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(1999) (Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Heavy Extreme Moderate *Moderate
Mild None Heavy Minor Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Moderate Minor Mild Extreme

Drama/Suspense: Assuming his new best friend's identity after that man's death, a young man tries to maintain his ruse as various people become suspicious of him.
It's the late 1950s and Tom Ripley (MATT DAMON) is a young American just trying to get by. Mistaken by shipbuilding magnate Herbert Greenleaf (JAMES REBHORN) as a fellow college student of his son's, the tycoon eventually offers Tom one thousand dollars if he'll travel to Italy and persuade his playboy son to return to the States.

Tom, who has a knack for forging signatures and impersonating others, jumps at the chance and soon arrives in Italy where he quickly meets and befriends the son, Dickie Greenleaf (JUDE LAW) and his writer girlfriend, Marge Sherwood (GWYNETH PALTROW). Although Dickie and Marge realize that Tom isn't of their class, and despite Tom immediately revealing his "assignment," the two men quickly become friends and spend a great deal of time hanging out together.

Although Marge becomes a bit jealous of the time her boyfriend spends with Tom, she doesn't let it bother her. That doesn't hold true for a friend of theirs, Freddie Miles (PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN), who senses something odd about Tom who's obviously become somewhat obsessed with Dickie and his lifestyle.

That suspicion comes true when Tom, after suddenly getting the cold shoulder from Dickie who sensed the same thing, secretly kills his new friend. Assuming his identity for people like Meredith Logue (CATE BLANCHETT), a wealthy American socialite he met in customs, Tom not only acts like Dickie, but also continues to send forged letters from him to Marge, eventually having Dickie break up with her.

Accompanied by her friend, Peter Smith-Kingsley (JACK DAVENPORT), Marge becomes increasingly suspicious of Dickie's absence and Tom's knowledge of what's really happening. As such, and with Freddie, the Italian authorities and an American detective showing up to question Tom, he soon finds his world progressively becoming more complicated as he tries to balance and hide his dual identities from those he knows.

If they're fans of Damon, Paltrow or Law, they just might, but this one seems most attractive to older teens.
For violence, language and brief nudity.
  • MATT DAMON plays a young, bisexual or homosexual man whose friendship, fascination and attraction to a handsome young playboy eventually leads to him killing that man and assuming his identity and trying to maintain that ruse. He also kills others, smokes and drinks.
  • GWYNETH PALTROW plays a young writer and lover to Dickie who becomes suspicious of Tom after Dickie "disappears."
  • JUDE LAW plays a young and spoiled playboy who spends his time lounging and playing in Europe, much to his father's chagrin and bank account. He briefly uses heavy profanity, smokes, drinks and reportedly got another woman pregnant (while also sleeping with Marge).
  • CATE BLANCHETT plays an American who gets to know Tom, but only in his guise of playing Dickie.
  • PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN plays a friend of Dickie's who becomes suspicious of Tom after Dickie's disappearance, and he uses strong profanity.
  • JACK DAVENPORT plays a friend of Marge's who seemingly becomes something of a lover of Tom's.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated dramatic thriller. Violence is rated as extreme due to several murders, two of which occur on camera and one of which is rather bloody. Those scenes and several others may also be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers, and the assailant obviously has a serious case of bad attitudes.

    Profanity includes at least 4 uses of the "f" word, while a handful of other profanities and colorful phrases also occur. Some heterosexual activity is partially seen, some homosexual undertones run throughout parts of the film, and some nudity (male rear and brief male full frontal) is also present as are a few lines of sexually related dialogue.

    Moderate amounts of smoking and drinking are also present. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may wish to see this film, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.

