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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 Thom

"Sexuality without the sex"
4 stars

Even though, in the late 50's, early 60's, gay men did have to send subtle if not entirely veiled signals to the world about their sexuality, you would think that a movie after Stonewall, after Matthew Shepard, after Tina Brandon, would more than just suggest "gay".

I felt a little cheated that the gay characters in this film weren't shown actually doing anything more gay than what could be considered the normal intimate relations of men of victorian influence before the trial of Oscar Wilde. When the love that dare not speak its name was tossed into the street for everyone to see, all of a sudden, men became all too aware that their non-masculine behavior as defined by conquest, domination, division, violence and hiearchy could suggest to other men they were queer. So an all out effort to eradicate the last vestiges of softness from the male psyche was undertaken with a vengeance, a real, literal vengeance. And as the psyche split, so did society become even more entrenched in socially constructed gender norms that alienated women from men and demonized anything not defined or controlled by heterosexual men.

But that was then. So why now do we have an obviously gay couple who do little more than look lovingly at each other. Perhaps we are to understand that this relationship, although queer, was unconsummated. Which would put yet another intricate layer on the mind and predicament of Thomas Ripley.

If Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) could be anything, have anything, what would it be? We don't know and he doesn't know. Tom is sensitive, intuitive, intelligent, artistic, poetic and gay, but he has no aspirations, no direction. His life is about make-believe even though he is possesed of extraordinary talent and depth and richness of character. Fate has his way with Tom and she leads him from an unfortunate moment of passion and honesty into an ever darkening pit from which there seems no hope for happiness.

Metaphorically speaking, this is the story of being gay in a time when it was impossible or extremeley dangerous to be out of the closet to even trusted friends.

I had no real sympathy for Tom. I was more interested in what was happening to Marge Sherwood, Dickie's fiance. She seems to be even more a victim than Tom as she gets caught in the middle of so much that affects her that she has little knowledge about or power to control. The movie could have been about her. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Marge as best she can without taking too much focus off Tom. But I think her story is really more interesting.

Jude Law, as Dickie, reprises his role as Bosie in WILDE. He does do the sneering, self-absorbed, arrogant aristocrat well. But there would be no point to seeing him in future films if I could just as easily edit together a montage of his previous performances and watch that to the same effect. I think he would be good as a skater or a surfer.

Matt Damon seems to have been working out. His body was all wrong for this character who stays at home, mopes a lot and does less than physical labor for work. I don't need a man to be hunky to care about him in a lead role. The industry and the audience needs to appreciate Damon for his talent and not his body. Actors that turn into sex-symbols are so last century. Being a truly talented actor communicating a character to the audience is much more difficult a skill than lifting weights and I hope Damon continues to choose challenging roles that show off his talents more than his assets.

It is always nice to watch Gwyneth perform. She is a true thespian. I would love to see her walking the boards from the time to time. Maybe when she is older and has time to do less screen oriented projects. And I'll be older too so maybe I'll spend more time in the playhouse and less time at the film house. Maybe.

The scenery is gorgeous. The use of foreign and domestic actors works well and one of the meatier, albeit somewhat stereotypical, characters is given to an Italian actress Stefania Rocca (that face!)as the long-suffering mistress of Dickie.

Philip Hoffman was terrific as Dickie's equally disturbing college friend, Freddie Miles and I am looking forward to seeing more of his onscreen work. Some day he'll form a company of actors and take us someplace culturally away from bombs and tits and ribbed abs as the highest comment our culture can make about ourselves.

A lack of chemical bonds keeps this film about estrangement moving along its proper sphere. Gorgeous views of Italy, a period piece that stays in character and terrific acting by a talented cast. The end seemed less evocative and more evacuative for my taste but others may like the potential to finish the story for oneself.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3426&reviewer=67
originally posted: 01/10/00 12:07:25
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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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