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Opened in Theaters: Saturday, December 25th, 1999

Directed by Anthony Minghella
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2:15

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The Talented Mr. Ripley
Academy Award® Nominee
A man befriends another man and his girlfriend, who never suspect the dangerous extremes to which Ripley will go to make their lifestyle his own.  View more >

violence, language and brief nudity

Starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law...  View more >

Oscar® Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Jude Law), Original Score, Adapted Screenplay
View more information about this movie >

Reviews Summary

Rating # %  
See Now!  5 21 See Now! Percent
Good  6 25 Good Percent
Wait for Rental  5 21 Wait Percent
Stay Away!  8 33 Stay Away! Percent
24 Total Reviews

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I thought that the movie was good. Overall, it was quite slow in the middle, and could have been added to to keep my attention. I rather enjoyed it though.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This is certainly a different type of movie for Matt Damon. I found it very interesting and the questionable sexual orientation exhibited by Tom Ripley only added to the intrigue about his character. It didn't quite grip me as much as I'd hoped, but I found the main character to be somewhat of a tragic figure, more so than a conspiring killer. Not for the narrow-minded.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This was a terrible movie. I think it was overhyped and it did nothing for me. It was very slow and was very predictable. Matt Damon is a great actor but I don't think he fit into this role.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie was slow moving and even boring at times. The main character roles (Jude Law and G. Paltrow)were difficult to relate to because they were "spoiled- rotten rich kids"; and Matt damon as a sociopathic murderer seemed weird! I thought this movie was as over rated as the horrible Blair Witch Project.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. My skin was crawling several hours after seeing it. The story itself contains themes of love, murder, homosexuality, identity crises and lies upon lies. The film’s cinematography is breathtaking, making the actions of the story that much more disturbing. The development of the characters, directing and dialogue are phenomenal. Seeing how Tom Ripley handles situation after situation kept my interest peaked. Matt Damon is a truly gifted actor. His smile alone makes Tom Ripley appear innocent enough in the film, and to watch him embark on the unimaginable made me a true believer in heat of the passion acts. Perhaps, the movie affected me the way it did is because I believe in truth telling, leading a life of morality, and valuing my identity. This film shatters what I hold true. The Talented Mr. Ripley is a film for adults. It is a far cry from the science fiction and action movies that are dominating the big screen, and with that in mind, it is a welcome change. Miramax has brought to the audience yet another film that is definitely worth seeing in the theatres.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This movie move slow and jumps around. Not worth seeing in my opinion. Too much moving around and hard to follow. Very confusing at times. Not a must see.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
While this movie was beautifully shot in southern Italy and might be worth a view just for that, the story lacks depth. What it lacks in depth, however, it makes up in length. The Talented Mr. Ripley lacks editing talent, and should have ended about 40 minutes sooner than it did. I also found it hard to empathize with any of the characters. Certainly not the spoiled rich children of the American Captains of Industry, nor the twisted Mr. Ripley, a tragic figure who really does look a gift horse in the mouth.

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
It was a good flick, but it is long and could be shorter.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
An excellent thriller!!! I would recommend this movie to the more mature audiences. The homosexual undertones and the era of which the story takes place, causes the viewer to empathize with the main characters. You will feel anger, humor, and at times sadness for the "Talented Mr. Ripley".

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I didn't like the movie. It was long and pointless. Gwyneth Paltrow was not at her best. Matt Damon was good but not Oscar good and Jude Law was ok as a rich snotty kid!!! On the other hand the cinematography was excellent and the music really helped the movie (as much as the movie could be helped!) Overall, I wish I had listen to my guts and waited for the video release!

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
This has been one of the worst movies to come out in some time. The extremely long and tedious movie gives nothing to the watcher to take home with them, and the character Mr. Ripley is dry and uninteresting. If you go to feel good about your "open mind" by enduring this sexually frustrated movie, prepare to be bored and drained when you thankfully find yourself released from your seat.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
If you liked Blair Witch Project then this movie is for you. It's awful. If you are going to wait for the video, I suggest you save your 3 bucks.

[--- Good ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Matt Damon plays a great character in this movie. It starts out lighthearted and adventureous and turns into a mystery suspenseful type of movie. A few twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. Very well done!! I would see it again.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
It's sick!

