Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Matt Damon's 10 Greatest Performances

Back in 1996, at just 23 years of age, Mr Damon is thin and nearly unrecognizable in Courage Under Fire. This was the role that spurred his big first big break into Hollywood. At the same time he was co-writing the screenplay for the 1997 release Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck. He starred in the lead role and has never looked back since, swiftly rising into one of the industry's most reliable, likable and sought after stars. In the same year as Good Will Hunting he was the lead in Francis Ford Coppola's excellent adaptation of the John Grisham novel, The Rainmaker, and starred as James Francis Ryan in Spielberg's incredible WWII film Saving Private Ryan in 1998. At just 25 of year of age he had worked with some of the world's greatest directors, and was already an Oscar winner (original screenplay for Good Will Hunting). He has built working relationships with Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting and Gerry), Steven Soderbergh (The Oceans Trilogy, The Informant) Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum, Greenzone) and most recently Clint Eastwood (Invictus and Hereafter). Throw in some fine performances in The Talented Mr Ripley, Syriana, The Departed, True Grit and most recently The Adjustment Bureau and Mr Damon has one of the most impressive resumes in the business right now.

Here are Matt Damon's 10 Greatest Performances, in my opinion:

10. The Adjustment Bureau

9. Saving Private Ryan 

8. Syriana

7. Invictus

6. The Rainmaker

5. The Departed

4. The Informant

3. The Bourne Trilogy

2. The Talented Mr Ripley

1. Good Will Hunting

What do you think are Matt Damon's finest performances?


  1. I think I would agree that The Informant has to be up there because it's not the sort of role we normally associate with him. Maybe Green Zone could feature?

  2. I really liked his performance in The Departed, it wasn't at all what I expected from him, I see him more as the kind of "good guy" but his performance in The Departed proved me wrong, he did a great villain.

    I haven't seen many of his other works, I liked him in Invictus though...

  3. @ Jack I: I really liked his performance in The Informant and I think he was worthy of his Golden Globe nomination. Green Zone, as a film, I didn't like so much, but this was another against-type performance for Damon and certainly didn't let the film down in any way.

    @ Jack L: The Departed is full of incredible performances, and I always attribute the higher accolade to Leo, which is one of his best performances, Damon's villain is also an unforgettable.

    Thanks for the comments guys!

  4. I think The Informant and The Departed would top my list. No love for True Grit?

  5. I thought he was great in True Grit also. One of the tougher omissions. I probably should watch Ryan again. It's only a small role, was he as good as I remember though?