The Talented Mr. Ripley - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Talented Mr. Ripley Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 19, 2014
Compelling, dark, shocking, and fascinating, The Talented Mr. Ripley is expertly constructed and features exceptional acting, writing, and a thrilling narrative.
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2014
A dive into the mind of a frustrated arriviste and the violent and cunning methods he uses to fulfill his social and affective yearnings. Subtle, suspenseful and fascinating character study.
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2006
Anthony Minghella absolutely knocked it out of the park with this taut and quite faithful adaptation of the first entry in a series of noir thrillers by Patricia Highsmith.

Set in the 1950s, Tom Ripley is a young, bisexual man whose only real talents in life are forging handwriting, impersonating others, and running second-rate scams. He makes his way in New York as a men's room attendant and occasional pianist, but, after being mistaken for a Princeton grad, he comes into contact with a shipping tycoon named Greenleaf who offers Tom $1,000 plus expenses to go to Italy and convince his wayward son Dickie to return home to the States.

Tom sets out on this task, but after befriending Dickie and spending lots of time with him and his lover Marge, he becomes dangerously envious of the carefree and lavish lifestyle lead by Dickie, and after his advances are rejected, Tom decides he'd rather become Dickie instead of continuing his life as it was. After impulsively murdering DIckie and assuming his identity, he finds himself playing a dangerous game in order to cover his tracks and keep the truth hidden.

Aside from greatly expanding on a minor character from the book and creating a whole new one for the movie, this is a wonderfully accurate and faithful take on the source material. It's a very taut and gripping psychological thriller, and the cast masterfully bring the characters to life. Matt Damon is tremendous, and successfully goes against type as the psychopathic con man with serious issues when it comes to identity and a sense of belonging. He's quite chilling, and you really feel on edge as he tries to pull off the task of becoming someone else.

Jude Law is marvelous as the arrogant and brash Dickie, and he really sells the carefree hipster persona of the character. Gwyneth Paltrow is really good as Dickie's lover Marge, although I feel she really gets overshadowed by everyone else, namely Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dickie's friend Freddie Miles, a really slimey and highly suspicious worm who barely conceals his contempt for the tormented lower class Ripley. It's a marvelous performance, and a real tribute to his talents, as Freddie is probably the most loathsome character here.

The production values are top notch, the cinematography and location shooting are absolutely gorgeous, and the film is really strong when it comes to delivering the tension, suspense, and thrills. This is a classy and wonderfully engrossing thriller that you should definitely make a point to see.
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2010
Utter stupidity that I can't believe I actually liked for a while.
Super Reviewer
½ August 25, 2011
This movie was just a ten hour long bore fest for me. I did not care for the plot and the acting was wooden, the characters irritating and the entire movie far too long. The twist was good, but come on when you've literally had to wait hours to find it out, there is very little flavour left. Some movies are meant to be long, but some movies just fail at it. This is one of them.
Super Reviewer
½ January 4, 2007
Darkly beautiful film; everything works so well, from the cinematography, the music (which fits the amazing style perfectly) to the performances. One of the best ensembles in recent history (or ever), where Jude Law, Cate Blanchett and Philip Seymour Hoffman stand out. A story about a sick man. A jazz compilation. An Italian travelogue. The Talented Mr. Ripley is all those things and also the kind of film Alfred Hitchcock might've made if he lived right now.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2007
A great thriller, very subtle with an impressive cast. Glad I got round to watching this at last. A very good story about a guy who purely by chance has the opportunity to change his life but with big consequences. Proves Matt Damon can do a lot more than just action.
Super Reviewer
½ April 11, 2010
Aside from mentioning that his ironic final twist is deeply satisfying, I'm not going to get into the merits of Anthony Minghella's screenplay because I'd rather focus on his not inconsiderable talent behind the camera. In an era when cinema audiences are constantly patronised with overemphasis and senseless reiteration, one of the things I like best about this movie is the confidence with which Minghella embraces purely visual storytelling and the use of metaphor. And not just for trivial details either; they are often essential to our understanding and enjoyment of the picture. A good example of this would be the scene in which Tom Ripley, masquerading as Dickie Greenleaf, bumps into Marge and Peter Smith-Kingsley at the opera. Now, this is a suspense scene more immediately concerned with Ripley's imposture perhaps being discovered, but Minghella also manages to convey the mutual sexual attraction between Ripley (Matt Damon) and Smith-Kingsley (Jack Davenport). In this context, Ripley's removal of Dickie's ring prior to introducing himself to Smith-Kinglsey becomes a symbol of his 'availability'. If the first half of the movie is essentially a ménage à trois in which Ripley and Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) compete for Dickie's (Jude Law) affection, the second half represents another triangle in which Ripley attempts to throw off Dickie's ghost to find happiness with Smith-Kingsley. Again, Minghella makes beautiful use of metaphor here with a shot in which Ripley's face is reflected in the closing lid of a piano: the head divides into two like a reproducing cell; Ripley emerges on the other side and assumes his own identity by putting on his glasses. A supremely classy thriller and one of my personal favourites of the last decade or so.
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2009
"I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody... than a real nobody."

