Ripley's Game (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  7 February 2003 (Italy)
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Reviews: 107 user | 55 critic

Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Uwe Mansshardt ...
Hanns Zischler ...
Art Dealer
Maurizio Lucà ...
Franco's Assistant
Evelina Meghnagi ...
Sam Blitz ...
Matthew Trevanny
Emidio La Vella ...
Shoe Shop Owner (as Emidio Lavella)
Nikolaus Dutsch ...
Dr. Wentzel (as Nikolaus Deutsch)
Wilfried Zander ...


Tom Ripley - cool, urbane, wealthy, and murderous - lives in a villa in the Veneto with Luisa, his harpsichord-playing girlfriend. A former business associate from Berlin's underworld pays a call asking Ripley's help in killing a rival. Ripley - ever a student of human nature - initiates a game to turn a mild and innocent local picture framer into a hit man. The artisan, Jonathan Trevanny, who's dying of cancer, has a wife, young son, and little to leave them. If Ripley draws Jonathan into the game, can Ripley maintain control? Does it stop at one killing? What if Ripley develops a conscience? Luisa prepares for her concert. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The talented Mr Ripley is back. Older. Wiser. More dangerous See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 February 2003 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El amigo americano  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£244,457 (UK) (30 May 2003)


$228,171 (Brazil) (16 April 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In Patricia Highsmith's original novel, most of the action takes place in France, not Italy, Tom Ripley and Jonathan Trevanny are both married to Frenchwomen who are named Heloise and Simone, not Luisa and Sarah. The character of Reeves is also different, in the novel he is an American fence whose motives are more obscure than they are depicted in the movie. See more »


When Trevanny and Reeves first meet in the hotel, Trevanny's cigar changes orientation, between shots. See more »


Reeves: It's him. Now he usually wears those 'orrible gold rimmed glasses and a great big fuck off Russian furry hat. You know, they had to kill three bears to make that.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Animal Cannabus
Composed by Colin MacIntyre
(c) Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Mull Historical Society
Courtesy of Warner Strategic Marketing UK
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User Reviews

Poor adaptation
12 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ripley's Game is the third Ripley story (by Patricia Highsmith) to be filmed, following 1960's Purple Noon (with Alain Delon as Ripley) and 1977's The American Friend (with Dennis Hopper as Ripley). Purple Noon was later remade as The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), with Matt Damon as Ripley, and here The American Friend is remade, with John Malkovich as Ripley.

In this story, Ripley's all grown up and has become quite the conniving scoundrel. Phrases like that are best at depicting the completely amoral Ripley, especially when put against a backdrop of Germany and Italy and Old Europe in general. It's not that Ripley doesn't care, it's that... well, okay, it's that Ripley doesn't care.

Ripley's pal Reeves (Ray Winstone) has a job that needs to be done, but when he asks Ripley to handle it, our resident evil-doer demurs - he has a better murderer in mind. Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott) is a framemaker whose son has leukemia. Ah, the perfect man for the job. Ripley offers Trevanny a lot of cash, drawing the innocent into his game.

The main problem with the movie is that there's no real urgency, no sense of peril. We understand from the get-go that Tom Ripley's a sociopath, but we're given no clues as to his intentions or motivations. And adding to the ennui is Malkovich himself. Ordinarily, I can't think of anyone better at playing a conniving scoundrel (see him in 1988's Dangerous Liaisons), but Malkovich is so understated in this role that often you can hardly hear what he's saying! For the lead character to be so quiet and unassuming ought to be a federal offense. What was the director thinking?

But even if the performance was stronger, the plot itself is rather pedestrian. Oh, sure, you get pretty scenery (it's well photographed), but the twists and turns are really a simple matter of connecting the dots. Almost any fool could see how this one ends.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Ripley lost the game? arthur_11
Without Gwyneth they oughtn't have bothered damienstreets
This movie is a remake of The American Friend (Der Amerikanishe Freund) dredzo
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Which is better? smileyru
the movie felt cheap punch-drunk_love
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