10 Best Ben Affleck Movies

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

10 Best Ben Affleck movies

Ben Affleck has a unique relationship with cinema-goers. When he first came on the scene in the mid-’90s, people adored him. He and BFF Matt Damon wrote the screenplay for Good Will Hunting and they won an Oscar! Affleck then collaborated with Kevin Smith on a variety of projects and audiences started to turn on him. When films like Gigli, Jersey Girl, and Daredevil were released, Affleck’s reputation started to take a pounding. Then in the 2010s, something miraculous happened! Ben Affleck started directing a few films, as well as acting in them and they were, like, really good. These were films like Hollywoodland, The Town, and Argo. Affleck reminded the world that he was a more than capable actor AND a phenomenal director.

He was cast as Batman for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, kicking off a round of controversial choices such as The Accountant and Live by Night.  Through it all, though, Ben Affleck has remained. He has been in the public eye for more than 20 years and he’s been scrutinized about everything from his relationship status, struggles with addiction and his bromance with Matt Damon. Ben Affleck has dealt with his fair share of adversity, but just when Hollywood is ready to “write him off,” he comes back better than ever, still with something to prove. Affleck will always feel like he has something to prove, but he doesn’t. He’s already proven it. The films on this list prove it.

10) Phantoms (1998)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, Phantoms allowed Affleck to shed his affable Everyman schtick he was known for in his collaborations with Kevin Smith to show off his chops as a bonafide leading man.

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9) Dogma (1999)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

One of the many collaborations between Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith, Dogma was better than it had any right to be. Dogma focused on two fallen angels searching for a loophole to get back into Heaven, even though it would bring about the Apocalypse. Controversial when it was first released, Dogma has since grown into a cult-like film. It dealt with tremendous themes like retribution, forgiveness, fate VS free will and more. Affleck starred in the film with his buddy Matt Damon and both put on a solid performance. They were supposed to be bad guys, sure. But audiences still found themselves a little bit on their side when they were talking about how much humanity sucks. Oh boy, if only they could see humanity now.

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8) Armageddon (1998)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

When an asteroid starts plummeting towards earth, it’s up to a ragtag group of astronauts, drillers and more to detonate a nuclear bomb inside of it before it crashes to the earth and causes, well, Armageddon. Bruce Willis as Harry Stamper leads the cast in the epic disaster flick directed by Michael Bay before he started ruining people’s childhoods. It was Affleck, however, that was the real standout. He played the cocky AJ, an astronaut who also happened to be dating Harry’s daughter, played by Liv Tyler. Despite not thinking AJ is good enough for his daughter, Harry leads AJ and the rest of his crew into space to save the world.

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7) Pearl Harbor (2001)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

They say all is fair in love and war and 2001’s Pearl Harbor (again directed by Michael Bay) had plenty of both. Ben Affleck starred in this historical romantic drama alongside Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale. With the backdrop of World War II, Pearl Harbor focuses on Rafe McCawley (played by Affleck) and his best friend, Danny Walker (played by Hartnett). Both enter WWII as pilots, eager to take on the Japanese and win the war for their country. Rafe is so eager, in fact, that he departs earlier than Danny does, opting to fight in Europe first. While Rafe is busy defending his country, Danny wastes no time in offering “comfort” to Rafe’s girlfriend, Evelyn (played by Beckinsale). It becomes a crazy love triangle and it all comes to the surface on the shores of Hawaii, when the three of them are reunited right before the attack on, you guessed it, Pearl Harbor.

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6) The Accountant (2016)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

Ben Affleck is a good actor. Of this, there is no doubt. Yes, he’s good looking. Yes, he’s funny. He’s a great action star too but, above all, Affleck can act. Never was this more evident than in the 2016 film The Accountant. The film stars Affleck as Christian Wolff, a math savant that lives a quiet life as a CPA. Except it turns out his life isn’t all that quiet. Christian is actually a freelance accountant for various criminal organizations. As a young woman (played by Anna Kendrick) enters Christian’s life, right as he begins realizing the truth about one of his clients, he must fight for both of their lives. He does, until he is confronted by a shadow from his past.

In this film, Affleck was challenged with portraying a character with Asperger’s Syndrome. It’s not an easy role to play, but he played it with perfect nuance and subtlety. The Accountant kind of flew under the radar for a lot of viewers, but it should definitely be revisited because it’s quite good.

