Ben Affleck Movies

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Ben Affleck movies range from critical darlings (The Town) and box-office hits (Pearl Harbor) to absolute disasters (Gigli). But no matter what the success or failure of his projects, the popular actor–born Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt–always keeps coming back for more. He’s won an Oscar as a screenwriter, received critical acclaim as a director, and dated such Hollywood hotness as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Garner. Not too shabby, Mr. Affleck.

In the following list, I’ll be taking a look at some of the Ben Affleck movies recommended for viewing. While the level of quality varies, each of these films manages to highlight Affleck in his various capacities as an entertainer. Netflix carries each and every one, so why not get with the program and become a Netflix member today?

Dazed and Confused (1993) – Director Richard Linklater put together an impressive ensemble cast that included Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Rory Cochrane, Jason London, and, of course, Ben Affleck. Set in 1976 and filled with enough marijuana use to impress even Cheech and Chong, this comedy follows a group of teens through the ups and downs of the final day of high school in the suburbs of Austin, Texas. Affleck co-stars as Fred O’Bannion, a second-year senior who enjoys hazing incoming freshman just a little too much. If you enjoy grooving to music from Foghat and Rick Derringer, you’ll be in classic rock heaven.

Mallrats (1995) – Kevin Smith turns out his second film set in the View Askewniverse, this time setting it in a mall instead of a convenience store. When a pair of pals (Jason Lee and Jeremy London) look to commiserate amidst bargain-hungry consumers, they continually get caught up in misadventures including an ill-fated dating game, an elusive optical illusion poster, and comic book legend Stan Lee giving sex advice. Set one day before the events featured in Clerks, the film co-stars Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, and Sven-Ole Thorsen. Ben Affleck pops up as Shannon Hamilton, a shallow clothing store manager who intends to seduce the girlfriend of one of our heroes and have sex with her in “a very uncomfortable place” (no, not the backseat of a Volkswagen).

Good Will Hunting (1997) – Ben Affleck and childhood pal Matt Damon increased their Hollywood profiles as co-writers and stars of this Gus Van Sant Oscar winner. Damon plays Will Hunting, a self-loathing genius who works as a janitor at MIT and constantly sabotages his chances for success. But when legal problems require him to undergo counseling, he winds up in the care of Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), a passionate therapist who grew up in the same tough Boston neighborhood. Affleck co-stars as Will’s best friend, a blue-collar construction worker who hopes for something more for his pal. Also starring Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgard, Good Will Hunting would be nominated for nine Academy Awards (winning two).

Chasing Amy (1997) – Kevin Smith returns to direct his third film in the View Askewniverse, this time focusing on comic book artist Holden McNeil (Affleck), his partner on the comic Bluntman and Chronic (Jason Lee), and Holden’s new girlfriend (Joey Lauren Adams)…who just happens to be a lesbian. Frank discussions about sex are spiced up with Smith’s trademark dialogue, and expect Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) to appear in at least one scene. Following the release of this film, Affleck’s star really started to rise in Tinseltown.

Shakespeare in Love (1998) – While numerous films have ripped off the works of the Bard, William Shakespeare has rarely been used as a character himself. That all changed in this period romantic comedy, as the world’s most beloved playwright (Joseph Fiennes) falls in love with a merchant’s daughter (Gwyneth Paltrow) while working on Romeo and Juliet. Affleck plays a well-known 16th-century actor, but his involvement in the film was largely motivated by staying close to then-girlfriend Paltrow. Winner of seven Academy Awards (including Best Picture), the film also co-stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Rupert Everett, and Simon Callow.

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Armageddon (1998) – Of all the movies starring Ben Affleck, this tale of a massive asteroid hurtling towards the Earth was one of the most successful at the box office (and the highest grossing of 1998). That probably has something to do with the inclusion of Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Owen Wilson, and Steve Buscemi, not to mention Michael Clarke Duncan, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, William Fichtner, and Keith David. And don’t underestimate director Michael Bay’s ability to whip audiences into a frenzy with plenty of slo-mo shots and the use of Aerosmith’s monster hit “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”

Hollywoodland (2006) – Allen Coulter makes his directorial debut in this docudrama about a hard-luck private investigator (Adrien Brody) looking into the supposed suicide of Superman actor George Reeves (Ben Affleck). But as he peels back the layers of glamour and exposes the grimy underbelly beneath, our hero comes to see Hollywood for what it really is: a place where dreams come to die. While it failed to get a single Oscar nomination, Hollywoodland is a thoroughly engaging tale that co-stars Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Tunny. One of Affleck’s strongest performances.

Gone Baby Gone (2007) – Ben doesn’t appear on-screen in this one, but his brother Casey does. He plays Patrick Kenzie, a principled Boston detective who goes searching for a missing girl with his partner/lover (Michelle Monaghan). Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris co-star, and Amy Ryan is a standout as a neglectful mother who unfortunately seems all too real. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, Gone Baby Gone drew critical raves for Affleck’s skill as a director and screenwriter, and Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it a “mesmerizing thriller.” One of the more well-received Ben Affleck movies in recent years.

Extract (2009) – Writer/director Mike Judge once again shows his connection with blue collar America in this tale of the eccentric employees of a flavor-extract company. Jason Bateman is the company’s founder, an uptight fellow who’s involved in a sexless marriage (to Kristen Wiig). Mila Kunis is the hot little number recently hired for the assembly line. Ben Affleck is Bateman’s pothead best friend with a mind full of bad ideas, and Clifton Collins, Jr. is the employee who suddenly finds himself short one testicle. Also starring Gene Simmons, J.K. Simmons (no relation), David Koechner, Dustin Milligan. If you liked Office Space, you’ll get a kick out of Extract.

The Town (2010) – This crime film, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, drew rave reviews from the critics and made a tidy profit at the box office. Affleck plays Doug MacRay, a career criminal who’s looking for a way out of the violent life shared by his longtime Boston pals. He finds his escape via Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall), a bank manager once held hostage by a masked MacRay. As their relationship deepens and Doug plans to move away, he’s forced into yet another armed robbery. But this one may be doomed from the start, as Doug and his crew have been under surveillance by a dedicated FBI agent (Jon Hamm). The cast (which also includes Jeremy Renner) delivers some fine performances, and the action is loud and lethal in the tradition of Michael Mann’s Heat.

Now that you’ve finished reading, head on over to Netflix and enjoy this hand-picked list of Ben Affleck movies. They have multiple subscription plans to meet almost any budget, and the small commission we receive when you sign up helps us to bring you more quality articles in the future. But whatever you do, avoid watching Reindeer Games like your life depended on it.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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