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The Talented Mr. Ripley
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Talented Mr. Ripley More at IMDbPro »

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An excellent psychological thriller

Author: KALKevin from Atlanta, GA
8 August 2000

Put simply, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY is about how lies catch up with us, no matter how much ahead of them we think we are. Matt Damon stars as Tom Ripley (we have no idea if this is his real name or if he may have killed a real Tom Ripley and taken his place). He has a talent for lying, for imitating, for forging and basically doing anything to make his own life better, no matter who he may step on it to achieve that end.

Many complaints have been stated about the last third of the movie, many people feeling it was superfluous. But the entire point is that Ripley's lies keep catching up with him. As soon as he thinks he's safe, something else turns up to endanger him. Do we like Ripley? As a cold blooded killer, lyer and forger, I certainly don't think so. But we certainly relate to his constant attempts to stay one step ahead of the truth.

The penultimate moment, when Ripley kills the one person who offers him unconditional love, we have to wonder if he is actually satisfied with what has happened or has he finally gotten it through his head that he can't run from the truth forever...unless he's going to kill everyone who has the slightest clue to his real story.

It's a psychologically chilling moment, worthy of a fine thriller. But perhaps in this age of Armageddon-like, quick-cut action, actual thinking is not something modern movie audiences are willing to do anymore.

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Two-thirds of a great movie.

Author: Hotstuff-7 (damnyankee23@hotmail.com)
6 August 2000

This movie is so completely engrossing for much of its running time that it's a shame that it loses its way in the third act. Jude Law completely dominates every scene he's in, and after he's out of the picture, the movie suffers. It perks up again when the excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman comes back into it, but then he disappears, too. Don't get me wrong, I thought Matt Damon gave a terrific performance here. Cate Blanchett is also superb, her snooty Yank accent perfect. Gwyneth Paltrow I wasn't too impressed with. She doesn't bring anything to the role of Marge that many other actresses could have brought to it, and better. In the final third, however, the movie becomes a very dull gay melodrama. All the previous tension and suspense is drained from it, and it drones on and on. The ending of the movie is particularly disappointing. There is a lot to recommend about Ripley, especially that gorgeous cinematography. But I wanted more.

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I think we all know who the real star was.......

10/10
Author: angel4l (angel4l@aol.com) from Arizona, USA
2 August 2000

This is just a warning to anyone who is about to read this review: I AM ABOUT TO TALK NON-STOP ABOUT JUDE LAW! After seeing this movie it is very obvious to me why one one of the characters in the movie was nominated for an academy award! Jude's preformance was impecable. Not only was he able to catch the beauty and charm of Dickie Greenleaf, but also the repulsive vanity and selfishness of the character. Not many other actors, if any, would be able to accomplish something like this. To see the true depth of this character one need only ask himself two questions: 1) Did you hate Dickie Greenleaf? 2)Did you love Dickie Greenleaf? The answer to both of these questions is "Yes". This is how multidemensional the character was. All I can say is Jude, Jude, Jude. If you love him (like myself) see this movie. If you don't love him.....you will.

My favourite quotes:

(Marge) "It's like the sun shines on you and it's glorious, and then he forgets you and it's very very cold."

(Freddie)"Dont you just want to f- them all just once?" (Dickie) "Just once?"

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Intelligent and Gripping!

Author: Zycho-3 from New Zealand
29 July 2000

I expected The Talented Mr Ripley to be a boring repeat of 1996 overrated smash hit, The English Patient. But it wasn't! It was a highly entertaining, intelligent and gripping drama/thriller that had me intrigued! The direction from Anthony Minghella was work only he could do, and the adaption from Patricia Highsmith's excellent novel was also done by Minghella, and he shows true effort! The acting is also great, an underrated performance was given by Matt Damon, he was absolutely stunning and a largely popular performance by Jude Law, who was realistic and powerful!

The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of the most underrated films I saw last year, and it is a heck of movie, so if you haven't seen it, rush to your video store today!

Rating: 8

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Decent movie - just needs an ending and a plot!

