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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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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Big, Resounding, "WHAT?" (On Earth Were They Thinking?)

Author: star83
28 July 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(SPOILERS)Okay, so this movie has a couple of Oscar nominated actors/actresses in it. IT STILL WAS BAD! Okay, so it was filmed in a convincing atmosphere. IT STILL WAS BAD! Okay, so it was an attempt at creating a throwback of some Hitchcock film. IT STILL WAS A BAD MOVIE--although it was not the worst that I've seen.

First, I guess I'll discuss the good points of this movie--there are a few. I, like everyone else, enjoyed the scenery. This is because I could imagine a killer on the loose in such beautiful surroundings--for this movie, it adds "creepiness" (if that's what you would call it). Also, I, as anyone else I'd imagine, do not mind watching a movie that takes place somewhere I would like to be. It adds to the escapism that we all like to get from movies. The second thing that I enjoyed--most of all, in fact--was Mister Jude Law. I love him. He does well in any role that he portrays. Law was the only character that was amusing, or even interesting. This is sad to say, because the movie is called "The Talented Mr. Ripley"-not "The Talented Dickie" (Jude Law). I wanted to turn it off once Dickie was dead--and I knew that that point would come. I did like Matt Damon in the role, though, because he was so goofy and nerdish, that he was just odd, and easy to laugh at. I wonder if Ripley was meant to be so in the books. I could see why anyone would want to kill those characters--all of them. Cate Blachett was also good, but she has been so in all of her movies that I've seen, especially "Elisabeth" and "The Gift".

Although I like Damon, Blachett, and Law as actors, I did not like their characters. I did not like ANY of them. And the women--all of them--were made to look like some stupid beasts, running after their men of interest. The most obvious thing that a filmmaker must make sure of is that the audience can identify with, at least, one character in the film. I hated all of them! Especially Marge! Paltrow, contrary to what others have said, was perfectly cast! She was just so accepting, and blind, and weak--Paltrow personifies this, to me, in any character that she plays. I do agree though, that her acting, as always, was overrated, and overdone. Ripley should have killed Marge and let Dickie live.

I did not like the main character, either. I may not have been suppposed to, but I did not even sympathize with him. He was just some simpering, little, weirdo-nerd. He wasn't even cunning. He just killed--three times to be exact--in the stupidest and random ways. The fact that he bludgeones them is a sign of his un-calculating and random acts. Ripley was a murderer, only because he killed. He showed no intelligence while doing so. This movie took away all of the fun of watching a murder thriller. As I saw the murders he commited, I was like, "What is this?" it's due to a miracle--or a stupid script--that he wasn't caught!stupid! The premise was just STUPID! The one thing that I did understand was that Ripley is a psychopath!--but he was just so goofy!

In the beginning of the movie, I wondered "Where's the suspense?", I of course knew that he would kill Dickie. The (very mild) suspense came only after wondering when he would start to kill everyone else. He didn't kill anyone else of importance, except for Dickie's stupid, mumbling friend--I saw that coming, also. The whole movie dragged on and on, from one thing (I can't even remember what) to another. The stupidest part (I do remember), that should have been understandable, was when the concierge of the hotel fell for Ripley's matching himself to Dickie's ID. Once again, those people were all dumb! It's a movie about a stupid killer, who only got away with the murders because everyone else around him were far beyond stupid--I can't believe that rich people are that blind. I can't believe that I decided to watch them in this awful movie.

The movie consisted of long hours of nothing! And then, at the end, it was just a big, resounding, "WHAT?" I knew that was going to happen, too, but I just have to ask "WHY?". The answer, of course, is that the script or whatever was making it seem that Ripley (character and movie) is now something that he's (it's) not--interesting.

