Dexter Budd’s review published on Letterboxd:
I do say this is one of the slickest flicks I ever laid eyes upon! The American Friend is a deep dive into the brittle psyche of a dying man and his newly found sociopathic buddy Tom Ripley. Many of you will recognise this name from the Patricia Highsmith novels and their adapted film counterparts. This presentation of Ripley is certainly the most unique I have seen so far with Dennis Hopper opting for a more shaken and disturbed version of the character clad in Marlboro man like attire, certainly the most fractured and unsure version of the character it took me a while to warm to it as I'm used to the more sharply dressed and viscously meticulous approach to the character. That being said I think he does a wonderful job and feels the most genuinely unhinged and dangerous version of Ripley. Bruno Ganz is also phenomenal a truly organic portrayal of a good man descending into paranoia, panic and misanthropy as he force himself to take horrific actions in order to provide for the family he will soon be leaving behind. The presentation of this film is jaw dropping the score, sound and visuals all blending into as I said before one of the slickest films I have ever had the pleasure to lay me eyes upon the cool cold and bright glow of late 70's Paris and Hamburg lingers in my mind and transports me back to a time I wish I could've lived in. Sadly the plot is rather meandering and a lot of the accents are so thick it Is quite hard to understand the dialogue at times as characters dip in and out of their native languages whilst this is a little alienating it is a very refreshing approach to film making and really adds to the brutal realism on display. luckily I have previously seen Ripley's Game a later adaption of the same source materiel so I could grasp the plot and fill in the blanks as the broken English rolled by. It's best just to let the atmosphere take you along as this film is as stunningly beautiful as well as dark and tense, the most interesting and original approach to a Ripley film I have seen so far and strong recommendation for Noir lovers!