[--- Wait for Rental ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
I was somewhat disappointed with this movie. While Matt Damon looks strikingly well in WHATEVER part he plays, I think this role was one he should have turned down. For the most part, the movie is okay...the middle is kind of slow, but you can deal with that because you keep thinking "okay, it will all be worth it in the end." However, the ending, for me, is what was the biggest let down. It felt like the writers didn't plan where there were going as they wrote the movie, and while they built up to a wonderful climax, the end seemed to tumble out uneventfully in the last few minutes of the movie. Still, though the movie is far from the best I've ever seen, it does raise some interesting points and questions. You might wanna see it...just not in the theater at full price.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
We really disliked this movie. We have not talked to a single person who liked it either.

[--- See Now! ---]by  Jan 25, 2000
Brilliant! I've heard complaints that this movie was too long, but I thought it was well-paced and full of interesting twists. Matt Damon and Jude Law were excellent. Damon completely took on Tom Ripley's persona as his, creating an eerie sociopath that I was almost hoping would win over the "good guys". Law's Dickie Greenleaf was as wickedly nice as Ripley was sweetly evil. Great directing and camerawork. Paltrow was underused in an underappreciated performance. The only problems were some confusing editing - but the plot moved well. Ripley becomes an original American movie classic - like Hannibal Lector, George Bailey, or Indiana Jones. A true, real person in the minds of audience members. Only the greats, working with great scripts can achieve this, and Damon succeeds.

[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Feb 6, 2000
If you have a terminal illness, this is the movie for you because I spent what seemed like a lifetime viewing this waste of film. The characters never made me care if they lived, died, or just went away. I spent as much time looking at my watch as at the screen.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Feb 11, 2000
Everyone who wrote reviews for the Talented Mr. Ripley are sadly mistaken...First of all, It's not as hyped as The Blair Witch Project. (Not even close) It's a very well done film.

Anthony Minghella is a brilliant director. The movie was breath-taking to look at, and the acting was very strong. I thought Matt Damon was very gutsy for taking a role of this matter, this role won't get him a cover of YM Magazine, but establishes him as a very strong well-rounded, creditable actor. Jude Law was also very good and he had a very believeable American accent.

If you like The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley is definetely worth seeing.
[--- Stay Away! ---]by  Feb 12, 2000
Literally, this is the most disappointing movie I have ever seen. Everyone I know who has seen it agrees with me. We all relate the same story: viewers walking out at the end saying aloud: "That was horrible." I for one was yelling "End, End, End" for the last 1:30 of the movie.

People who like this movie are people who would buy pet rocks, Volswagon Bugs, and who believe anything the media tells them. The reason why so many critics loved this movie is amazing to me??? I think because of the following reason: due to the beautiful people in the movie (how can you at all be "respectable" and "intelligent" if you dislike this movie with the likes of Law, Damon, Blanchette, & Paltrow?) and the theme (homosexuality).

Any critic who told the truth about this movie (that it SUCKED) would likely be blacklisted by the rest of Hollywood. The previous two reasons can be the only real rationale for this film winning so many awards.

If you liked the english patient, you will not like this!!! The english patient had a wonderful story, deep symbolism, interesting characters, and true passion. The talented Mr. Ripley had... no talent. It was "cheesy" especially the parts where Matt Damon impersonates people.

I have never cared to write a review before, but this movie was so bad that I spent hours trying to find a site in order to post one. STAY AWAY- don't waste your money on this overly hyped CRAP.
[--- See Now! ---]by  Feb 14, 2000
This movie is a great movie only for those who are more maturely minded. Regrettably most do not fit into this category, like those who spoke badly of this film.

Unlike said by others, this film did not have much hype (not even near the blair witch project) and I thought the previews for it sucked. I went to this movie, fully expecting not to like it (I went only because my mother wanted to see a movie, she picked it out). I came out loving it.

I have now read two books in the Ripley series by Patricia Highsmith. All these books got wonderful reviews and I agree.

I warn those who have short attention spans or narrow minds with tastes set in cement to stay away. This movie is not for you. If you like a movie that subtly questions morality, this is a movie you will like.
[--- Good ---]by  Mar 2, 2000
"I'm in love with the way you live. It's kind of a love affair, really."

So says Tom Ripley to the rich and reckless Dickie Greenleaf. The two men are from entirely different worlds. Thomas Ripley works as a piano tuner but has no intent on doing that for a living. Instead, he dreams of living the kind of life one only reads about. Soon, he is given his opportunity--after being mistaken for a Princeton graduate, he is asked by one of his employers to travel to Italy in an effort to convince the man's spoiled son to return to New York.