Yes, it was awful, although it was not the worst. Remember, the scenery and costumes and Jude Law. It should be redone. Ripley should be more cunning and smart, what's her name (Blanchett) should have been able to see through that Ripley, and Marge should have been killed, instead of Dickie, or Dickie could die later on--at the end. I can't help it, this movie stunk! I'll remember never to go see a movie just because the cast consists of Oscar winners.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

What a shame

Author: neige from Wilton, CT
27 December 1999

What a shame. The story had a lot of of promise but that dwindled quickly. In the beginning we're presented Mr. Ripley, who in every aspects wishes to be something he's not. He hopes to conform himself to the lifestyle of Dickie Greenleaf, and in doing so certain grows too attached to something he can never attain. The movie plods on through many gruesome instances and has the audience waiting for the end. I assumed often that the end was near, but no, I was not that fortunate. I had to sit through more of this dull movie. If I was one to walk out of a movie I would have left after about an hour. Instead I stayed. My recommendation: go for the first hour or so, you'll catch the good parts of the movie, then run!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good and bad

Author: mydelsol7 from Raleigh, NC United States
8 December 2005

This movie had great cinematography, superb acting and interesting ideas, but the pacing seemed off and it dragged quit a lot in places. I loved certain parts, but the over all structure of the movie felt weak. I know this is more of a character movie but the plot had almost no momentum at all which lead to a friend I was seeing the movie with to ask me "If I go to the bathroom do you think anything might actually happen...?" While every actor did fine job, Matt Damon was particular good, I had not thought him a very good actor before this picture and he rarely lives up to his talent afterwards. I think I may watch it again and would recommend someone else watching it as it is a challenging picture.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Total flatline...

Author: Beerdrinking Dog ( from The Netherlands
10 December 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(SPOILERS, but hey, who cares, you don't want to watch this piece of crap anyway! Nothing much to 'spoil' there...)

Near the end of this film, I found myself watching the digital seconds on my VCR ticking away, instead of looking at the screen. Not that I was missing much, nothing was going on anyway. Here's a spoiler for ya: nothing even remotely exciting happens in this film!!!

Three words to some up one of the many reasons this movie doesn't make any sence: Dickie's...body...where????? Where did our little Tom hide a 6'3 body out in the open sea (don't tell me he dropped into the water, duh...) without it ever being found. Oh, the boat they are in is found, but the body isn't. Like, what, did he eat it? Now that would have added something to the story wouldn't it?

To sum things up: Definatly THE most boring film I saw this year. The only people who should watch this are those who have NEVER enjoyed a single movie in their entire lives. They sure as hell won't be disappointed in this one!

2 out of 10 (and I'm being generous here...)

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A poor, bloated adaptation, miscast and misdirected...

Author: cgilman from Toluca Lake, California
28 December 1999

Having been a fan of the Ripley books for some years, I was hopeful that at last someone had made at least a watchable adaptation of the most intriguing sociopath in modern literature. So much for hope...

There was no point to the silly sub-plots, additional characters and various 'stuff' the film makers added to Highsmith's exceptionally elegant and sparse story. Perhaps someone felt they had to 'improve' on Highsmith (yikes!) in order to justify their paycheck. The effect is disastrous, making an interminable film longer than it needs to be. Worse, now no one can have a whack at it again for 20 years or so!

Matt Damon seems like he was willing to perform, but slid into being boring instead of being understated. The characterization of Dickie as a playboy is unfortunate, but at least Jude Law shows signs of life. Miss Paltrow's Marge is far too knowing, rather than puppet-like. We are deprived of the uncomfortable sensation we feel in the book when she succumbs to Ripley's story. Cate Blanchett does as best she can, with a character that never existed in print and isn't even needed for the film.

Ripley is far more subtle than the over-baked re-telling given it by Minghella and Co. For example, why start him off living in abject poverty? Highsmith smartly had him already toying with an underground career when Mr. Greenleaf pursues him, knowing that he went to school with Dickie. The Highsmith setup makes for a much more interesting 'acquaintance becomes a devil and takes over your life' dynamic. Further bad choices are made concerning the coup de grace and ensuing action. The demise of Dickie, THE CENTRAL MOMENT OF THE STORY, is awkwardly contrived, seeming to come from nowhere and feeling out of place rather than organic and plausible. Perhaps this is the consequence of the bad plot leads going before, and poor filmmaking choices that leave the film's texture uneven.

