The best Ben Affleck movies include mostly quiet dramas in the late 90s to action-packed political thrillers in the 2000s, and more recently as the Caped Crusader himself in the DCU. There’s almost no role that the actor seems unwilling to adopt. However, throughout the years, Affleck’s movie career has twisted and turned in several directions. There was a point in the 1990s when Affleck was the biggest star available, but something unexpected happened at the end of that decade. Affleck took questionable roles and his personal life somehow overshadowed his career.
However, Affleck enjoyed a resurgence and rebounded with one of the best comeback tales in Hollywood history. No longer the man with a growing list of Razzies, Affleck began a career that saw him directing Oscar-winning movies while taking on smarter roles that allowed him to regain his standing in Hollywood. When he finally joined the DCU as Batman, it was a success story few could have predicted a decade earlier. This has allowed the best Ben Affleck movies to include a string of early movie releases as well as those from his later career revival.
10 Armageddon (1998)
Michael Bay’s Armageddon has somewhat indisputably secured its place within the canon of disaster films, with many claiming that it’s one of the best end-of-the-world movies out there. The film imagines a team of astronauts sent to stop a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with Earth. When you think of over-the-top, dramatic sci-fi movies, chances are that Armageddon may enter your mind. Since its release in 1998, it’s been praised as the very top standard in its genre, mostly thanks to the way that it embraces its own eccentricity and boldness. It even has a Criterion Collection release.
9 Shakespeare In Love (1998)
Stream now on Showtime & Fubo
Shakespeare in Love remains one of the most notorious movies in Oscars history. It won the Best Picture Oscar among its seven wins and the notoriety comes because it beat out Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in what many consider a massive upset. The main thought was that the Weinstein brothers politicked for the win, but nonetheless, Shakespeare in Love was still a success and among the highest-grossing movies of 1998 (via Box Office Mojo). The movie is about William Shakespeare and his desire to seduce Rosaline. Affleck plays Ned Alleyn, the actor who played Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet.
8 Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
In 2017, Zack Snyder had to step away from the Justice League movie after a personal tragedy in his life. Joss Whedon took over, did some major re-writes, and the movie ended up disappointing many DCU fans. However, thanks to the Snyder Cut fandom on social media, Warner Bros. gave Snyder money to make the movie his way, and what resulted was the four-hour movie that hit HBO Max in 2021. Ben Affleck’s role as Batman changes little between the two versions, as he is still who helps to form the team to battle Darkseid. However, fans can see Affleck in the Knightmare scenes of this far better received version.
7 Chasing Amy (1997)
Ben Affleck has been in a lot of Kevin Smith movies. While he was great in Dogma and Mallrats, the best Ben Affleck movie in the View Askewniverse was easily Chasing Amy. The movie saw Affleck and Jason Lee star as Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards, two comic book creators who are best known for Bluntman and Chronic, based on Jay and Silent Bob. However, their partnership hits the rocks when Holden falls in love with another creator named Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). One of the best Ben Affleck movies, it received great critical acclaim, earned several awards, and ended up getting its own Criterion Collection edition.
6 Hollywoodland (2006)
Ben Affleck can go down in history as the only person to ever play both Batman and Superman in movies. While he was Batman in the DCU, he also played George Reeves in one of the best Ben Affleck movies, the biopic Hollywoodland. For those who don’t recognize his name, Reeves played Superman from 1952 to 1958, the second man to don the cape and the man who was the most recognizable Superman until Christopher Reeve two decades later. The film is about the investigation into Reeves’ mysterious death and Affleck landed a Golden Globe nomination for it.
5 The Town (2010)
One of the best Ben Affleck movies that he directed, The Town sees the actor star in the lead role as Douglas MacRay, the leader of a group of criminals attempting one final robbery before bidding the lifestyle goodbye. It represents yet another action-packed thriller in Affleck’s filmography, with the added touch of an outstanding ensemble and some truly exciting set pieces. On top of the positive audience reception, The Town was also widely acclaimed by critics – with Jeremy Renner even receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Academy Awards for his work. Many might not know that The Town is actually based on true facts, which just makes the film all the more thrilling.
4 Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by the father of the crime/thriller himself David Fincher, Gone Girl is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. It chronicles the story of Nick Dunne, who becomes the lead suspect in a murder case when his wife suddenly disappears without a trace. Many cite Dunne as Affleck’s strongest and most compelling performance to date, most likely due to the immense pressure and emotional turmoil that the character undergoes throughout the course of one of the best Ben Affleck movies. Nominated for multiple Golden Globes, the film is filled with some shocking twists.
3 Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Although he may not star in the film, Gone Baby Gone marks Ben Affleck’s first time working behind the camera in the director’s chair. The film follows a private detective (played by Ben’s brother Casey Affleck) as he attempts to solve a seemingly impossible kidnapping case, encountering several seemingly unrelated issues along the way. Although Gone Baby Gone might not ever reach the emotional highs or iconic status of some of the best Ben Affleck movies, it’s still an extremely successful crime thriller that’s sure to hook any audience with its complex performances and gripping screenplay.
2 Argo (2012)
One of the best Ben Affleck movies after its huge Best Picture win at the Oscars, Argo tells the unbelievable true story of Tony Mendez, who managed to evacuate six US diplomats from Tehran by disguising them as the production team of a fake movie. Many believe Argo to be one of the greatest Best Picture winners of the 2010s, and it’s certainly hard to dispute that it’s one of the most engaging and entertaining. Affleck’s direction draws the most possible excitement out of this incredible story, and it’s one that will have audiences on the edge of their seat from start to finish.
1 Good Will Hunting (1997)
Stream now on Prime Video
Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting is a favorite of many from the ’90s and a lot of that comes from Affleck and Damon’s heartfelt screenplay, which won the pair an Oscar. The film follows math prodigy Will Hunting as he enters a tragic life of rebellion and crime, before forming a close relationship with his therapist Sean Maguire. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have collaborated on a variety of films, but it’s Good Will Hunting that started it all. It’s for this film that their professional partnership will always be remembered, and there are fewer better legacies that the duo could have crafted, easily one of the best Ben Affleck movies ever made.
MORE: The Best Robin Williams Movies, Ranked