With nearly 40 years in the entertainment industry under his belt, Ben Affleck has become a household figure. As a filmmaker, Ben Affleck has made an unmistakable impression on the industry over the past few decades, with his resume featuring a number of high-profile credits as well as a number of notable flops. Affleck has established himself to be a talented actor, director, writer, and producer over the course of his career. Films in many different genres have been his, but his strengths lie in dramas and action flicks. He has a good sense of humor, and he’s always ready to poke fun at himself and his celebrity status. Aside from being more open about his personal life, he’s also going into great detail about the choices he’s made in his professional life, making him one of the most intriguing celebrities to watch as the years pass.
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Affleck has an impressive resume that includes 73 actor credits, 23 producer credits, 8 directing credits, and 6 writing credits. This means that a list of some of the best movies he’s done as an actor, director, writer, producer, or in some cases more than one of these roles is long overdue. It’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed by which of Affleck’s movies are deemed (in this writer’s view) to be his best yet.
To learn which Affleck films have been voted the finest of all time and how they rank, keep scrolling down. For more, have a look at this list of the top movies starring Brad Pitt.
11. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Shakespeare in Love’s Ben Affleck may not be the starring man, but he steals every scene he’s in. As Ned Alleyn, Affleck manages to inject his performance with the kind of bro-tastic enthusiasm that has become a trademark of his film presence. In this John Madden-directed, Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow-starring movie that chronicles playwright William Shakespeare’s attempts to get his career off the ground with a new play, Romeo & Juliet, he also manages to significantly spice things up whenever he arrives.
For a reason, Shakespeare in Love won so many Academy Awards: best picture, original screenplay, best supporting actress (Judi Dench), and best actress (Paltrow). Crackling dialogue and some of the best acting in the business make this film a must-see. If only because he’s criminally underutilized (which is sad, considering that the late 1990s are a Peak Affleck Period), this film does not rank as highly in the Affleck canon. This is an excellent example of Affleck’s ability to leave a lasting impression, no matter how little screen time he had. Shakespeare in Love.
10. The Town (2010)
The Town, Affleck’s second attempt at directing a major picture, was released in 2010. Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg are part of Boston’s Holy Trinity of Brothers, so it’s only natural for Affleck to direct his second film in familiar terrain. Affleck’s feature-length directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, was critically lauded three years prior to the release of The Town. As we follow a gang of boyhood friends as they attempt to carry off one of their greatest bank heists yet, we see familiar patterns and characters weaved throughout the story as it takes place in and around the Massachusetts capitol.
Affleck balances the roles of lead and director even better in Argo than he did in Live By Night, but not so well in The Town. When it comes to gripping crime thrillers, Affleck and Jeremy Renner are an excellent team. Affleck performs better when he is part of a solid primary pairing, and this Affleck-Renner partnership anchors the movie.
9. The Accountant (2016)
For the first time, Affleck and Gavin O’Connor collaborated on a film together in 2016 with The Accountant. Although The Accountant is a gripping, suspenseful thriller, it doesn’t quite measure up to the second and most current collaboration, The Way Back, in my opinion. When it comes to portraying a man on the autistic spectrum, Affleck’s portrayal might have gone wrong in a thousand and one ways because he is both neurotypical and not a book-cooker. Even though Dustin Hoffman has since apologized for his now-problematic portrayal of Christian Wolff, Affleck has taken a more grounded approach to portraying his character, which is leagues ahead of Hoffman’s now-problematic performance in Rain Man. Because of his previous roles, Affleck is able to play a character he has never played before in a world he is already familiar with. The Accountant, directed by O’Connor, manages to be both watchable and original, limited in scope and reminiscent of the kind of crime thrillers that enjoyed a heyday in the 1970s.
8. The Way Back (2020)
At the time of publication, Affleck’s most recent appearance as a former high school basketball star who is trying to recover from alcoholism in The Way Back is one of his best. Affleck’s performance in The Way Back is one of his best in recent memory, given the film’s close ties to Affleck’s own life. For this film, O’Connor’s creative comfort with the director makes it intriguing to watch as the two personalities collaborate to tell this story. The Way Back, on the other hand, makes it clear that Affleck’s career is about to enter a new phase, one that could lead to a renaissance following a rough patch.
7. Chasing Amy (1997)
Matt Damon is the only other Affleck collaborator who is as well-known as Kevin Smith. Following their work together on Mallrats in 1996, Smith cast Affleck in the lead role of Chasing Amy alongside Joey Lauren Adams. As a New Jersey comic book artist, Holden (Affleck) develops a crush on his lesbian friend, Alysa (Adams), who is also a comic book artist. My opinion on the movie’s premise has changed since I first saw it. The movie’s general message simply implies that even a lesbian woman will date a man who declares his love loudly enough. As a result, Affleck has a lot to work with in this early starring role thanks to Smith’s script (which is always one of the best components of his films, to be honest). When it comes to Smith’s screenplay, Affleck takes to it like a duck to water, reeling you in during the film’s most heartfelt moments.
