highsmith story (she wrote five Ripley novels, and also the source material for Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train). Tom Ripley, the protagonist who specializes in deception, should strike us as an alluring rat; in the movie, Matt Damon plays him, so Ripley morphs into a well-meaning kid who yearns to be somebody. He's deprived, not depraved.

Ripley is sent to Italy by shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) to find and retrieve his wastrel son Dickie (Jude Law), who spends his time and Dad's money in Italy, sunning himself and sailing a boat named after Charlie Parker. Ripley is sent in the first place because the father thinks Ripley (wearing a borrowed Princeton jacket) went to school with Dickie; Ripley doesn't argue with this mistaken assumption, and soon he's hanging out with Dickie and his girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow), who also believe Ripley is a Princeton man.

I suppose everyone believes Ripley because they're all rich, and aren't used to dealing with people desperate enough to lie about their status. They're also quite self-absorbed; whenever someone asks Ripley a potentially incriminating question, they inevitably answer it themselves and save him the trouble. The only one sharp enough to cut through Ripley's deception is Dickie's old chum Freddy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who pegs Ripley as a wannabe the moment he lays eyes on him. Every time Freddy lurches into the picture, Matt Damon's million-dollar smile sours and Philip Seymour Hoffman effortlessly tucks the movie into his pocket -- we enjoy watching him enjoying Ripley's discomfort.

Writer-director Anthony Minghella sets things up so that Ripley gradually takes over the life he envies -- Dickie's -- and then gets caught in the tangled web he's weaving. Sadly, this means the early disposal of Jude Law, from whose absence the movie never fully recovers; we're left mostly with the earnest Ripley, the dreary Marge (this isn't Paltrow's finest hour), and another character Minghella invented for the movie -- Meredith (Cate Blanchett), who exists to complicate things for Ripley every so often. Despite Blanchett's radiance no matter what she's doing, the character is a drag and emphasizes how implausible these situations are.

I was an early fan of Minghella's dating back to his first feature, Truly Madly Deeply, which offered a rare gentle performance from Alan Rickman; I also enjoyed his big hit The English Patient. With the possible exception of his second effort, a Matt Dillon vehicle called Mr. Wonderful (I haven't seen it), Minghella doesn't make stupid movies. Here, though, he has made a smart-seeming movie about mostly stupid people. It's difficult to care about Ripley, and the movie suffers from the unhappy accident of being the second movie in which a lower-class young man pretends to be Jude Law -- I refer, of course, to Gattaca, which in its way was much more complex than this movie, yet didn't make very many ten-best lists. (It wasn't set in Italy.)

There are a few stellar moments: a violent bit of business aboard a boat is wincingly painful; that great bulldog Philip Baker Hall turns up near the end, no-nonsense and presumably ready to fry Ripley's bacon (Hall should turn up near the end of every movie just on principle). But the void at the core of the movie sucks in all the good. Matt Damon looks consistently ill at ease, and I couldn't decide whether he was nervous in character or nervous playing Ripley. His line readings are all wrong for the period (the late '50s), from his Macaulay Culkin-ish "Yes!" near the beginning to his tentative "Okay" near the end -- he inflects the word like anyone in 1999 would. The movie rests on his shoulders, and he can't carry it, especially in the homoerotic scenes when he never quite lets you forget he's Matt Damon playing a role.

All this discomfort and dissembling could conceivably work for the guilt-wracked character of Tom Ripley, but it doesn't. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" has at its center a perfectly good actor whose talents lie elsewhere.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3426&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/27/06 12:23:06
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

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!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  24-Dec-1999 (R)
  DVD: 21-May-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Feb-2000




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2014, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast