Metascore
76

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
    88
    In a possible breakthrough role, Law would seem to be the big winner.
  8. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    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
    90
    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
    90
    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
    80
    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
    80
    Carnal, glamorous and worth the price.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    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
    70
    Numbs as much as it unnerves.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    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
    60
    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
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 6 out of 29
  1. Apr 1, 2012
    10
    First off, I would give it a 9.25 out of 10. Acting is pretty good. Story is great. Some fighting scenes can be pretty brutal. Also, theFirst off, I would give it a 9.25 out of 10. Acting is pretty good. Story is great. Some fighting scenes can be pretty brutal. Also, the environments are pretty great looking. Score is good. Overall, it's a good, interesting movie that you should watch. Full Review »
  2. Feb 21, 2012
    10
    Anthony Minghella sure knew how to make a beautiful film. This film deserves to be classic. Damon, Law, Paltrow, Blanchett and Hoffman areAnthony Minghella sure knew how to make a beautiful film. This film deserves to be classic. Damon, Law, Paltrow, Blanchett and Hoffman are terrific here. Full Review »
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    9
    A delight for eyes, ears and mind - It's late in the 1950s. Jazz is popular and Tom Ripley travels to Italia for the first time to discoverA delight for eyes, ears and mind - It's late in the 1950s. Jazz is popular and Tom Ripley travels to Italia for the first time to discover the world.

    Loner Tom Ripley joyfully accepts a generous offer from shipping pioneer Herbert Greenleaf. All he has to do is travel to Mongibello, south of Naples and convince his son Dickie to return home to New York. When Ripley meets Dickie and his girlfriend, he is attracted by the vital womanizer and the carefree life he lives. All goes well until Ripley's attraction towards Dickie turns to jealousy and he realizes that he is not willing to give up his new world.

    Minghella's story invites us into the inner and emotional life of protagonist Tom Ripley who on the outside appears as a humble, intelligent, socially well-adjusted and credible person. His inner fragility reveals it self in his interaction with the rich man's son Dickie, whose personality contrasts Ripley as warmth contrasts cold. Ripley's esteem blossoms in Dickie's company, but dazzled with Dickie's dazzling being he is misled to believe that Dickie's friendship is sincere and unfortunately it takes him to long to realize that his new friend considers him pastime. After the movies point-of-no-return Ripley's darker sides rises to the surface. The overeducated working class boy turns into a man of the world and at this point the character development takes a shocking turn and Minghella draws us further and further into Ripley's psyche.

    Minghella's knife sharp and plot rich screenplay, based on Patricia Highsmith's novel from 1955, is told with chronological narrative, voice-over and flashback scenes. Topics such as solitude, alienation, upper class life, envy, infatuation, homosexuality, identity and class distinction are explored in this flawlessly photographed in-depth character study which contains brilliant editing that alternates between long and short takes.

    The films nerve rests on Ripley's character, who has to overcome obstacle by obstacle to maintain his newly acquired status. This is effectuated by the strong progress Minghella creates through a story that never seizes to amaze. John Seal's earlier mentioned photography makes Italia look like a mystic adventure-land and enhances the films considerate mood. The stylized and realistic milieu depictions prompts the feeling of the zeitgeist, white the cinematography and music strengthens the romantic and ominous moods.

    When it comes to the acting, the whole crew is magnificent. Matt Damon's transformation to the nerdy and unpredictable main-character is impressive and his interpretation of this complex character is undoubtedly one of his finest. Jude Law should also be mentioned for the breakthrough role that made him one of the worlds largest movie-stars. With charismatic charm, arrogant attitude and an inspiring hunger for life, he perfectly embodies the character Dickie Greenleaf. Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow and Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers substantial supporting performances and as Jude Law, they became huge movie-stars few years later.
    Full Review »