That's the setup for "The Talented Mr. Ripley", the very fascinating new thriller from director Anthony ("The English Patient") Minghella. It is told from the perspective of the villian - in this case a middle-class individual with a knack for forging signatures and a potentially deadly obsession with "the good life."

He is Thomas Ripley (Matt Damon), and at first glance, he appears to be a simple con artist - but in reality is something more; he doesn't want to swindle the rich out of their money, but would rather live the life of an upper class individual. He is not a Robin Hood-type, he doesn't have a chip on his shoulder -- instead, he is a very clever man who believes he is entitled to live the lives of those he will come to encounter.

Among his other talents is doing impersonations of just about anyone he meets, even for just a moment. He demonstrates this ability early on when he impresses Dickie (Jude Law) by doing an imitation of the rich boy's father - an imitation not limited to voice only, but one which mimicks his mannerisms, his arrogant mentality, and his contempt for how his son lives. Somehow, he is able to capture all the traits of the father that makes the son's blood boil and his hatred seethe. The two young men bond immediately.

Ripley also gets to know Dickie's girlfriend (Gwyneth Paltrow), who immediately likes the young bourgeois stranger and seems to understand him and his growing relationship with Dickie. When she senses Ripley's jealousy of Dickie's high-class best friend (Philip Seymour Hoffman), she tells him: "I know what it's like. Dickie can drop you just like that. Forget all about you. But for that moment he gives you his full attention, you feel like you're the only person on earth." Ripley has that same kind of relationship with him.

What makes "The Talented Mr. Ripley" work so well is the way it creates tension simply by defining the characters' needs and desires, setting up their relationships with each other, and letting the events grow from there. It's amazing how much happens during the course of the movie, yet none of it feels forced or contrived. The term "character-driven story" is tossed around so often in film critic circles, but here is a definite textbook example.

As Thomas Ripley, Matt Damon hits all the right notes. He has to be both a clever con-man who must always remain one step ahead while at the same time convey a somewhat naive fascination with this intoxicating atmosphere and a tenacious belief that he is more deserving of this life than Dickie is. It's his surroundings that fuel his fire. It's his idea that he is entitled to his new surroundings that makes him frightening. Jude ("Gattaca","eXistenZ") Law
also finds the right tone for Dickie. He does a fine job of making him perceptive while at the same time maintaining his reckless attitude. At one point, he confronts Ripley with his suspicions of their supposed "days at Princeton," and even when his suspicions are confirmed, he doesn't suspect anything more sinister. He is too flattered by this middle-class man's obsession with him to actually think his life might be in danger. Nothing can justify Ripley's actions, but Dickie isn't exactly watching his step.

The film observes it's relationships from many different angles and is therefore able to keep the plot twists turning almost effortlessly. For this to work, the supporting performances must be on target, which they all are -- Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge, who followed her heart, loved Dickie despite his flaws and as a result was able to correctly suspect what happened to her beloved; Philip Seymour ("Flawless", "Boogie Nights") Hoffman as Freddie, who suspects Ripley is up to something and is NOT flattered by his obsession; Cate ("Elizabeth","An Ideal Husband") Blanchett as Meredith Logue, the woman who fell in love, yet never knew the true identity of this man who captured her heart; James Rebhorn as Dickie's father, who is too suspicious of his own son to suspect anything else; and Philip Baker Hall as the private investigator assigned to the case by Mr. Greenleaf, who we learn is not so much an investigator as a kind of "cleanup" man for the Greenleaf family.

The script was based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. The story's point-of-view is quite intriguing. Most films try to get their audience to identify with their main character. This film attempts the same feat. No, it doesn't justify his actions. Nor do I think it expects us to identify with his plight. But it does come at us in the same way Ripley comes at those he encounters on his journey. When he pleads to one of his victims: "Say nice
things about Thomas Ripley..." I sensed his despair, but I also believed that I was more frightened of him than anyone he encountered in the film. It's bold for a movie to scare their audience while at the same time make them hear the cries of isolation and pleas of acceptance of the man who scares them. It's an audacious move. . . not unlike that of the talented Mr. Ripley.

--Michael Brendan, "Mad Dog" Film Reviews (
[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberMay 8, 2003
Matt Damon plays a man who kills his friend to clain his identity. This movie shows us how. Damon gives a powerful as well as good perforamcnes from Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. The real mystery is how long can Damon can get away by minic another identity.
[--- Good ---]by VIP MemberJul 21, 2003

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