The Talented Mr. Ripley Movie Poster Image

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Full of murder and deceit; too violent for kids.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 139 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Tom Ripley lies constantly and commits murders.


Two gruesome bludgeonings as well as other murders and some fights.


A man listens to a couple have sex. Several affairs take place. Two men bathe together.

Not applicable

The American expatriates' relatively lavish lifestyles figure largely throughout the film.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink and smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is about a man posing as another to acquire his wealth and lifestyle – a process that involves homoerotic affairs, murder, and countless lies. Characters drink, smoke, have sex, lie, curse, get in fights and kill one another. Particularly upsetting are two of the murders that involve Tom bludgeoning characters to death. The pacing of the film is rather slow and will likely bore younger viewers used to more contemporary storytelling - despite the presence of teen idol actors.

What's the story?

Based on Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY tells the story of Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), a nobody New Yorker hired by the wealthy father of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) to convince Dickie to quit Europe and return to New York. The errand fails, however, and once Tom finds himself soaking up the luxury that characterizes the lives of Dickie and his expatriate friends, he can't bare to tear himself away. Tom, whose talents include forgery and impersonations, grows obsessed with Dickie and his fiancée Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow). After Tom is dismissed by Dickie as "a bore," Tom's obsession turns him from mildly creepy to downright criminal.

Is it any good?


The Talented Mr. Ripley is extremely well-executed at most levels. The cast is exceptional throughout, and Matt Damon proves that he is quite capable of playing a sinister role convincingly. Playing the well-heeled, articulate Marge works well for Paltrow, displaying her usual regal presence.

Perhaps the best part about this movie is its exquisite recreation of 1950s Europe. The soundtrack, featuring original music by Gabriel Yared, is rather intoxicating, as viewers are treated to a smorgasbord of sumptuous scenery. Despite its rather excellent production values, Mr. Ripley tends to feel a bit slow. The plot takes a while to unfold, and viewers trained to watch recent films may find it tedious at times. Younger viewers, in particular, will not likely be appreciative of the plot's complexities and might find themselves squirming in their seats within the first hour.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about issues of truth and fiction. Tom Ripley is in some ways a "self-made man," and while his tactics are unsavory, his effort seems in some ways related to the American ideal of being able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Why is Dickie and Marge's life so appealing to Tom? How could he have attained the life he tries to write himself into without lying, cheating, and mudering? What, if anything, do we know about the real Tom Ripley?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1999
DVD/Streaming release date:August 7, 2000
Cast:Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Matt Damon
Director:Anthony Minghella
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:139 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, language and brief nudity

This review of The Talented Mr. Ripley was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written byDuncanDerund August 30, 2014


Rating:R for gory violence and fights and a lot of sexuality+language.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byjowzers April 27, 2013

Must See

Seeing this movie really depends on the child. I loved it but there were moments where I had to look away because of violence and nudity. Violence comes up in this movie a lot and for some kids it can be very scary so be aware. The nudity is very brief but there are other times in the film that can be uncomfortable because of the topic of sex.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestiaAuris October 24, 2012

Fantastically exicuted, Though quite creepy.

From an art point of view, The Talented Mr. Ripley is a fantastic movie. A riveting, though creepy story well executed with a fantastically skilled cast. However, there are some notably creepy scenes (Tom tries to sleep upon Dickies chest, as well as trying to have a bath with him) which may cause younger viewers to become... well, not scared but creeped out. There is a total of three murders, with two of them being bludgeons and one the throttling of a man. It should be noted that the movie is effectively decided in half: the first is quite slow, however the second is much faster paced. Overall, an interesting study into the makings of a person, success, desire, identity and deceit.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking