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Ripley's Game (2004)

John Malkovich , Dougray Scott , Liliana Cavani  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone
  • Directors: Liliana Cavani
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen, Digital Sound, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS ES)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018D40O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,364 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ripley's Game" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The slippery protagonist of The Talented Mr. Ripley returns in another deadly guise in Ripley's Game, a well-appointed star vehicle. The star this time is John Malkovich, whose older Tom Ripley has settled into an Italian villa and a life of aesthetic contemplation (a little like Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal). A former partner (Ray Winstone) drags an innocent frame-maker (Dougray Scott), dying of leukemia, into the role of unexpected hit man. Ripley, for his own enigmatic reasons, helps. Liliana Cavani, of The Night Porter notoriety, directed this handsome if nebulous film (which has no connection to the Matt Damon picture, other than a Patricia Highsmith source novel). Malkovich exudes his usual oily disenchantment with the world; Lena Headey, like the location footage, is gorgeous. The same novel was adapted in very different style by Wim Wenders for his brilliant 1977 film, The American Friend, with Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz. --Robert Horton

Product Description

Mr. Ripley emerges from retirement to preside over one last deadly game, but can he persuade an innocent man to commit murder?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and games among the sociopathic elite April 28, 2004
Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley is a true sociopath and Malkovich plays him chillingly. Although I had trouble understanding the basic scam that seems to be driving the plot of this movie, I have a hunch it is not really significant anyway. The movie seems to be primarily a metaphor for modern (postmodern?) life and the seduction of an honest (but weak and dying) man by evil. Dougray Scott plays the "innocent" party. His moral struggle and agony is constantly displayed on his face. It is hard to imagine how he as an actor could produce all this intense emotion when he is getting nothing but deadpan understatement from Malkovich. But their partnership on the screen is truly eerie. And the stony coldness of the Berlin setting (with its unforgetable associations with nazi evil) only adds to the general atmosphere of creepiness. Although I don't know if his line comes from Highsmith's novel, it does seem consistent with the existential aura in which she casts her killers to have Scott's character (at his most distraught) ask Ripley, "Why me? Why did you choose me?" Ripley's answer would have done Camus proud.
It's hard to picture Malkovich as the elder version of Matt Damon's Ripley (from The Talented Mr. Ripley). There is no sense of Ripley as the romantically disappointed lost soul committing murders in spite of his earnest desire to be socially accepted. Malkovich "thrives" socially--has a wife (or lover), and even enjoys harpsicord music. It's just not clear what he "gets" from all his success. That, to me, is the definition of a sociopath.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder amidst sophistication arttistically done December 28, 2006
Insults lead to bad tidings in "Ripley's Game", an Italian production that contrasts high art with everyday murder and thievery and effectively pulls off this dichotomy. John Malkovich stars as Ripley, a self-described "talented improvisor" that lives like a prince in an Italian estate thanks to his mischevious nature. His lifestyle as killer and art thief supports his girlfriend's high falutin' keyboard career in addition to his own very prosperous lifestyle.

When a 9-to-5 married picture framer unknowingly insults Ripley during a party, he sets up the schnook through lowlife partner Ray Winstone -- an earthy foil to Malkovich's refined character -- and he is soon knee deep in an enterprise of murder and mayhem that monumentally disrupts life for his lovely wife and young son. This, Ripley suggests, is "the game."

Soon the picture framer -- who is driven to murder by greed and his own cancer -- is led into a deepening morass of killing and greed where Ripley is both antagonist and protagonist. The action is carried out with worldliness, humor and subtlety, all very European. In the end it is never clear who wins or loses and which is really the bad guy. Almost everyone besides Ripley loses something, proving he is master of his own game.

