The Talented Mr. Ripley

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The Talented Ripley: Saturday December 25, 1999

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 (Matt Damon) craves — and Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) 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 (Gwyneth Paltrow), 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.
Paramount Pictures and Miramax Films present "The Talented Mr. Ripley" from Academy Award™-winning director Anthony Minghella, starring Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf and Cate Blanchett as Meredith Logue. Minghella directs from a screenplay he wrote based on Patricia Highsmith’s acclaimed suspense novel. William Horberg and Tom Sternberg are the producers of the Mirage Enterprises and Timnick Films production. Sydney Pollack is executive producer. The line producer is Alessandro Von Normann. Paul Zaentz co-produces. Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc. 1999 Paramount Pictures and Miramax Film Corp.

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Ebert UsaToday

Mr Showbiz

Herald Average
Points 100 87.5 74 87.5 87.25



87.25 - A Must See

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Rating System:

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40 - 65 points  Go See At Matinee
65- 85 points Worth Seeing
85-100 points Definitely worth seeing. "A must see!"

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Anthony Minghella


Patricia Highsmith,

Anthony Minghella




Matt Damon as Tom Ripley
Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood
Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf

Running Time

2hr 15min


Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity.


Paramount Pictures




Official Site


Soundtrack from



 The People's Review of Talented Mr. Ripley

Ralph McGinnis
score = None
comments = I didn't go see this movie at first because I have always had an immense distaste for Paltrow and Damon - two extremely mediocre actors who have always starred in mediocre Hollywood tripe. However, one night I watched 'Ripley' on Pay-per-View and found it to be a very disturbing, atypical, uncliched and engaging film. It is of no surprise that many people who have posted here didn't like this movie -- it is far too intelligent of a movie to be appreciated by the masses. Yes it is 'slow,' but perhaps the viewers need to 'slow' down their expectations and get over their need for quick-paced MTV edits. This film doesn't spoon-feed you its intentions -- you have to find them out for yourself -- you have to be able to think. It lacks the trite telephone commercial sentimentality of 'Good Will Hunting' and 'Saving Private Ryan,' so if liked those Damon stinkers you might not like this film. Damon is surprisingly good, there is little for Paltrow to do wrong and Jude Law and Philip Hoffman were of course, as always, superb.
The ending WAS an ending. The first murder is a crime of passion, the second is simply to protect himself against a very unlikable character -- the third is the irredeemable murder of someone Ripley loves -- his true dissent into his OWN hell.

score = 60 
I was certainly disappointed.  Scernery and soundtrack were great, but it wasn't very convincing.  It wasn't worth $6. 

score = 50 
Overlong and slow-paced, tho nice to look at.  Artfully made movie, but afterwards you ask, what was he point of all that.  Suspenseful, but after a while annoyingly so.  Matt Damon doesn't bring enough magnetism to his role; Jude Law does.

score = 50 
The film was very picturesque and Jude Law did a decent job of acting.  Matt Damon did not have enough dimension in his character to be convincing.  His character was not complex enough.  The whole movie was a bit far-fetched, and all the main players appeared to be acting.  When I go to a movie, I don't want to know that the actors are acting. I want to forget.  It lacked the complexity of the novel.

score = None 
the worst movie we have seen in a long time.  people were leaving before it was even over.  if it was a "must see" then  i really missed something

score = 50 
The movie was definately not an academy award winner.  However, it was quite twisted which played with the minds of those who enjoy psychological thrillers.  To that extent I enjoyed watching it although I could have waited and just rented it on a very dark stormy night.

I thought the movie was...good. The score was amazing and will definately win when it comes times for the awards. Damon did a decent job-I wasn't impressed with any of his acting until the very end of the movie, and even then-ehh. However, I thought Jude Law and Philip Seymour Hoffman were outstanding in their supporting roles, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett. I think the only really good thing to come out of this movie will be, the soundtrack.

Jennifer Brewster 
score = 10 
I had hoped to find a clue about this long, laborous film's ending. I kept expecting this surprise ending that I had heard so much about and was disappointed to find the conclusion predictable and a little confusing.  Add to that my confusion throughout the picture about the homosexual overtones;  at the risk of being called a homophobe, it wasn't Mr. Ripley and his friends' possible homosexual nature that troubled me, but rather that the film seemed afraid to either commit or discount such behaviour.  I heard all of these glowing reviews about this film, and while I found the acting superb, the plot was slow and not gripping at all.  The characters were all terribly dislikeable, except Paltrow's character, who seemed to be the only friend among them with any redemption.  I will be careful before attending another film on the basis of critical opinion.



score = 60 

I was really looking forward to this movie.  After watching it, I can say that it had a great cast, and great scenery.  Overall though, it was a little slow.  And what the hell was that ending?  There was no ending -- nothing was concluded.  The ending (or the absence of one) ruined the film for me



Hagen Stone 

score = 80 

 I did not read any reviews prior to seeing the movie and, consequently, did not have any expectations. I was entertained and intrigued by the plot and the music. Although there were some far fetched turns, I wasn't insulted by them. I must admit that I would have preferred the movie to either commit to a homosexual theme or leave it out all together. I didn't quite understand why the homosexual overtones where necessary. I would recommend it as long as you are going to a matinee showing.



score = 10 

One of the worst movies I have ever seen.  People were leaving the theatre before the first hour.  It was too long, too boring, and there was no good plot twists.  I'd advise everyone not to waste your hard - earned 8 dollars to view such a travesty to cinema.



score = 100 

Okay... Forget the novel. Forget The English Patient.. Forget the movie trailers. Forget everything. This is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.  Okay, so it's not true to Patricia Highsmith's novel, but the film *is* good in its own right. Gabriel Yared's score is gorgeous....