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5) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

When it was first announced that Ben Affleck had been cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans were outraged! Hadn’t Snyder seen Daredevil? Ben Affleck isn’t good at being a superhero. Fans were right. Affleck wasn’t good at being a superhero. He was great at it! Though BVS received a lukewarm reaction at best, Affleck was heralded as the best part of the entire movie. He was the most comic book-accurate version of Batman the world had ever seen. Affleck played the Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne to perfection. His Bruce Wayne was tired, beaten, bruised and angry. If this was to be the only “Dark Knight Returns” version of Batman we would ever see, Affleck knocked it out of the park. It’s just a shame that Affleck lost whatever interest he had in playing the character before he was able to direct and star in his own solo Batman movie.

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4) Chasing Amy (1997)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

Another collaboration between Affleck and Kevin Smith, Chasing Amy was a different kind of love story. But it’s also one of the best. Affleck stars as Holden McNeil, a comic book writer who falls in love with a woman named Alyssa (played by Joey Lauren Adams). Alyssa is everything that Holden ever wanted in a girl. She’s bright, she’s funny and she can more than hold her own in the bedroom. The only problem is, Alyssa is a lesbian. Now, Holden must resolve himself to just being ‘friends’ with Alyssa. But that soon grows complicated and, now, both Holden and Alyssa must confront their feelings, and each other, so as not to spend the rest of their lives “chasing Amy.” So to speak. Affleck does such a good job in this role. He is vulnerable and love-struck. Affleck is extremely relatable in this film. We’ve all chased Amy. If there was one movie that planted audiences firmly on “Team Affleck,” it was Chasing Amy.

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3) The Town (2010)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

Gangster movies that feature a criminal with a heart of gold doing “just one more job” is one of our guilty pleasures. What we don’t feel guilty about liking, though, is the 2010 film The Town. The Town was directed by Ben Affleck and he starred as Doug MacRay, a bank robber from the south side of Boston who has no real relationships to speak of, except for the one with his best friend James (played by Jeremy Renner). During an especially violent bank robbery, James takes a bank teller hostage. Eventually, they let her go but now Doug must seek her out to find out exactly what she does, or does not, know. In doing so, he ends up falling in love with her and must now choose between a life of love and a life of crime. Luckily, FBI agent Adam Frawley (played by Jon Hamm) is more than happy to make the decision for him. Unfortunately for Doug, however, is that Frawley is only offering a way out that leads to a prison cell. Now, Doug must balance his relationship with the bank teller, his best friend, and the FBI before any more blood is shed. This is one of the best films Ben Affleck has acted in, and that’s perhaps due to the great direction from, well, Ben Affleck. As both star and director, Affleck proved that he knows his way behind and in front of a camera. The Town is one of the greatest crime thrillers in modern history and at least 2/3’s of that success came from Affleck’s performance and direction.

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2) Gone Girl (2014)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

If anybody could play a character whose side the audience isn’t sure they should be on, it’s Ben Affleck. Gone Girl was novel written by Gillian Flynn that was adapted for the screen by Flynn and director David Fincher. It starred Rosamund Pike as Amy, the girl who was gone and Affleck as her philandering but hopefully not murderous husband, Nick. When Amy goes missing, Nick is the prime suspect and audiences are forced to flip back and forth on whether they believe Nick is innocent. Gone Girl was a fantastic book that was turned into a fantastic film. Rosamund Pike is phenomenal in her role as Amy. Audiences fall in love with her just as quickly as Nick did. Because we’ve all seen Lifetime movies, we’re led to believe Nick murdered her. But the answer isn’t as cut and dry as one would think. Gone Girl was the perfect vehicle for Ben Affleck. He got to play a flawed human being with a shady past but he still had to be likable enough that audiences wouldn’t completely give up on him. Affleck more than delivered in one of the best thrillers in recent memory.

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1) Good Will Hunting (1997)

10 Best Ben Affleck Performances

Make no mistake, Good Will Hunting was Matt Damon’s show. Damon gave, arguably, the best performance of his career. Robin Williams was incredible as well. But we cannot overlook just how good, how believable, how honest Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Will’s childhood friend Chuckie. It makes sense that it would be a believable performance, as Affleck and Damon were the ones that wrote the script. Still, that final scene when Chuckie goes to Will’s house, knocks on the door and realizes that, finally, Will isn’t going to answer — it still brings tears to the eyes. Ben Affleck is a tremendous actor. This should not be an argument. He also happens to be an excellent writer, director, and producer as well. He’s talented but he’s not afraid to show the world that he’s also a human being- hence his announcement about addiction issues and his decision to enter rehab.

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Weekend: Oct. 17, 2019, Oct. 20, 2019

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