6. Dazed and Confused (1993)
As of this stage in his career, Affleck’s ability to exude big bro energy is well-known. In Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, Affleck plays a Texas high school senior named Fred O’Bannion, who has a crush on Linklater’s character. O’Bannion is there to haze the incoming freshman during their last day of eighth grade, but darn if he’s not enjoying the time of his life. It’s a small role, but Affleck makes the most of it in the buffet of narratives that make up the film (incidentally, Dazed and Confused also reveals Affleck to be a great supporting cast member as well as a leading man).
5. Argo (2012)
Argo, Ben Affleck’s third film as a director, is also his greatest yet. “Based on a True Story” is a narrative of a CIA agent who goes undercover as a sci-fi film crew to rescue six Americans from Tehran. The actor plays Tony Mendez. Gone Baby Gone filmmaker Ben Affleck is firing on all cylinders as he brings this political thriller to the big screen. As a director and performer, Ben Affleck’s voice shines through every decision, from the direction of the performances to how the most suspenseful scenes play out. It was a shame that Affleck was not nominated for Best Director for Argo when the Academy Awards came calling. In spite of this, it won three Oscars, including best picture and best adapted screenplay (for Chris Terrio).
4. Dogma (1999)
Dogma, the second-greatest Affleck-Damon pairing, and Affleck’s best collaboration with Kevin Smith, round out the top five (sorry, Jersey Girl). Who can resist Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in their roles as fallen angels Bartleby and Loki, who arrive on Earth with the express purpose of raising hell? Furthermore, Linda Fiorentino as Bethany, the protagonist heroine, who must enlist the support of Jay (Jason Mewes), Silent Bob (Smith), the angel Metatron (Alan Rickman), and Jesus’ childhood pal Rufus (Chris Rock) in order to take down Bartleby and Loki, is a treat to see. As they tour the country, Affleck and Damon are living up to their Boston bro reputation, causing hilarity wherever they go.
3. Armageddon (1998)
Armageddon, directed by Michael Bay, has Affleck in his heroic Hollywood heartthrob role, one of the few that the actor has become adept at portraying over the course of his career. Not only is Armageddon a great film for Affleck, but it’s a great film for Bay as well, even if he does make some of the stylistic choices that will make him renowned in the years to come. Bruce Willis stars as oil rig operator Harry Stamper in Armageddon, while Ben Affleck plays his protégé A.J., who must prove himself to Harry while he and his team prepare to destroy an asteroid that is going straight for Earth. Because I’m incapable of doing so). With all of the cockiness and good looks required to make A.J. deserving of our affection, Affleck does exactly what the part calls for. And while Affleck’s performance in Armageddon doesn’t offer any major revelations or takeaways, he is at his finest as this exact type of character in the film, laying the basis for many such performances in the future.
2. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting has been on the big screen for a little over two decades now, but it’s holding up quite nicely. As one of Affleck’s career high points, this film is a triumph on many levels. When Ben Affleck portrays Will Hunting’s lifelong pal Chuckie (played by Matt Damon, Affleck’s real-life closest friend), he excels at a role for which he’ll become famous: the working-class wise guy with a big heart. It’s nice to see Affleck and Damon’s friendship onscreen for the first time, as Chuckie makes the most of his brief appearance. It’s also worth noting that Affleck has the Oscar and a co-screenwriting credit on Good Will Hunting to back up his claim that he’s a well-rounded filmmaker who can also write well. Affleck used Good Will Hunting as a way to establish himself as a serious filmmaker. Good Will Hunting is a crucial proving ground and turning moment for Affleck, even though his “serious artist” persona has largely kept intact over the years depending on which of his films you watch.
1. Gone Girl (2014)
In addition to being one of the year’s best films, Gone Girl is also Ben Affleck’s finest work as an actor and a superb showcase for his talents. Director David Fincher allows Affleck to fully immerse himself in the role of Nick Dunne, the husband of Amy Dunne, the missing writer who has gone missing (Rosamund Pike). Affleck was a great choice for Fincher’s cast, since the director recognized the pressures Nick would endure as the primary suspect in Amy’s abduction would be well-known to Affleck. It’s not only that Affleck shines as Nick in Gone Girl; his portrayal of a husband who is renowned and has to deal with the pressures of celebrity and public opinion is a major factor for Affleck’s success as Nick. One of Gone Girl’s most striking aspects is that it’s an investigation of one possible course of action for a marriage, one that Affleck had supposedly been practicing for some time to portray. It’s impossible not to admire Ben Affleck’s performance in Gone Girl and the ease with which he was able to inhabit Nick’s body for two and a half hours. As a result of Affleck’s work, Gone Girl is a worthwhile film that can be revisited over and over again.