The Talented Mr. Ripley - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Talented Mr. Ripley Reviews

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November 10, 2017
A must watch for a movie buff. Unique concept (I guess), and as usual, great acting by Matt Damon.
October 10, 2017
A small-scale imposter / con man, making the rounds in 1950s New York, gets caught up in something much greater than his usual scam and decides to let it ride, if just to see where he winds up. In this case the answer is Italy, gorgeous vestige of the old world with just a few hints of the modern one, where he's tasked with convincing a flippant trust funder to return from a perpetual, fortune-draining holiday. That mission quickly goes by the wayside, just as soon as he realizes how much easier life is in the lap of luxury, and he merely exacerbates said money-letting as the wealthy playboy's new wingman. When things take a turn for the messy, though, his welcome worn thin and nothing to show for it but bittersweet memories, a panicked string of responses sends the entire comfortable lifestyle into a tailspin. At its root, Ripley is an example of how fear and rejection can press a normally smart, affable person over the brink into monstrosity, a surprise considering the playful tone of the first act. Matt Damon, still fresh from his breakout in 1997's Good Will Hunting, shows great versatility in the leading role (essential for such a complicated character), smoothly masking that twitch in his eye from all but the viewing audience. It's one of those films where you'll feel wrong about your rooting interest, knowing all along that the guy absolutely does not deserve a happy ending, with the final moments serving as your comeuppance.
½ October 7, 2017
Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a young man struggling to make a living in 1950s New York City. While working at a recital, he is approached by the wealthy shipbuilder Herbert Greenleaf, who develops the impression that Ripley attended Princeton with and knew his son, Dickie (Jude Law). Greenleaf recruits Ripley, for $1,000, to travel to Italy to use his influence to persuade Dickie to return home to the United States. In Mongi, Italy, Ripley insinuates himself into the lives of Dickie and his fiancée, Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), especially as he gives the impression that he is an admirer of jazz. Dickie introduces Ripley to his friend Freddie Miles (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who treats Ripley with contempt. Besides lying, Tom's talents include impressions and forgery, so when Dickie tires of Tom, dismissing him as a bore, Tom goes to extreme lengths to make Greenleaf's privileges his own...

Roger Ebert gave the film four-out-of-four stars, calling it "an intelligent thriller" that is "insidious in the way it leads us to identify with Tom Ripley ... He's a monster, but we want him to get away with it". In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin praised Law's performance: "This is a star-making role for the preternaturally talented English actor Jude Law. Beyond being devastatingly good-looking, Mr. Law gives Dickie the manic, teasing powers of manipulation that make him ardently courted by every man or woman he knows". Entertainment Weekly gave the film an "A-" rating, and Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote: "Damon is at once an obvious choice for the part and a hard sell to audiences soothed by his amiable boyishness ... the facade works surprisingly well when Damon holds that gleaming smile just a few seconds too long, his Eagle Scout eyes fixed just a blink more than the calm gaze of any non-murdering young man. And in that opacity we see horror". Charlotte O'Sullivan of Sight and Sound wrote, "A tense, troubling thriller, marred only by problems of pacing (the middle section drags) and some implausible characterisation (Meredith's obsession with Ripley never convinces), it's full of vivid, miserable life". Time named it one of the ten best films of the year and called it a "devious twist on the Patricia Highsmith crime novel". James Berardinelli gave the film two and a half stars out of four, calling it "a solid adaptation" that "will hold a viewer's attention", but criticized "Damon's weak performance" and "a running time that's about 15 minutes too long." Berardinelli compared the film unfavorably with the previous adaptation, Purple Noon, which he gave four stars. He wrote, "The remake went back to the source material, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. The result, while arguably truer to the events of Highsmith's book, is vastly inferior. To say it suffers by comparison to Purple Noon is an understatement. Almost every aspect of René Clément's 1960 motion picture is superior to that of Minghella's 1999 version, from the cinematography to the acting to the screenplay. Matt Damon might make a credible Tom Ripley, but only for those who never experienced Alain Delon's portrayal." In his review for The New York Observer, Andrew Sarris wrote, "On balance, The Talented Mr. Ripley is worth seeing more for its undeniably delightful journey than its final destination. Perhaps wall-to-wall amorality and triumphant evil leave too sour an aftertaste even for the most sophisticated anti-Hollywood palate". In his review for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw wrote, "The Talented Mr. Ripley begins as an ingenious exposition of the great truth about charming people having something to hide: namely, their utter reliance on others. It ends up as a dismayingly unthrilling thriller and bafflingly unconvincing character study". In her review for the Village Voice, Amy Taubin criticized Minghella as a "would-be art film director who never takes his eye off the box office, doesn't allow himself to become embroiled in such complexity. He turns The Talented Mr. Ripley into a splashy tourist trap of a movie. The effect is rather like reading The National Enquirer in a café overlooking the Adriatic". Damon was apparently unhappy with the film's departures from Highsmith's novel, telling an interviewer shortly after the film was released, "I'd like to make the whole film all over again with the same cast and same title but make it completely like the book."

I re-saw "The Talented Mr. Ripley" first of all due to the fact that I traveled to Italy and the area of Neaples this summer so I wanted to get that lovely 50s feeling of Italy with me and second of all I hadn´t seen it for many years. The story based on Patricia Highsmith character has moments for sure, but I think that Anthony Minghella doesn´t manage to keep the tension up throughout the film. It drags at some point and the story goes in a halt and I am not fully convinced when it comes to the editing. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman all work very well in their roles and they truly add life to the film. The characterisation is well made. Damon has been criticized for being dull in his performance, which he is quite normally if you ask me, but that does actually work here. The transformation of Tom to becoming a full blown sociopath works in my book, even if Minghella is maybe a bit too subtle in that communication. The film is created in a way that you feel some sort of sympathy for Tom, despite his actions, while it´s harder to like any of the other characters. The switch of not liking the antagonist and cheering for the protagonist has been turned around, which adds to the films many layers. And I do like that Minghella put great use of stunning Italian locations that adds so much to the film. It wasn´t as good as it was when I saw it the first time when it came out, but it still holds up as a pretty solid thriller.