Read the book instead.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Clever and compelling ; this psychological thriller is one of a kind

Author: Mcjoe74 from United Kingdom
20 March 2014

'The Talented Mr Ripley' is an enchanting movie that presents a fascinating study into the 'darker elements' of the human mind.It revolves around the titular character, Mr Ripley, who is sent abroad to retrieve a wealthy playboy , Dickie , who seems to have the world in his hands - money , women and a glorious mansion home. In fact, Mr Ripley , after introducing himself as one of Dickie's former school acquaintances , becomes engrossed in his luxurious lifestyle. He wonders what it would be like to have that kind of life. However, the more time he spends around Dickie, the more he realises how he is abusing this glorious life-cheating on his wife, throwing his money around and generally being irresponsible. And so he decides to do something about it.

Matt Damon is reasonably good as 'Mr Ripley' , he does a good job of depicting a disturbed character whilst maintaining our sympathy. Jude Law is perfectly cast as the self-obsessed Dickie and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman is equally good as Dickie's snobby friend ; both rather repulsive characters.

What makes this so outstanding is the way it shows the development of the principal character , from his quiet, pleasant personality as he deteriorates into a darker, sinister man. We , as the audience , feel his pain and suffering . This is where the movie shines the most-in it's ability to stir our emotions, create tension and keep us on the edge of our seats. It is indeed a difficult feat to make us sympathise with a psychopath but 'The Talented Mr Ripley' completely masters it.

This is hands-down the best psychological , thought-provoking film i have ever seen. A must-see.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Melodrama and intrigue by good director Anthony Minghella.

Author: psagray from Spain
28 September 2013

It is a melodrama, with intelligence and with certain parts with a brief touch of humor, but more importantly, without doubt, is the ability of the actors to make you feel that the viewer is the protagonist. You will get to feel the joy, the fear, the anguish they felt in every part of this film.

Minghella is a smart director because he could renew and revolutionize epic films - romantic classic "The Inglés Patient" and "Cold Mountain". He gave an amazing insight to melodrama with "Breaking and Entering". And in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" follows in the footsteps of Hitchcock, with a magnificent film adaptation by Patricia Higsmith accessible prose without losing intelligence , showing the "dolce vita" Italian without losing the classicism of its scenarios, (In Naples, Ischia, Rome, Venice), also aspects related to their characters. Also leads a splendid cast, in which the trio is masterful in his best role Damon, repulsive and poignant, Paltrow totally emotional and real, Blanchet with an elegance and a package worthy of a classic movie star, Hoffman left and repulsive and Law doing such a good job that makes everything public to draw at Ripley's in one, envy, admiration, revulsion and anger it causes.

The film keeps you in constant tension. It also has very nice parts that fail to make the viewer gets excited.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Matt Demon is now in the top 10

Author: Vivek Pandey from Delhi, India
4 August 2013

Unbelievable Acting by Matt. The absolutely malicious evil behind a naive and guy-next-door face just grows on you. In fact, after a while, since you as the audience get to see his private moments you feel like his confidante and ultimately hate the fact that you are his confidante. It is almost like making a best friends with a innocuous guy and then being unable to get out of the relationship after realising he is a fiend. The guile and the pretences are shown as coming absolutely naturally to him, with absolutely no effort. Jude gets almost a guest appearance, so does Gwynyth and everyone else. They are all supporting cast to this one man show. But they do well with the briefs given to them. Howsoever used to this genre you are (thriller/drama), there would definitely be one gasp you would let out watching this one. There are these "moments", of absolute shock and cruelty, dealt out with absolute calm (no background crescendoes either!) So watch this if you are one for the drama/thrillers You will remember this definitely as the top 20 you ever saw

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Acting is SUPERB and the story HIGHLY INTERESTING!

Author: vlevensonnd-1 from United States
17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Pros to this movie: Excellent Actors/Actresses; Excellent acting; Very interesting story; Suspenseful; and Engaging.

The Cons to this movie: It's a bleak testament of human weakness and desperation that grew into extremes, which life is like, unfortunately, far too many times.

Some people thought the story was way too far fetched to be realistic. I disagree. I've seen these things, and I've also learned of numerous stories throughout human history that were even more extreme - and true.