Joel Jordan 

score = 80

This was superb moviemaking which restored my faith in movies once again; I have seen so many awful movies lately. Great musical score, cinematography as well as direction. I found myself really reacting to the death scenes.


score = 30 
Personally, I think all these critics are seriously overrating this movie because it's Anthony Minghella, director of The English Patient. This one is long, gruesome, unimaginitive, and boring. We can all watch the five o'clock news if we want to see a story of a psychopath who steals identities and literally kills for them. The fact is, this movie is not much more than a bloated version of that. Matt Damon is actually a saving grace, as this is the first time I have seen him and not thought of him as Matt Damon; as is Jude Law as a perfectly cast, directionless spoiled brat; and Cate Blanchett's performance is just fine when she's on. Other than that, the pace is torturous and the story simply disturbing--but not at all affective. I give ten points each to the performances of Damon, Law, and Blanchett--but nothing else.

score = None 
This movie absolutely SUCKED, it was not even worth a dime.  I had NEVER walked out of a movie before until I saw this awful piece of , well I cant even call it art.  Dont get me wrong I loved Matt Damon in Good WIll Hunting and Saving Private Ryan is my absolute favorite movie, but The Talented Mr. Ripley YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

score = 100 
Beautiful scenery, beautiful music, beautiful cast, great acting.  It is extremely difficult to convince the audience to like and stick with a parade of pathetic lost souls.  this movie manages to do that.

Terry B 
score = 60 
A bit too long - took up the first hour setting things up and then it all happened too quickly to make sense of Tom Ripley's motives. The ending left far too much unexplained. Ps the book is much better. The film doesn't even stick to the story very well. In the book Tom knows Dickie before he goes to Italy and is actually sought out by Dickie's father.

score = 90 
Despite some of the comments made so far, I find the characters convincing.  Each character possesses a uniqueness that fits the entire plot together like a jigsaw puzzle.  The villain, unlike the classical monsters, appeals to my sense of sympathy.  While I find Mr Ripley's violent acts to conceal his growing lies disturbing, I also find myself feeling for him, not wanting him to be caught.  If anything, I think Damon and Paltrow's performance fortified the relatively weak plot of the story adapted for the movie.  The European and fifties backdrop was nothing short of beautiful and the soundtrack was well blended with the ebbs and tides of the movie.

score = 90 
Great cast, great location.  Matt Damon's portrayal of Tom Ripley really made you sympathise with Ripley, rather than hating him, for just wanting to fit in with the rich crowd.  The movie was good, highly recommended.

score = 10 
Right up there with Stigmata for worst movie of the year.  This movie was so boring.  i kept waiting for it to get better but it never did.  I found the female roles of gwyneth paltrow and kate blanchet to be insignigicant and minor.  I felt nothing for their characters.  Matt Damon, though extremely talented, was not up to par either, as Jude Law definately stole what little spot light the film had to himself.  he was the one actor that made the film worth watching, but after his departure only about halfway through, this movie went from boring, to almost worthy of walking out on.  decent acting and actors, but even they couldn't save the horrible storyline and slow moving plot

score = 90 
This movie did not receive the acclaim that it should have.  The movie is great and the pace of the movie was wonderful.  The location,clothes,music,dialogue all remind me of a later Great Gatsby.  And like Great Gatsby it is incredible.  It's better to be like a fake somebody than a real nobody.

score = 100 
To put it simply, this film was about the Talented MR. Minghella, in every way.  His eye for sound and his ear for visuals make for cinematic confusion: why is he even in the same league with most directors, today?  His film is deliciously cold, whilst feigning an amber, warming sensation via cinematography, ard direction, and a score that drips with dewey irony (how can music about such a heartless character sound so calmingly shrill?  it sounds like the human heratstrings being plucked like a hell-harp)  Matt Damon is virtually the ultimate flaw, here, though.  his Ripley never registers as the seductor that is implied with such subtle cigor.  Rather, Mr. Law and he should have switched roles, for Mr. Law is the only actor today handsome enough to survive in Hollywood fare of yesteryear (the days of Cary Grant and a young Sean Connery).  And Ms. Paltrow unfortunately falls under Mr. Damon's catagory of people who disappear into the background.  Cate Blanchett is splendidly beautiful and sly, winning the audience over with a lovely, biting speech regarding "having enough money to hate money."  This was not the best picture of the year, but it was far grander than most that were nominated.  Mr. Minghella's bag of tricks is deep as an ominous, still ocean.  He even sets the scenes of ambiguity with a style that somehow provokes, but never teases.  The best example is the moment when a man sits on his male acquaintences lap, adjusting his tie, closely, when a beautiful Italian woman brezzes by, inducing both men to follow her with sheer lust.  See this film.  The only things scarrier than the intelligently eerie happenings within, are the perfect performances by Mr. Law, Ms. Blanchett, and Phillip Seymore Hoffman, who in his brief time on screen, knocks back every line like a double scotch.  Bravo.

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