My favorite John Malkovich movie was filmed in Italy and Germany. Ennio Morricone's alternately minimalist and lyrical score adds dimension to the mystery. This is a rewarding flick for anyone that likes mystery, murder and good filmmaking with a few plot twists. There are enough unexpected turns -- watch for Malkovich to exit a train's restroom at a critical juncture -- that the movie never gets boring.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb psychological thriller January 2, 2004
Twice as enjoyable as "The Talented Mr. Ripley", and probably shot for a tenth of the price, this later installment in the Ripley saga can happily dispense with the coming-of-age angst and crank up the mature Ripley's violent menace. Living a quiet life in a villa near Venice, Ripley is called upon by an old partner to arrange an assassination. After some consideration he proposes a total innocent for the dangerous task - a local picture framer against whom Ripley has a grudge. Ripley also knows the man is terminally ill and will need money to provide for his wife and son. He looks to be a suitable pawn but, of course, not everything goes as planned . . . John Malkovich brings a chilling and seductive elegance to the role of Ripley which Matt Damon could never provide. It's essential here, because what's important about this story is Ripley's utter amorality and dangerous vanity, and how both traits lead him into a situation in which his self-conception is ultimately challenged. The screenplay has just the right mix of psychological sophistication and edge-of-your-seat plotting, and Liliana Cavani's assured (and occasionally bloodthirsty) direction makes the most of it. In the excellent cast, Ray Winstone is particularly memorable as Ripley's violently inept offsider, Reeves.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The highest praise I can give to any movie is that, while watching it, I begin to dread the fact that it will end. I found this story to be THAT enjoyable....and then some.

The lead character, Ripley, is presented as a well-aged version of the sociopathic con artist played by Matt Damon in "The Talented Mr. Ripley". As played by the inimitable John Malkovich, this older, wiser Ripley is infinitely more sophisticated, sly, treacherous, and fascinating. He lives in a wonderful Italian villa with a gorgeous wife/mistress who knows and embraces his true nature. When publicly insulted by a neighbor, played by Dougray Scott, he initiates a plot to gain revenge, ultimately turning the innocent man into a hired killer who is then tortured by his own conscience....a punishment that could never affect the consciousless, sociopathic Mr. Ripley.

Malkovich is a unique actor, never content to merely show up and speak his lines convincingly, he actually BECOMES the character...and every devilish smile, lick of the lips, flash of anger, etc. becomes an expressive action by the character, not by the actor. He is so completely suited to this role that it is impossible to envision anyone else playing the part.

The dialog is wonderful....complex, intellectually stimulating, and natural. Indeed, some of the comments on the nature (and absence) of conscience and guilt achieve the level of fine literature. Conversations are generally riveting, the humor is generally very dark, and the suspense reaches Hitchcockian levels. As the Scott character, who is dying of leukemia, sinks deeper and deeper into the depravity of his hapless plight, he actually begins to seek, rather than fear, death.

This is a very sophisticated, emotionally involving story that will appeal strongly to mature viewers. It never received the attention it deserved, and ranks among the best of the "undiscovered" movies. I give it my highest recommendation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a story that will hold your attention and take you down a path...
Good movie, it had a couple scenes that didn't make sense to me or seem to fit in the timeline well, but the over arching story was good. Read more
Published 1 day ago by RamblingRose
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the BEST movies I've ever watched
Published 5 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological thriller with high style
Can be enjoyed for it's aesthetics - the beautiful Italian villa, music and food or as an action thriller.
Published 6 days ago by Sumie Mishima
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very under rated film...Holds true to Patricia Highsmith's novel
Published 13 days ago by Robert L. English Dds
4.0 out of 5 stars Malkovich does a great job in this weird thriller
Well worth it! Malkovich does a great job in this weird thriller.
Published 16 days ago by Magda's Dad
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
Excellent Movie, I really enjoyed the storyline and great actors especially the awesome Malkovich, it fact it was so so good I didn't want it to end
Published 23 days ago by mother superior
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Movie
I like John Malkovich quite a bit, and his acting is usually wonderful, but I found both the plot of this movie unsatisfying as I also did the development of the characters. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Geoffrey Deane Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect but brilliant: Malkovich is whitehot
This 2002 thriller is my favourite Malkovich movie, with his most memorable onscreen characterization. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bert vanC Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripley's Game
wonderful film..mystery....great acting on all parts...very good editing..Love John Malkovich..the scenery country it was shot in was great...added to my collection
Published 3 months ago by Ruth Klein
1.0 out of 5 stars Bleh
Cheap production values despite the Italian local and superficial as to character motivations -- I didn't understand why they were doing what they were doing
Published 5 months ago by Luna
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