Trivia: "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is based on a novel with the same name by Patricia Highsmith. There are four more novels named "Ripley Underground," "Ripley's Game," "The Boy Who Followed Ripley," and "Ripley Under Water."
½ August 1, 2017
Only Jude Law is memorable and quite good in The Talented Mr. Ripley whereas Gwyneth Paltrow was entirely wasted on such a poor character and Matt Damon gave one of his worst performances. The film felt like two entirely different movies put together and neither one is good. The second half is your typical thriller whereas the first half made no sense whatsoever in its ridiculous story and character actions and a stupid relationship. It's such a foolish movie.
July 23, 2017
It's stylistic. Too stylistic, actually. But the Academy really missed the boat when they forgot to give a nomination to The Talented Mr. Damon.
June 11, 2017
A methodical film about one mans' descent into madness through lies, unrequited love and self-deception, The Talented Mr. Ripley is not the exciting thriller the trailers may have promised, hence my use of the word 'methodical.' Rather, it's a study of an individual driven by obsession to do despicable things completely out of character, because he literally IS out of character. Matt Damon is an enjoyable, if slightly bland, lead, and has his moment of genuine fright, but he's overshadowed by the performances of Jude Law and the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Law is as charismatic as he is enigmatic, and it's easy to determine what Damon sees in him: A free-spirited capriciousness, an almost boyish carelessness and a beautiful, charming fiancée. He is so compelling and was rightly Oscar nominated, and the parts with him are easily the most entertaining. Hoffman is at his sleazy best, like an oily worm who slithers his way into and out of every scene, keeping our suspicions high whenever he's on screen. It's well written and directed, structuring the film so that tensions build and stakes get constantly higher, but the pacing, especially in the latter half, and the fact that it could easily be trimmed down, make it a bit of a chore to finish. But for those willing to sit back and witness a person losing his mind, possibly without even knowing it, and to see an acting showcase for some incredible talents, The Talented Mr. Ripley delivers.
June 9, 2017
A great thriller with a great cast !
May 10, 2017
With a stunning cast this psychological thriller is elevated above averageness thanks to their utterly convincing performances set among some beautiful European scenary. It also has great production, looks brilliant, love the score and the plot is enthralling with some rather abrupt and chilling violence mixed in. My only big issue is that the script is full of conveniences that just doesn't come across as believable.
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2017
An oddball thriller that turns up the heat pretty quickly with a game changing plot twist an hour in. Matt Damon plays a perfectly creepy young man, Tom Ripley, who wants nothing more than to have a life full of friends. He quickly forms an obsession over Dickie Greenleaf (played by Jude Law) whom he was sent to Italy to bring back to the U.S., but things go awry when Tom takes things too far. The tone of the film changes from fun and playful to grim and violent very quickly. It's a mildly interesting crime driven character study taking place in a beautiful location: Italy. See it for the performances and visuals.
April 3, 2017
Interesting psychological study of a man caught up in one lie after another until he realizes there is no way out. Good, understated performance by Matt Damon. Also very good - Jude Law, as Dickie.
March 24, 2017
This movie moves FAST. Much less interesting for me after the big twist in the first act.
Beautifully shot and directed. PSH and Cate Blanchett were underutilized. I wish they were in every goddamn scene of this film, even if it made no sense.
½ March 6, 2017
I came to this character via this film, then discovered the novels later, and then finally the other filmed adaptations, so this will always have a special place in my heart since I discovered it first. I remain impressed with the way Damon is able to make the charismatic and opportunistic Ripley such a sympathetic character, as you find yourself rooting for him even when he's involved in the most brutal of murders. Hell, I even end the film feeling sorry for him with how things turn out, which is definitely a tribute to how well Damon plays the character.

Highly recommended.
February 2, 2017
It's good movie to watch
January 18, 2017
The talented Mr. Ripley turns in The talented Matt Damon that with his performances can prove his versatility, with a lot of twist and turns, clever and dark story, interesting narrative, strong script, this movie can be considered a psychological thriller's masterpiece.
January 11, 2017
What a poop fest. No plot whatsoever.
January 8, 2017
A thoroughly entertaining drama set in beautiful Italy. Stellar performances from all and the plot doesn't disappoint. One of my all time favorite movies. Have seen it at least twenty times.
December 9, 2016
It followed the original very closely, then they pull the rug from under you with the end. Had it stuck with the original's ending it would've been 5/5. Great cast, great acting, and cinematography was excellent. Some of the lighting and effects threw me off at the beginning, it seemed like they were trying hard to be edgy but I warmed up to it by the end. I love that they included bits of homosexuality by Ripley, something that was not nearly as acceptable in the early 1960s when the original was released. Great movie, would recommend
½ October 20, 2016
Interesting, nobody who wants to be a somebody; homo erotic. Murders and gets away with it.
½ October 13, 2016
Hitchcock probably would have loved the hell out of this movie.

Does a film need a better recommendation than that?
September 23, 2016
An intriguing, engaging story and performances make The Talented Mr. Ripley, an unconventional and fascinating thriller.
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