Born in 1972 in Berkeley, California Ben Affleck has had a hugely successful career in film as an actor, director and writer. One of his most recent roles as Batman has got #ThanksBatfleck trending on Twitter today and I for one can’t wait to see the Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. since he’s been in a ton of films and this might take awhile let’s get right to it.
I will only be listing films that he starred in and not any that he just wrote or directed, although he has found success in both those fields as well. As usual these are in no ranked order and mostly just in order by release date from oldest to newest.
Released in 1992 and directed by Robert Mandel the sports drama film School Ties is about a Jewish student that is awarded a scholarship at a prestigious school and the difficulties he has fitting in. Although Affleck didn’t have a very large role in this movie it was the first one that he gained any attention for and was his first major film role. The film also starred Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnel. It was a giant success of a movie or anything but decided to add it because it was basically the start of his career.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Also released in 1992 and also featuring Ben Affleck in a smaller role Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a commercial success and spawned a TV series that to this day is one of my favorites, both were written by Joss Whedon. The film also starred Luke Perry and Kristy Swanson and Hillary Swank and grossed over $16 million at the box office.
Dazed and Confused
Released in 1993 and directed by Richard Linklater Dazed and Confused was about growing up in the 70’s and was a classic coming of age tale. Affleck played Fred O’Bannion who was kind of the biggest bully at the school in regards to picking on the Freshman. Parties, drugs and drinking…It’s a fun movie to watch for sure. The film also starred Jason London and Matthew McConaughey. the film wasn’t a huge commercial or critical success but my generation at least considers it a classic for sure.
Released in 1995 and directed by Kevin Smith Mallrats would be the first of many roles Affleck would get in smith’s films. The film revolves around young adults navigating life and the mall while trying to figure it all out and it also stars of Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Jason Lee, Shannon Doherty and the great Michael Rooker. The movie wasn’t a huge critical success but it certainly helped to kick start Kevin Smith’s career in the industry and I’m glad for that as some of his movies are my favorite of all time.
Released in 1997 and again directed by Kevin Smith Chasing Amy would see Affleck in the role of Holden McNeil, a man in his 20s trying to figure out life and love and the tribulations he goes through in the process. The film also stars Joey Lauren Adams(who by the way I adore and wish she was in more these days),Jason Lee and of course Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes as Jay and Silent Bob. The film grossed over $12 million on a tiny budget and helped to prove Kevin Smith’s success wasn’t a one time deal. I love this movie and if you haven’t seen it I highly suggest checking it out…all I’ll say now is…Fingercuffs.
Good Will Hunting
Released in 1997 as well was a film that will always hold a special place in my heart as I was born and raised in Massachusetts and Good Will Hunting is all about a couple guys from Massachusetts. Affleck plays Chuckie Sullivan whose best friend is a brilliant young mind played by Matt Damon. The film also starred Minnie Driver and the late great Robin Williams and was a huge critical success grossing over $225 million worldwide.
Released in 1998 and perhaps one of the most underrated of Affleck’s movies Phantoms was directed by Joe Chappelle and focuses on a small town that gets shut off from the rest of the world and strange things start happening all over the town, basically a ghost movie but done very well, which isn’t a surprise seeing it’s based on a Dean Koontz novel of the same name. The film was actually a pretty big commercial and critical failure but I still love the movie and feel it never got the credit it deserved.
Released in 1998 and directed by Michael Bay the Scifi disaster film tells the story of an earth where there is a huge asteroid headed towards it and only a crew of oil rig fellas can stop it. Ben Affleck plays one of these fellas alongside some other great talent such as Steve Buscemi, Bruce Willis and Michael Clarke Duncan. It was a critical failure but a huge commercial success grossing over $500 million worldwide.
Released in 1999 Dogma would be the third Kevin Smith movie Affleck would star in and perhaps my favorite Kevin smith movie overall. Affleck plays Bartleby a disgruntled angel of death who is looking to change the way people see religion. It’s a great unique funny take on the subject matter and stars a bunch of great actors such as George Carlin, Chris Rock, Matt Damon, Jason Lee and even Alanis Morrisette as god herself. It wasn’t the most successful movie on this list for sure but I could watch this movie over and over and absolutely love it.
Released in 2000 and basically The Wolf of Wall Street of it’s day and directed by Ben Younger Boiler Room took a look into the crazier side of stock trading and Affleck’s role wasn’t the most important one in the film but he certainly played his part well and honestly it might be some of his best acting work. Also starring Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Scott Caan the film grossed &28 million worldwide. It was probably more successful with the critics than movie watchers but is considered to be a great film now and certainly worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
Released in 2001 and directed by Michael Bay Pearl Harbor was based on the true events of well…Pearl Harbor except it focuses more on a love story than the attack itself. Affleck plays a combat pilot and is joined by some great talent such as Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett and Jennifer Garner. the film was a huge success grossing over $450 million worldwide and was nominated for numerous awards winning an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing.
The Sum Of All Fears
Released in 2001 and based on a Tom Clancy novel of the same name The Sum of All Fears is a spy thriller that puts Affleck in the role of Jack Ryan( who has been played by so many different actors it’s crazy) and is joined by some great actors such as Morgan Freeman and Liev Schreiber. the film opened to mixed reviews but did gross $193 million worldwide and won a visual effects award.
Released in 2003 the superhero film Daredevil saw Affleck in the titular role and although a lot of people consider it a bad movie I actually think he did pretty decent in the role and that the movie just had some lazy writing at points in the plot. He starred alongside his then future wife Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell as the villain Bullseye. Perhaps not Affleck’s greatest film but I thought it needed to be included here. He would also later star in the spin-off Elektra a few years later.
Released in 2012 and based on true events revolving around rescuing some hostages from Iran. Affleck is joined by some great talent including John Goodman and Bryan Cranston. The film was nominated for numerous Academy Awards and won 3 for Best Picture among other things.
Released in 2014 and directed by David Fincher the psychological thriller Gone Girl revolves around a man suspected of his wives disappearance and the twists and turns are great along the way. Also starring Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry the movie won 2 awards for it’s soundtrack and is included on a bunch of top ten lists.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Released in 2016 and directed by Zack Snyder Batman v Superman would be the first of multiple movies where Affleck would play Batman/Bruce Wayne starring alongside Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill. the film was highly criticized but I actually enjoyed it quite a lot and am a huge fan of Ben Affleck in the role of Batman.
In 2017 Affleck would play Batman for the third time, if you count his small cameo in Suicide Squad although this time Batman would be part of a team with Superman, The Flash,Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Aquaman. The film was almost as badly criticized as Batman v Superman but once again I disagree with most people and think it’s a great film, although they could have used another hour or so to flesh out the characters better, perhaps this Snyder cut I’ve been hearing about will do it justice.
Ben Affleck has played many roles, some great and some not so great(See Gigli) but in my opinion he is still one of the most talented people in Hollywood today and deserves much more credit than most people will give him.
What’s your favorite Ben Affleck role?
Let us know in the comments 🙂
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