Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 74
    A near-perfect confection, a beautifully executed Hollywood all-you-can-eat salad bar of glamour, plot twists, breathtaking Mediterranean vistas, and jazz.
  2. 100
    The movie is as intelligent a thriller as you'll see this year.
  3. This thriller is so expertly -- and perversely -- poised that audience members may find themselves secretly rooting for the duplicitous Ripley.
  4. It's that rare movie with a sense of timeliness that is eternal, and a protagonist whose soul-crushed angst, even at its most fatal, speaks to the little boy/girl lost in everyone.
  5. The picture has fine ensemble acting and superb Italian scenery. It would have more power if it were shorter and tighter.
  6. 88
    Delivers all the expected moments of high suspense --that is worthy of Hitchcock
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    In a possible breakthrough role, Law would seem to be the big winner.
  8. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    A slick, twisty, top-of-the-line crime thriller with gorgeously sensual textures and a screenful of wickedly faceted performances.
  9. 88
    The only thing missing from this rich production is an emotional charge, which Highsmith could create on the page but which Minghella doesn't quite capture on screen.
  10. Minghella's psychological redraft muffles the menace, squanders the tension, throws away the main character and plot engine and turns Ripley into something he never was or should be.
  11. Matt Damon's performance isn't bad, but it pales in comparison with Law's.
  12. This film of mistaken identity, murder, class envy and (bi)sexual tension doesn't live up to its own promise.
  13. Takes startling - and startlingly unpleasant - turns. This is not a film with anything approximating a conventional ending.
  14. It's ploddingly directed, indifferently acted and insufficiently frightening.
  15. 70
    This coolly beautiful film is both a superior thriller and an engrossing study of a sociopath's progress.
  16. Just the thing to clear your Capra-glutted holiday movie palate.
  17. Minghella makes an enticing, intelligent, well-shaped picture about the extreme perils of class envy and sexual panic.
  18. 83
    It's a refreshing sensation, even if it makes you feel a touch seasick at first, and the fittingly eerie conclusion to a lavish and unsettling movie.
  19. It demands people pay attention and look inward to find the private compass that will navigate us through murky sensibilities that are as capable of seducing us as they are Tom Ripley.
  20. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    In the hands of Minghella and his star, Matt Damon, Ripley has become a more complex character, in some ways more understandable and approachable, in other ways as enigmatic as ever.
  21. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    A dark film that raises more questions than it answers -- and it's meant to.
  22. 80
    Although he never matches the book in either brilliance or sheer perversity, Minghella has remained essentially true to his source.
  23. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    May be Hitchcock on holiday, but that's a perfectly enjoyable vacation.
  24. A beautifully mounted and directed film that, despite the presence of Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow, is unexpectedly lacking in emotional impact.
  25. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Carnal, glamorous and worth the price.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Performances are aces top to bottom
  27. 70
    It must be hard to misread the tone of a book as single-minded as Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, but Anthony Minghella manages somehow.
  28. Reviewed by: Scott Kelton Jones
    Numbs as much as it unnerves.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Matt Damon can't quite piece together a compelling poseur.
  30. Enter the world of the sociopathic killer and enjoy.
  31. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Damon's Ripley is considerably different from the charming sociopath in Patricia Highsmith's novel or the smooth lothario played by Alain Delon in the 1960 French thriller "Purple Noon."
  32. This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel is commercial to the core.
  33. 30
    It's a sign of how watered-down the movie is that only the supporting actors have any bite.
  34. 80
    The talented Mr. Minghella has made an imperfect movie but not an impersonal one. His morality tale means to get under the skin, and does.
  35. The talented Mr. Minghella is aping Alfred Hitchcock as effectively as Tom Ripley is doing Dickie Greenleaf.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 6 out of 28
  1. Jul 24, 2012
    This film is actually very boring once you realise it. The pacing is just very uneven and there are multiple moments that don't even make that much sense and you wonder why they're there. Instead of Law's character being portrayed as annoying and stuck-up, nothing is there to illustrate his behaviour as annoying and stuck-up, so he just ends up looking like a spoilt brat with no proper explanation. Once he's gone, the thing just falls apart because Damon has nothing to go on and tries to look like a psychopath for the sake of it. Some scenes don't even fit together properly. That said, the scenery was very beautiful, so we got a nice backdrop that contrasted with the conflict that was going on between the characters. Plus, I found one scene particularly thrilling and heart-pounding, and to be honest, quite horrific actually. Full Review »
  2. Nov 17, 2013
    Equal to the worst movie I have ever seen. A waste of good actors. A 1 because they kept me watching in hopes of it getting better, but it went the other way. At the end, we asked "why did we waste two hours?" Relationships were so odd, no hint of reality which is fine if it is a comedy (we did laugh a few times at its silliness). The film left us smaller and feeling used and dirty. Full Review »
  3. Sep 12, 2012
    Tom Ripley is an intelligent, literate and a calm monster; his characterization is extremely astonishing. It feels like we know he's the bad guy but we still want him to get away and never get caught by anyone. That's the charm of Tom Ripley. Matt's performance was wonderful, as I expected, he shined. Intelligent screenplay and a classy thriller including the elements of homosexuality mixed with envy, jealousy and crime, now that's something to look forward to. It gets a bit boring and slow in the middle though but if you get past through that, you'll really love it. I haven't read the novel so I don't know how much this film varies from the originality, but whatever, I like this movie because it still has that charm that works for me and if you only watch the movie and don't compare it to the novel, I think you'll still love it. Full Review »