Top 10 Matt Damon Movies

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Jason Bourne is back and this time it’s the real deal, not some ersatz filler. It’s Matt Damon back with Paul Greengrass in a topical Bourne movie that may just be the best yet.  Damon’s career will be forever defined by his role in the Bourne movies, just as Connery’s is by Bond, but Damon, like Connery, is an adventurous and versatile actor and here’s ten movies, in chronological order, that back that up.

Rounders

roundersBack in 1998 the name Matt Damon was largely unfamiliar to movie audiences and this film was hardly a sensation when it was released, but subsequently its reputation has grown and grown.  Damon is paired with Edward Norton as the underdog gamblers and it’s a great buddy pairing. It’s the movie that demonstrated just how exciting poker can be and it’s often cited as the best film ever made about gambling.

The Talented Mr Ripley

talented_mr_ripleyDamon is pitch perfect in the role of the greatest fictional psychopath ever created.  Watch as his mannerisms gradually morph with those of his victim Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law).  A subtle performance of this most complex of protagonists.

 

Ocean’s Eleven

oe01One of a handful of examples of where the remake is so much better than the original. Damon more than holds his own in this star-studded romp.  He plays the pickpocket Linus Caldwell and though his character doesn’t have the glamour of Clooney or Pitt roles, it’s a very satisfying supporting performance.

 

Syriana

syriana-24895Damon’s back with Clooney again, but this time as leading man and this time it’s a complex, serious movie about the greed and futility of the West’s hunger for oil.

 

The Good Shepherd

large_s2rykrxrjuiyolmzym37kpltkrzCritics found De Niro’s second movie as director, over-long and over-serious, but Damon’s central role as Edward Wilson, through whom the history of the CIA is told, is convincing and consistent.

 

The Departed

large_tglo9zw5ztceyyewgbyggsfxc6iDamon makes a great villain in Scorsese’s reworking of the Asian classic ‘Internal Affairs’.  For those who think that Damon only ever plays the well-intentioned everyman character, here’s a necessary corrective.

 

The Bourne Ultimatum

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Or either of the other two Bourne movies if you prefer.  How Damon manages to make us care about a character who spends three (well four now) movies running away is astonishing.  Yes, Greengrass’s long take action sequences are extraordinary, but it’s Damon’s compelling and improbably authentic performance that holds us.

 

True Grit

watch-true-grit-online

Great to see Damon in a Coen Brothers movie, playing moustachioed Texas Ranger LeBoeuf.  He takes to the bonkers dialogue and eccentric characters as if he made this sort of movie all the time.

The Green Zone

greenzone-poster

Bourne with brains.  Damon and Greengrass team up to make an action film about the Iraq war.  Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller, who heads up a team of inspectors on a mission to find weapons of mass destruction.  The public and critics didn’t like it.  Shame.

Behind the Candelabra

posterAbout as far from Jason Bourne as you could get, Damon plays Liberace’s secret, blond-wigged, lover, Scott Thorson.  It may only be a TV movie but it’s a wonderful film with knockout performances from Michael Douglas, as Liberace and an almost unrecognisable Damon.

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