Matt Damon is one of those film actors you just know by sight; he’s been in so many films that he’s become a real legend in Hollywood.
The 49-year old actor became famous with childhood friend Ben Affleck by writing their own film, Good Will Hunting (1997). He’s been honoured for his work with various accolades, including an Academy Award from five nominations, two Golden Globe Awards from eight nominations and seven Emmy Awards nominations.
And there’s definitely no end in sight for one of the world’s leading male stars. Looking for a great Matt Damon flick to watch? Here are the top seven of his films.
Good Will Hunting
Of course, we have to start with Good Will Hunting. The 1997 classic was what really brought Matt Damon to the spotlight. Both Damon and Affleck wrote the screenplay about a young mathematics genius and drew from many of their own experiences. Damon plays the lead role — a former mistake-maker who is secretly a math genius.
The film was an overnight success and took Damon from almost total obscurity to celebrity. As Emanuel Levy of Variety wrote of Damon’s acting: “he gives a charismatic performance in a demanding role that’s bound to catapult him to stardom.”
And of course, it did.
Rounders is a film which was undoubtedly close to Damon’s heart, and his passion for poker shines through on-screen. Damon is one of a number of high-profile celebrity poker players, explaining how he played this role so well. This classic drama from 1998, which also stars Edward Norton and is directed by John Dahl, is all about the underground world of high-stakes poker and follows two friends who need to win quickly to pay off a large debt.
The film itself, which opened to mixed reviews soon became a cult hit during the poker boom in the early 2000s and contains a much-watch poker scene with Damon again showing off the breadth of his talent as an actor.
The Talented Mr. Ripley
This 1999 American psychological thriller is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel of the same name and stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley — a young man trying to make a living in New York City as a con man. A study of a psychopath, this film is a real examination into a character that desperately wants to be someone else — an unsettling piece that shows a darker side to Damon and the breadth of his talent. It’s definitely a must-watch for Damon fans looking to get all sides of his acting.
The Informant is one of those films that sits in a niche genre: the 2009 American biographical-comedy-crime film is certainly something a little different. Written by Scott Z. Burns, the film stars Matt Damon as an informant named Mark Whitacre and depicts his involvement as a whistleblower in the lysine price-fixing conspiracy of the mid-19990s.
The film was generally well-reviewed by critics with Damon’s performance getting much acclaim. Renowned critic Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars, describing it as “fascinating in the way it reveals two levels of events, now always visible to each other or to the audience.”
It’s a great watch if you’re looking for a less-obvious style of comedy, and a must-see for Matt Damon fans.
The Bourne Series
Many of Matt Damon’s fans will know him as Jason Bourne from the Bourne series — American action thriller films starring Damon as the lead character; a CIA assassin suffering from dissociative amnesia who is trying to find out the truth about who he is. The films include The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Legacy (the only one which Damon didn’t star in) and the fifth installment, Jason Bourne.
The success of the films is obvious; it’s received positive critical reception and grossed over $1.6 billion. If you’re looking for something to binge, it’s perfect for a very long weekend of Matt Damon action fun and real stunts.
One of the reasons that the 2006 American crime drama film The Departed got so much hype was because of the people involved. Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, and Alec Baldwin.
Taking place in Boston, Matt Damon is planted by Irish Mob boss Francis “Frank “Costello, played by Nicholson as a mole within the Massachusetts State film.
This film is definitely a much-watch for buffs; a critical and commercial success, it won awards including four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing) while Mark Wahlberg was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
Saving Private Ryan
For history film fans, Saving Private Ryan is definitely a classic. An 1998 American epic war film with Steven Spielberg at the helm of direction, the story is set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II and follows United States Army Rangers Captain John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks) along with his squad in their search for paratrooper Private First Class James Francis Ryan — who is, of course, played by Matt Damon.
This gritty film is notable for the intensity of its opening scene — including a depiction of the Omaha Beach assault during the Normandy landings. At the 71st Academy Awards, it was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won five.