The Talented Mr. Ripley

Critics Consensus

With Matt Damon's unsettling performance offering a darkly twisted counterpoint to Anthony Minghella's glossy direction, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a suspense thriller that lingers.

83%

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Total Count: 132
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Movie Info

After the Oscar-winning The English Patient, writer/director Anthony Minghella attempted another tricky literary adaptation with The Talented Mr. Ripley, which features heartthrob Matt Damon cast against type as a psychopathic bisexual murderer. Tom Ripley (Damon) is a bright and charismatic sociopath who makes his way in mid-'50s New York City as a men's room attendant and sometimes pianist, though his real skill is in impersonating other people, forging handwriting, and running second-rate scams. After being mistaken for a Princeton student, Tom meets the shipping tycoon father of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), who has traveled to the coast of Italy, where he's living a carefree life with his father's money and his beautiful girlfriend, Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). Dickie's father will pay Ripley 1,000 dollars plus his expenses if he can persuade Dickie to return to America. As Ripley and Dickie become friends, Tom finds himself both attracted to Dickie and envious of his life of pleasure. In time, he decides that he would rather be Dickie Greenleaf than Tom Ripley, so rather than go back to his life of poverty, Ripley impulsively murders Dickie and assumes his identity. The Talented Mr. Ripley was based on the first of a series of novels featuring Tom Ripley written by Patricia Highsmith; the story was previously filmed in 1960 as Purple Noon, with Alain Delon as Ripley. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Cast

Matt Damon
as Tom Ripley
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Marge Sherwood
Jude Law
as Dickie Greenleaf
Jack Davenport
as Peter Smith-Kingsley
James Rebhorn
as Herbert Greenleaf
Sergio Rubini
as Insp. Roverini
Philip Baker Hall
as Alvin MacCarron
Celia Weston
as Aunt Joan
Fiorello
as Fausto
Ivano Marescotti
as Colonnello Verrecchia
Anna Longhi
as Signora Buffi
Alessandro Fabrizi
as Sergeant Baggio
Lisa Eichhorn
as Emily Greenleaf
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Critic Reviews for The Talented Mr. Ripley

All Critics (132) | Top Critics (35)

  • The sumptuous production, eclectic score, grand performances and engrossing moments of suspense make Ripley one the year's finer offerings.

    Feb 21, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Minghella puts us inside Ripley's head, inviting us to share his envy and giddy excitement even as we recognize his warped need to be someone he's not.

    Feb 15, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • Familiarity is the watchword of this overblown opus, which neglects holes in the plot to play up its postmodern theme of identity as pastiche -- a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Mar 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • On balance, The Talented Mr. Ripley is worth seeing more for its undeniably delightful journey than its final destination.

    Apr 27, 2007 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Not only is it an elegantly polished affair, with top notch performances all round, and magnificent camerawork and editing, it's also acutely aware of how class, money and sex shape desire and resentment.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It's a gorgeously unsettling film. You can hide in the shadows, but luminescence exposes who you are, and the only escape is into another identity.

    Aug 7, 2004

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