7/10
Author: anonanon from USA
25 July 2000

Well, it's actually a sad movie for me, as it had so much potential to really BE a good movie and all hope was completely lost somewhere in those midnight script writing sessions, I guess. If you can't see the homosexual and anti-capitalist overtones throughout the movie, you're either naive or blind.

It was one of the worst endings I've ever seen. I still don't believe the movie even ended, except for the fact I've already rewound the tape and took it back to the video store. And to think --- the DVD was skipping so bad about 2/3 of the way through that I took it back to swap it for the video so I could see the ending! When I took the video back, I asked them if they forgot to take the ending off the DVD and put it on the video, because IT DIDN'T EXIST!

Maybe Ben Affleck could have shown up and saved the movie like he does all of Damon's flicks. It could have been "Saving Mr. Ripley". I'm not telling you to avoid the movie, on the contrary, I want you to see it and you will also be left with the gaping hole the movie created where the plot, direction and ending should have been.

Maybe it should have ended up in some artsy-fartsy foreign film theatre where you don't understand what the heck is going on anyway. And this coming from a man who appreciated the subtle nuances of "2001: A Space Odyssey" without tripping on acid.

I predict that when the credits roll, you'll wonder if you missed something. You did. The entire point, as it wasn't there. And to think this could have been a fantastic movie.

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Intelligent Character Study but too long

6/10
Author: Rob Deschenes (kalibur@softhome.net) from Toronto. Ont. Canada
24 July 2000

Everyone has a talent. Including Thomas Ripley, a man who's talents include conning and impersonating people. Highly intelligent, Ripley finds his way to Greenleaf: a man who not only likes Tom, but offers him $1 000 to travel to Italy to bring back his son in time for Thanksgiving.

As a character study of a smart con artist, the movie is tops. Matt Damon plays an extremely intelligent role well and Jude Law does a great job too as Dickie Greenleaf. Special mention to Phillip Hoffman as Freddie and the inspector who reminded me of COLUMBO at times.

The movie is long though. It has a tendency to get boring too. Many people who are not smart enough, or are half interested in the movie will be saying, "Huh?" quite often. Many confusing points are there as well, such as Thomas' dream that was shown on the movie trailer. It seemed to make no sense. The threat of Tom on Marge seemed a little bit strange too.

Why anyone under 18 would be interested in this, I do not know, but THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY seems to have as many faults as insights therefore making it a movie to watch for yourself but not at any party.

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Good thrill but not as dramatic as the original Tom Ripley...

6/10
Author: Justin Ching from California, USA
24 July 2000

You pay a price to be who you wanna be. But Ripley paid more than he could afford. High tension in this movie kept me at the edge of the seat.

Then I recognized this one is a clone to an earlier movie. I much prefer the original make in the '60s directed by Rene Clement. That one had a dramatic ending and beautiful cinematography which I really recommend!

If you hadn't seen "Purple Noon", you would enjoy this new one. Otherwise, "Purple Noon" definitely earned more rewards in its time.

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Great build-up, leading to a disappointing finish.

7/10
Author: Daydream_Believer from South Windsor, CT
23 July 2000

This is the kind of fantastic movie that sucks you in from the first scene. Matt Damon is incredible in his portrayal of a complicated character, who is at times lonely, angry, sensual, passionate... or is he? That is the question the film never seems to answer. Just who is this Mr. Ripley? I for one was not satisfied with the way the film refused to make a clear statement either way.

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confused?

Author: meltplasticandfrypigeons-2 (meltplasticandfrypigeons@badkarma.co from bristol-south west england
22 July 2000

an excellent opportunity for matt damon to prove he is not as shallow as his good will hunting film. and also its good to know the likes of leonardo-whose gonna loose those looks-dicaprio may of been allowed to of completely ruined the beach (they changed it to fit around his obvious public desires) but he wasnt gonna ruin this cos he wasnt in it ! instead jude law (whose fine acting/body) made the film complete with gwyneth paltrows also superb acting (shes good at those accents)and along with matt damons talent. the ending pehaps lost it -being so quick- but it was going on slightly- however it was done perfectly and was mysterious. DONT MAKE A SECOND ONE! itll only ruin the sheer beauty/mystery of this film-plein soliel was difficult to follow (i dont speak french) but even if i could it'd be switcheed off as it certainly wasnt as entertaining nor did it have that mystical touch. however i am not a critic and havent studied the film industry so who am i to judge?