In late 1950's New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Europe to retrieve a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy, named Dickie Greenleaf. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Matt Damon is absolutely convincing in the title role, and along with Jude Law's Dickie Greenleaf, provides the viewer with an incredibly fascinating character study. The conflicting emotions of Tom Ripley are played wonderfully by Damon who conveys subtlety with great depth. I was in awe of his performance and am flabbergasted he didn't receive an Oscar nomination for this role. Law, Paltorw, Blanchett and Hoffman do a terrific job playing of Damon's Ripley. Director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, Cold Mountain) also did a masterful job of capturing the period and his location photography was spectacular. I should also add that the soundtrack to this film was wholly appropriate and added much to the final product.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2010
I think this is definitely Matt Damon's best performance, however, I don't feel the movie itself is flawless. There were a lot of great moments and the acting was great, but it didn't really have that much individuality. Aside from the location shots, I would say that the cinematography was empty and there was very little put into the look of the film. The story had to essentially sell you, which I think for many it did.
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2009
The Talented Mr. Ripley was a guilty Joy.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2009
When a movie makes you root for a person as thoroughly evil and disturbed as Tom Ripley, then it must be doing some things right. No matter how terrible Tom's actions or how much he deserves to have his deceptions uncovered, he remains the protagonist of the movie. I rooted for him every step of the way, against my own better judgement.

The acting talent here is impressive. Jude Law gave a performance that made me really respect him as an actor, he was just fantastic. Matt Damon was even better than his usual solid work. He perfectly gave off the not-quite-right vibe of Tom Ripley. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Cate Blanchett were also very good. There
were literally no weak links in this cast.

The Talented Mr. Ripley was a unique film, and one that I enjoyed even as it made me uncomfortable. Tom Ripley has to be one of the most memorable characters in modern movies, and his story is one that combines excitement, violence, and suspense. It's well worth watching.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2006
An enjoyable performance by Matt Damon and an unusual storyline of deceipt, fraud and Murder.

Envy and arrogance drive the storyline and cause events to spiral out of control.

Personally I feel more could have been made of the voice impersonations, but all the same was an enjoyable watch.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
Matt Damon is "Talented," though he'll likely never be one of my favorite actors. I was hoping for more from this movie, but I wasn't terribly disappointed either.
Super Reviewer
June 22, 2007
Was this movie based on a true serial killer? Because it's like Minghella goes out of his way to de-real the story. It's a highly stylized film, with a plenitude of symbolism and atmosphere, which sometimes works for it and sometimes doesn't. Particular scenes socked a punch but many times Minghella doesn't follow these themes to fruition. It was decently acted but I feel like with such a huge talent pool of actors they didn't really make the effort to GO there.
Super Reviewer
July 19, 2007
Damon is great and it's a really creepy film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2007
It was quite good I must say but not great though. To be young and carefree amid the blue waters and idyllic landscape of sun drenched Italy in the late 1950s; that's la dolce vita Tom Ripley craves and Dickie Greenleaf leads. When Dickie's father, a wealthy ship builder, asks Tom to bring his errant playboy son back home to America, Dickie and his beautiful expatriate girlfriend, Marge Sherwood, never suspect the dangerous extremes to which Ripley will go to make their lifestyle his own. After all, it's better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2007
one of the most underrated oscar nominated flicks from anthony minghella. a star-studded flick in the peak of re-visualized vintage glamour in the nobly decayed crime dimensions of writer patricia highsmith's. a story about one of the most capitivating homocidal killers in cinema or suspense novel history: tom ripley, who adores the rich handsome dickie greenleaf who is a man born with a silver spoon, a man who owns nearly everything he longs for. then chameleon ripley transforms into a leech who dries out dickie's life, also a vulture who devours dickie's left-over, horridly a crab-alike parasite who deprives dickie's identify....he's pathologically complicated with all the smolderingly torments beneath his boyish somehow bookish spectackles: repressed sexuality which comes across as intrusive lust for dickie greenleaf, the obliteration of struggled low self-esteem, the merciless detachment to slice out his human pathos just to pull off the scheme of self-protection.....eventually he needs to latch all the demons inside the basement of his dim inner corner, and its key tends to be lost for good without the thrusted trust to anyone as the last scene in the movie refers....

"it's better to be a fake somebody instead of a real nobody"....all the symbolism seems to be obvious such as ripley smothers his intimate pal to death that is to smit the last sense of his remained humanity. and the beat trend jazz dickie is so enamour of stands for his frivolous lifestyle....all the essential classic songs selected in the soundtrack that is a bit too catchy...generally the whole movie is catchy such as its theme, its good-looking cast, its plot hints, its blatantly voyeuristic sensuality(such as ripley peeps dickie's nude in the bathtub)...etc. nothing too mystically hideous, considering its comtemporariness.

it was also jude law's crucial chance to contribute to his overnight success as the main sex subject in this movie. there's something worth tackling about his dickie greenleaf who is a man of whimsical playfulness, a well-to-do self-dubbed beat bohemian who is enslaved by the ecstaticly tumultous jazz, suffering from the eternal fued of lacking any significant paternal recognition that makes him waywardly linger over his elongated adolescence with an undercurent maternal fixation (which reflects on his choice of women...always someone tolerantly appreciates his boyish naivete) but clansdetinely traumatized with such un-retrieved loss of identification, also a man assumingly sheltered from his social status and enormous wealth that prevents him from fledging into maturity, but who wants to grow anyway? growing up takes grim hardship, naturally dickie becomes the envious center for everyone since he has wealth, looks, youth and he's damned popular with ladies.

gwyneth paltrow is adequate as dickie's demure love interest but cate blanchet's loverstrick beguiled socialette is more sympatheticly riveting as ripley's attempted prey of seduction. philip seymour gives amusingly tricky performance as the sleazy friend of dickie's who intuitively detects ripley's orientation.

the talented mr. ripley might be even more engrossing without those straight-down-toward-the-arrow catchiness, but in a way, it's subtly made evaluated in its time. the photographic sceneries are idyllically cozy, the blistening sun scatters everywhere, tastefully shot as minghella's works usually are.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
Bo-ring. Pretty much....MATT DAMON.
Super Reviewer
½ August 8, 2007
An interesting movie of deception and vacation. Matt Damon plays quite a spooky and disturbed Mr. Ripley character. A bit tragic, but engaging.
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