  • People have drinks during a singer's performance.
  • Dickie and Marge have drinks.
  • Dickie asks Tom if he can mix a martini, but Marge makes them instead.
  • People drink in a jazz club.
  • Marge brings over drinks for Tom, Dickie and herself.
  • Tom and Dickie have beer.
  • Tom and Dickie have wine while playing chess.
  • Tom and Dickie have wine, while Freddie shows up and also has some.
  • Freddie and Dickie have drinks.
  • Tom and Dickie have champagne while others also drink.
  • Tom and Meredith have wine or champagne with another older couple.
  • Tom drinks champagne at Christmas.
  • Peter has wine for Tom and himself.
  • Tom makes some drinks, but we don't see anyone having them.
  • Tom mixes more drinks.
  • We see a dead woman's body floating in some water (but other than being dead there's no blood or gore).
  • A great deal of blood gushes out of a person's facial wounds after being hit with an oar and blood then drips down onto his assailant's face as they fight. Later, we see blood or bloody water inside the boat where the attack took place as well as on the clothing of both men.
  • In an opera, flowing red fabric is used to simulate blood flowing from someone who's just been shot (in a moment of pretending).
  • A bust (sculpture) is bloody after being used to strike and kill someone.
  • We see some blood on Tom's robe (from where he's cut his hand on a straight razor in the pocket). We later see his somewhat bloody hand.
  • Tom obviously has both not only for being a murderer, but also for assuming the identity of one of his victims.
  • Dickie has some of both for being an irresponsible playboy living off his father's money and for apparently impregnating a local woman.
  • Mr. Greenleaf gives Tom money to keep quiet about Dickie's sorted past.
  • Viewers may find the murder related scenes as unsettling and/or suspenseful.
  • With Marge being quite suspicious of Tom, he slowly approaches her as she backs up (with us knowing that he has a straight razor in the pocket of his robe).
  • While the following aren't traditional weapons, they are used to kill others.
  • Boat Oar/Bust: Used as weapons to strike and kills others.
  • Pistols: Used in an opera in a pretend dueling fashion.
  • Straight razor: Grabbed by Tom to possibly use on Marge, but it only ends up cutting his hand while hidden in his robe pocket.
  • Phrases: "Jumping" (sexual), "Bastard," "Knocking up" (getting someone pregnant), "Shut up" and "Dork."
  • Some impressionable kids may want to try to imitate their friends and/or forge their signatures like Tom does here.
  • None.
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • A performed song contains the phrase "whiskey and soda."
  • At least 4 "f" words (3 used sexually as is the term "jumping"), 3 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals ("c*ck"), 2 asses, 1 damn and 7 uses of "Oh God" and 2 uses each of "God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • We see just part of several young women's bare butts as they sunbath in moderately high-cut bathing suits while Marge wears a modest bikini and Tom wears rather tight-fitting swim trunks.
  • Dickie jokingly states (about a refrigerator Marge just bought), "I could f*ck this icebox, I love it so much."
  • Tom and Dickie play chess (with Dickie in the bathtub and Tom sitting outside it, clothed). After Tom jokes about Dickie letting him into the tub (with homosexual undertones although Tom adds that it would be by himself), Dickie gets out of the tub. As such and from an aerial view, we see Dickie's bare butt as well as a brief glimpse of full frontal nudity. We then see Tom staring at the reflection of Dickie's bare butt (which we also see) in a mirror.
  • Freddie shows up in a plaza filled with beautiful women and states, "Don't you want to f*ck every woman you see just once?"
  • We see a classic Roman statue that shows male full frontal nudity.
  • Marge shows some cleavage in a bikini.
  • While out on a yacht with Tom and Freddie, Dickie goes down below stating that he needs to perform some "Marge maintenance." We then see Tom staring down through a deck portal at Dickie and Marge fooling around, but all that he (and we) can see is their legs moving around, suggesting that Dickie is on top of Marge (we do hear some sexually related sounds).
  • We learn that a woman who recently died was pregnant by Dickie.
  • Tom talks about Dickie "f*cking" some girl and following his "c*ck" around.
  • We nearly see full frontal nudity as Tom gets out of a bathtub (the camera barely stays above his groin), but do briefly see his bare butt.
  • A detective mentions that a witness won't talk because he was "jumping" some other women (having sex/an affair with her).
  • There's an implied homosexual relationship between Tom and another man (they share a room on a boat/ferry), but we don't see any related activity (other than lying on a bed together, clothed, with one putting their head on the other's back).
  • Dickie smokes more than five times, while Tom smokes a few times. Meanwhile, both Meredith and Marge smoke once, and some miscellaneous/background characters also smoke.
  • Some family members react to finding a loved one's body floating in some water.
  • A father reacts to his son's disappearance and partially believed suicide.
  • People who become obsessed with others (wanting to look and act or even be exactly like them).
  • We hear what sounds like domestic violence above Tom's place and even see dust falling from the ceiling due to that unseen behavior.
  • We see a dead woman's body floating in some water.
  • Dickie violently kicks over a chair holding a record player.
  • Dickie slaps Tom several times and nearly punches him with his raised fist. Tom then hits Dickie on the head with an oar, causing a great deal of blood to gush out of his wounds. Bleeding profusely, Dickie then grabs Tom and tries to strangle him. Tom eventually gains control and pushes the oar down into Dickie's body, and then delivers several severe, fatal blows to him (our view of that impact is blocked by the boat that they're in).
  • In an opera, a person is shot during a duel (obviously faked with red flowing fabric used to simulate flowing blood).
  • Tom repeatedly hits a man over the head with a bust, killing him (we only see the first few impacts, but do see that the bust is now bloody).
  • Marge hits Tom many times.
  • It's implied that Tom kills another person (we hear the audio feedback of the act).

  • Reviewed December 15, 1999 / Posted December 25, 1999

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