Welcome to another edition of the Seattle Cinema Survey, home to know-it-alls disagreeing with one another.
On the eve of the return of the Bourne franchise, now seems a good as time as any to ask; What’s your favorite Matt Damon film?
The list is ample, with Damon having quality blockbusters (The Martian, the aforementioned Bourne films), comedies (The Informant) and a string of exceptional dramas (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Gerry, many more). It oddly enough comes down two top picks I debated between a few weeks back when inquiring on the century’s best remake; The Departed or Ocean’s Eleven. As there, it’s Marty’s masterful cops and robbers piece that I must shout for most vigorously. Damon uses his innate charm and likability in a conniving manner here as a first-class manipulator and liar, forging personal success via the downfall and deaths of others.
Brent McKnight of Cinema Blend/The Last Thing I See @BrentMMcKnight
I enjoy the Bourne movies well enough, he carries The Martian, and Good Will Hunting is great. But my favorite Matt Damon movie, or at least my favorite Matt Damon role—the movie is a hot, steamy, raccoon-infested trash heap—has to be Donny in 2003’s Eurotrip. The front-man for a snotty suburban punk rock band, he sings a song about fucking the main character’s girlfriend. It’s even better because he did as a favor to three college buddies who happened to be the writer/directors. It’s not Damon’s best performance, and it’s damn sure not the best movie he’s appeared in, but Donny is far and away the most (maybe only) memorable thing about Eurotrip.
Matt Oakes of Silver Screen Riot @SSRDotcom
Tim Hall of The People’s Critic @peoplescrtic
I really enjoyed Matt Damon in Interstellar as Dr. Mann. Damon’s “Do you see your children? It’s okay. They’re right there with you” scene is one of my favorites.
My favorite Matt Damon movie is The Talented Mr Ripley. When I originally saw it back in 1999, I HATED it. I even referred to it as The Talented Mr Ripoff.
Years later, I learned to love the film, and especially Damon’s performance as Ripley. Damon’s even more impressive when Ripley is trying to live Dickie’s life. There’s that great piano scene when Ripley is confronted by Freddie (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the opening sequence, and the final scene with Peter when he says “I came out to find you” is fantastic.
Erik Samdahl of Film Jabber @Filmjabber
Wow. Tough one. Matt Damon has been in so many good movies, and has been instrumental to the quality of most of those movies. I’d say Saving Private Ryan, except he’s really a bit player (despite being the title character). Ocean’s Eleven is fantastic, but he’s just one of many. The Bourne Supremacy is one of my all-time favorite action movies.
But I’m going to go with Good Will Hunting, a fantastic and entertaining drama that showcases Damon’s brilliance. Perhaps more than any of his other films—especially the films most people would consider “great”—Good Will Hunting relies on Damon’s talent. The movie features one of his most complex characters, and one of his best performances.