User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 150
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  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, the environments are pretty great looking. Score is good. Overall, it's a good, interesting movie that you should watch.
  2. 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 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
    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 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.
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  3. 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 are terrific here.
  4. Sep 12, 2012
    9
    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 homosexualityTom 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. Expand
  5. ElizabethM.
    Mar 11, 2007
    10
    This film is my all time favourite film. The scenery is beautiful, the acting is great and the film is extremely well written.
  6. ConnorM
    Sep 25, 2009
    9
    Truly remarkable. Damon really steps into the limelight after this stellar performance and Law also did one hell of a job.The emotional impact wasn't extreme but nonetheless you felt it. With it's unpredictable, yet thrilling plot and outstanding performances this is easily one of the best films of the 1990's.
  7. [Anonymous]
    Jul 29, 2001
    9
    Only minor glitches keep this movie short of a masterpiece. It may be not for everyone, certainly - it may be too subtle and it hides a great deal of angst, deception and sorrow below its pleasant surface. In my opinion that makes it only better. Definitely recommended.
  8. SoniaG.
    Sep 12, 2002
    10
    Definitely a masterpiece, Minghella has managed to get the best out of Highsmith's novel and combined it with his own ideas. The result is two hours and thirty minutes of true enjoyment. Law's performance is superb. A must.
  9. JulianG.
    Sep 30, 2002
    9
    This movie has been a favorite of mine for quite some time due to it's artistically exaggerated view of people that actually exist. How many Dickie Greenleaf's do you know? His persona is like so many people in this world, and Tom is identified with us not as a monster who kills people, but as a frantic, confused, amazingly longing person. Jude Law is one of my favorite actors This movie has been a favorite of mine for quite some time due to it's artistically exaggerated view of people that actually exist. How many Dickie Greenleaf's do you know? His persona is like so many people in this world, and Tom is identified with us not as a monster who kills people, but as a frantic, confused, amazingly longing person. Jude Law is one of my favorite actors and he puts on the playboy persona like no other actor I've seen. For anyone (and this is everyone) who has ever felt insecure. Expand
  10. Mike
    Feb 10, 2006
    10
    I've always been a bit confused by the lack of interest in this film... I think it is great.
  11. Groundfisher
    Jul 16, 2004
    10
    This movie is much better than the book, which is painful to read. To develop that screenplay from that novel is truly amazing. This is an intelligent movie, with good dialogue and good performances from the actors. My personal favourite is Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles. The characters are subtly drawn and deep reflection after having seen the movie yields its own rewards. This movie is much better than the book, which is painful to read. To develop that screenplay from that novel is truly amazing. This is an intelligent movie, with good dialogue and good performances from the actors. My personal favourite is Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles. The characters are subtly drawn and deep reflection after having seen the movie yields its own rewards. Beautiful locations and scenery. Well shot. I've watched this movie at least 6 times. I'm giving it 10/10 even if I dislike the ending (but since there's no such thing as a perfect movie, I won't deduct from the score). Since the Ripley books form a series, this movie doesn't end as it should. Despite his talent (for deceit and self-preservation), Ripley is lucky more than anything else. When his world begins to collapse it should do so like a house of cards, with Ripley having to confront that 'darkened room' where he hides his secrets, or with Ripley dying while trying to avoid confronting it. Because he was always going to live and be a character in the next movie, at the end you get the sense that he has survived a nuclear blast or crawled from the rubble of an earthquake when everyone had their eyes shut and their hands over their ears. For my money, though, the plot is almost incidental. The richness of the characters, the scenery and the dialogue, and the performances of all the actors were and still are enough to make me want to watch again. The jazz soundtrack just makes it that much sweeter, since I love jazz. In my opinion, a very, very good movie (and I don't use my verys lightly). Collapse
  12. AdamL.
    Dec 9, 2006
    9
    To those who cast doubt on Jude Law's acting chops, this film should shut you up fast.
  13. PipE.
    May 12, 2007
    10
    The film captures the essence of the novel in a way many movies fail. It was brilliantly cast and shot, overall this movie is a gem.
  14. AlannaA.
    Nov 10, 2002
    9
    Personally, the book is better, but i can understand why the movie is like it is. To attract attention to the public. I mean, the situation is good in a book, a nearly crazy man in his mid twenties running away from the Italian cops in Europe, a bored American in Mongibello with no martial interest. But it'd be boring in the movies, i would think so. The movie adds too much--in the Personally, the book is better, but i can understand why the movie is like it is. To attract attention to the public. I mean, the situation is good in a book, a nearly crazy man in his mid twenties running away from the Italian cops in Europe, a bored American in Mongibello with no martial interest. But it'd be boring in the movies, i would think so. The movie adds too much--in the book, there is no Meredith, and Dickie has no interest in Marge. But have to agree- this movie was good compared to others i've seen. I also have to agree with Bill M.- the only talent Mr. Ripley has is murdering people. One last thing- Matt Damon CANNOT play a murderer he's not scary enough! I mean, they should have switched the parts, Jude Law- Ripley, Matt Damon- Dickie, because I was not frightened at all... Not realistic all- People work on the casting. Expand
  15. Alexander
    May 14, 2005
    10
    I have been fascinated by this truly talented movie since I first saw it some years ago. This is the only film which I saw at least 20 times. Every time I watch it I feel as if I were an invisible film participant who constantly accompanies the characters. Tom Ripley, the main character of the movie, is an unwanted, poor lad who early understood that it was actually impossible to succeed I have been fascinated by this truly talented movie since I first saw it some years ago. This is the only film which I saw at least 20 times. Every time I watch it I feel as if I were an invisible film participant who constantly accompanies the characters. Tom Ripley, the main character of the movie, is an unwanted, poor lad who early understood that it was actually impossible to succeed in life without protection and support. I could sympathize with him. When Tom gets an opportunity to change his life and happens to know the happiness of that glorious world his bad instincts fail him. I don't identify myself with Tom. I could be Peter though. I think Jack Davenport played one of his best roles. The homosexual tendencies of the characters don't scare me and I don't focus on them. The characters of the movie are making their way in the world - that's what we all do - and how they do it attracts our attention. The cast is splendid. It's like a precious brooch - twinkling, scattered diamonds and emeralds - every stone in itself is of some importance and is strongly attracted by others. It's a beautiful film. Elegant, dramatic, fascinating, mysterious, exiting...... I really enjoyed every scene. I also liked the fine music so tastefully arranged by the authors of the movie - it fascinated me from the very beginning. In my eyes the film is perfect. Expand
  16. LizaL.
    Dec 25, 2001
    9
    The summary does not do it justice. Mr. Ripley sure is talented and one must be to orchestrate what he did. The details were subtle enough to let you know what's going on without making it stupidly obvious, ruining its beauty. Such a mood can rarely be found elsewhere.
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. 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.
  3. Enter the world of the sociopathic killer and enjoy.