Human nature is not always a beautiful thing. People can be among several people on a regular basis and have an adequate number of friends, yet still feel completely alone and isolated within their minds. The fear of loneliness, of an inadequate life, of not being accepted or truly loved can plague such a high percentage of people. All of us can experience those things at one time or another in life, yet there are those that are consistently and literally tormented with those fears.

This is a story of a such a man, who was given a very tempting offer, where an alternate opportunity of evil presented itself. He could have done the right thing to assist a father, as well as to positively influence that father's son in doing the right thing, yet, due to the character not tending to his mental/psychological ills, he choose that alternate opportunity, which lead to his, and to other's demise.

The story is completely believable. All we have to do is pick up the newspaper to realize that these kinds of things go on all around us, all over the world. And THAT is what makes this story so unsettling and frightening.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcockian Brilliance

Author: TheFilmFreak1 from Australia
25 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the success of 'The English Patient', director Anthony Minghella conceived of his next project as another adaptation (after Rene Clement's 'Plein Soleil') of Patricia Highsmith's 1955 pulp novel 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'. While Clement's version is generally excellent and intelligently conceived, the censorship constrains of the era rendered the film too subdued in its treatment of the homoerotic sexual undertones of the source material to really have an impact on the audience. Mingella's film, however, is substantially more explicit and candourous in both its theme and content, permitting both for the characters to be depicted in all their multifaceted and variable glory and for a visceral degree of suspense to develop long before the bodies even start piling up.

Concurrently a modernist exploration of film noir – stressing the Byzantine plot schematics, dreamlike visuals, and behavioural factors of the genre's archetypes with delicious hyperbole – and a conservative dissection of vanity and hedonism (something of a contrast with Highsmith's glorification of those things in her original novel), the film primarily looks at social status, with the work's two main characters – Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf (two excellent performances from Matt Damon and Jude Law – representing the higher (Dickie) and lower (Tom) levels of the social taxonomy.

By using film noir's archetypes – characters whom either allow their affluence or high social status to persuade them to pursue impossible goals or whom, if poor, obsess with 'making a quick buck' –, Minghella is able to both mock the vices of high society and, through investing sympathy in Ripley's character through the indifferent and intermittently cruel behaviour that Dickie directs toward him, expose both the superficiality and the manipulative and temporal nature of a high social status (along with the 'la dolce vita' lifestyle it connotes). However, this point is most effectively illustrated not through Dickie's representation of the upper classes, but through Tom Ripley's destructive pursuit of them.

From the film's opening montage of Ripley's squalid existence in the ghettos of New York, we see his burning desire to be among a higher class of people surmised brilliantly with such images as him wiping a rich man's jacket in his capacity as a lavatory attendant and his forbidden look into a recital from behind the curtain of a personal booth. Ripley is willing to do practically anything to achieve a higher status; firstly becoming acquainted with jazz (which he clearly dislikes) as a means to befriend Dickie, then demonstrating all his skills of mimicry and forging, along with revealing the intent of his meeting Dickie, to preserve that friendship, to finally killing Dickie and stealing his identity.

As matters escalate, so do Ripley's methods of preserving his wrongfully-obtained status. He murders Dickie's inquisitive friend Freddie Miles (a Seymour Hoffman performance fleetingly glimpsed though worthy of a thousand accolades), fakes Dickie's suicide, attempts to murder Dickie's former fiancée Marge Sherwood (Paltrow in one of her better roles), and, in the film's haunting dénouement, murders Peter Smith-Kingsley (Jack Davenport), the only character in the whole film who has the potential to offer Tom some sort of salvation. And as Ripley's finally descends into an incubus of guilt and regret, the film finally presents his status anxiety as hubris with the line "I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody... than a real nobody."

Yet these reflections are simply the eventualities of the film's exploration of it's thematic concerns; what really matters is that this is a beautifully photographed (John Seale's best work), superbly scripted, wonderfully acted, exquisitely scored (Gabriel Yared channels Bernard Herrmann with such professional austerity that one would think that Yared is Herrmann's reincarnation), and, dare I write, 'talentedly' directed. This, for me, is Minghella's magnum opus!

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