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What book were you reading again?

10/10
Author: substitutiary locomotion from New Haven
17 July 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THIS CONTAINS A BUNCH OF POTENTIAL SPOILERS- INTENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY SEEN THE FILM

I am flabberghasted by the reviews of this film I have read here today. I'm beginning to wonder if I have a different version of the novel and saw a different version of Plein Soleil than everyone else. Yes, the novel is good, but it could never be made into a film, as Ripley is far less intriguing because he's unscrupulous from the beginning. Plein Soleil is pure tripe, and not half the film that The Talented Mr. Ripley is.

Tom's homosexuality is not veiled in the novel as has been suggested by several people; rather, it is all but plainly stated right on the page, and Tom kills Dickie in the novel because Dickie realizes that Tom's gay and doesn't want anything to do with him anymore. And he does it in cold blood- he thinks about it before he actually kills him. The Tom of the film kills Dickie in a panic because Dickie wants to kill him for messing up his face. And Tom only messes up Dickie's face in a fit of passion because Dickie is making fun of him and telling him that he's a loser and a bore. And for those of you who didn't pick up on all of the blatant gay innuendo, Tom is in love with Dickie, not Marge.

As for Plein Soleil, it is hardly subtle or nuanced, as has been suggested by some. Rather, it is heavy-handed, totally unfaithful to the book in one of its most important themes (Tom must be gay), and totally mucks up the ending by having Tom get caught. You may not have noticed, but there are four Ripley novels, so having him arrested at the end of the first would hardly work out for the other three. And it certainly would be less torture for him, which is really the whole point, obviously. There is a reason why American filmmakers made films noir, and the French only wrote about them.

I think this film is brilliant. Beautiful scenery and acting aside, the screenplay and direction are marvelous and convey a message seldom delivered so stealthily and expertly. It's a shame that so few people actually get what Minghella was aiming at here. Tom Ripley is the quintessential closeted gay young man. He is not an evil homosexual homicidal psychopath, but a man who is unsure of himself and afraid to be his own person, to the extent that he has no personality. The "evil" that overtakes him is the evil and decadence of his new friends- he is so weak that he allows their personalities to dominate his and he takes on a little of theirs. He doesn't set out from the get-go to take over Dickie's life; in fact, the thought doesn't even occur to him until the desk clerk at their San Remo hotel mistakes him for "Signor Greenleaf."

Then he does what most young gay men do when they first realize who and what they are- he pretends to be somebody he's not. This is all the more ironic and brilliant because he IS gay, and he's actually pretending to be a real-life other person. But in order to be safe, he can't ever reveal his true self or allow it to be revealed. He kills Freddie Miles to avoid being outed as Tom Ripley instead of Dickie Greenleaf, and he kills Peter Smith-Kingsley to avoid being outed as a homosexual. He is a truly tragic character, because he is doomed to be alone, and doomed to never get caught- he is trapped in the basement with his demons, and even he doesn't have the key to let himself out. The end of the film is far from disappointing, unless you're one of those people who expects everything to be wrapped up neatly in the end, for the murderer to be arrested and the truth known. I submit that the end of Ripley is far more appropriate than having him caught- he is tortured by his own guilt and the knowledge that his life is a total fabrication built on death and lies. He is destined to live the rest of his life in fear of being caught, and that is a far worse fate than spending life in prison or being hanged.

I thought Matt Damon was impeccably Tom. Jude Law was fabulous as simultaneously charming and despicable. Gwyneth was Gwyneth (one point I seem to agree with a lot of folks on), and Cate was her usual wonderful self. Though I must say that Philip Seymour Hoffman stole the picture- I was rooting for another 7 minutes on screen Dame Judi Dench supporting Oscar win for him, because he was just that good. This film deserves 11 out of 10, but I'll settle for 10.

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