Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ben Affleck's Top 5 Acting Performances

I've been a pretty big fan of Affleck since the Chasing Amy, Good Will Hunting days and have been delighted in his phoenix like rising from the ashes to direct such gems as Gone Baby Gone and The Town.

An underrated talent that has proven his chops with an Acadamy award winning script and award winning directing efforts. Ben hits the high of highs with his self penned (with buddy Matt Damon) script Good Will Hunting and his performance in said movie as eponymous Will's buddy Chuck. With it can a slew of quality movies such as Armageddon, Dogma, Pearl Harbour, Shakespeare in Love and The Sum of All Fears. It was in the early 00's that Ben's career appeared to hit the skids. He was more known for being spotted playing poker, drinking and making crappy movies like the legendary Gili with former girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. It was during the 'Bennifer' year that his status as leading man started to slide.

In 2003 he hooked up with Jennifer Garner and eventually married her. This sensible influence in his life must have had a positive role to play in Ben making sounder role choices starting with Hollywoodland in 2006 and his directorial debut of Gone Baby Gone in 2007 and follow up The Town in 2010. He is currently in pre-production for Argo due for release in 2012.

So I figured Affleck's career as an actor would be a good one to have a look at, and it's been an intriguing one. There are some quality action flick far and hidden little unknown gems like Dean Koontz's Phantoms. I'm going to pick the top 5 performance that I rate and go some way to explaining why.


Jersey Girl

This is a much maligned Kevin Smith and didn't find it's audience. Kevin Smith has a cult following and they will see (not necessarily like!) everything he does. They love him for the witty swear riddled dialogue and this movie is not really for that sort of audience. Non- Smith fans like my wife will abstain from seeing his movies at all cost and will judge it before it made. It's a movie that could have performed really well and an interesting study would have been to have Smith direct under a pseudonym find it's audience then go ta-da suckers it me Smith and you liked it!

Anyway it's Affleck we're here for and it's Affleck we'll get. His character Ollie Trinke is left with a baby girl after his wife (ironically J-Lo) dies during childbirth. During the stress of raising a kid alone he loses his job in the music industry and even ostracises himself from it. He goes back to live with his father, the underrated George Carlin and eventually finds his feet as well as the gorgeous Liv Tyler. Ben carries this film and although is surrounded by a strong cast hits his marks and is the reason I like this film. Haven't seen it already because you don't like K. Smith - See it!


The Town

Affleck's directing is top notch here and his acting isn't too far behind. This is a solid job performed by a pro.



Here Ben plays George Reeves who played Superman and was mysteriously murdered. Affleck more than holds him own in a beautifully made movie.


Good Will Hunting

Ben acts in the role he and buddy Matt Damon won an academy award for writing. Matt took the eponymous role of Will and Ben was given the less flashy but just as important role of best bud Chuck. Chuck understands Will has a gift and is one of the positive forces encouraging him to use it. Ben is obviously very comfortable with the material and plays it pitch perfect. He even a couple of monologues he knocks out of the park.


Chasing Amy

This is one of my all-time favourite movies and Ben is half of the reason. Jason Lee is the other half. Ok the script also has a huge role to play but Ben has Holden McNeil ticks all of the boxes. Cocky comic book guy, seducer of Joey Lauren Adams' lesbian and jealous boyfriend. He's relaxed and believable the whole time and makes his likable in a way many of actors would have been unable to do.

So far Ben's had a pretty solid acting career and I'm hoping that as he nears 40 it can continue to grow as different types of roles are offered to him.

Honourable mentions:

Phantoms - He was the bomb!
Clerks 2 (Kidding)
Reindeer Games

Until then hail to Fenway!


  1. I've always liked Affleck too and can't really argue with any of those choices. I also thought he was excellent in Boiler Room, Dogma and Changing Lanes... plus he made a much underrated Matt Murdock.

  2. Def good in Boiler room and Changing Lanes. Didn't want to clog up the list with Kevin Smith and Dogma was 3rd on that list.

    I'm also a fan of DD. Change the costume and a new director ala Jon Favreau and it could have been a hit!!

  3. #1 - Chasing Amy
    #2 - Good Will Hunting (that speech to Will at the end is golden)
    Then, The Town, Dogma, Hollywoodland probably round out the top. Dazed and Confused was a good one, and Reindeer Games is just fun.

    Daredevil does not make the list with all that smirking and GAH!