With an acting career spanning over twenty years, Matt Damon has made some very smart choices along the way. His latest, Contagion, teams him up once again with his Ocean's director, Steven Soderbergh and co-stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law and Kate Winslet. Not bad company!
By John Halecky
2011 Warner Bros.
The Rainmaker (1997)
At the tender age of 27, Damon tackled the lead role of a young lawyer in a Francis Ford Coppola directed thriller based on a John Grisham novel -- No pressure! Damon holds his own against fellow co-stars Danny DeVito, Jon Voight and Mickey Rourke.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Damon's real breakout role was one that he co-wrote with pal Ben Affleck for himself as the troubled lead, Will Hunting. The film went on to earn him an Oscar for writing as well as a nomination for Best Actor. Co-star Robin Williams also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Although Damon isn't in the first two-thirds of the movie, he is the title character that everyone is trying to save. Director Spielberg's war epic went on to be nominated for eleven Oscars, winning five and is sometimes called the greatest WWII movie ever made.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
Working again with a powerhouse director, Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), in a movie based on a well-known novel, Damon plays the evil and ultra-creepy chameleon Tom Ripley.
Damon plays Bryan Woodman, a man caught up in scandal in this politically charged thriller dealing with oil and corruption in the Middle East. His co-star and friend George Clooney won an Academy Award for his role in the movie.
2005 Warner Bros.
The Good Shepherd (2006)
Taking on the role of Angelina Jolie's husband must have been a challenge for Damon considering he's such good friends with her real-life partner, Brad Pitt. Playing Edward Wilson, a man responsible for the birth of the CIA, and being directed by Robert DeNiro, Damon made it look all too easy.
The Departed (2006)
When Martin Scorsese wants you to be in one of his movies alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson, you say 'Yes!' And that's just what Damon did in this Best Picture winning 2006 crime thriller.
2006 Warner Bros.
The Ocean's Series
Steven Soderbergh directed a modern day 'Rat Pack' of today's leading men including Damon in Ocean's Eleven and it's 2 sequels. Damon plays Linus Caldwell, one of a group of con men including Brad Pitt and George Clooney in the popular comedy crime thrillers.
2007 Warner Bros.
The Bourne Series
Taking on a beloved main character role from a series of best-selling novels can be a risk (see Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears), but Damon is Jason Bourne in all 3 Bourne movies, with a fourth one reportedly in the works.
The Informant! (2009)
Damon packs on a few pounds while re-teaming with director Steven Soderbergh for the darkly comic true story about a bi-polar whistleblower in the early 90's.
2009 Warner Bros.
Damon earned his second Oscar nomination for acting since 1997's Good Will Hunting starring alongside Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in this biographical story about South Africa, rugby and the end of apartheid. Being directed by Clint Eastwood also probably helped him in his nomination!
2009 Warner Bros.
Green Zone (2010)
Paul Greengrass previously directed Damon in the last two Bourne films so it's no wonder why Damon would want to re-team with him again in this action-packed, Iraqi war thriller.
Clint Eastwood must have liked what he saw previously in Invictus because he cast him again in the lead role in this drama about a man with a special connection to the afterlife.
2010 Warner Bros.
True Grit (2011)
Working with the Coen Bros. can easily lead to an Oscar win (see Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men or Frances McDormand for Fargo), but that's probably not the reason why Damon took on the role of a Texas ranger in this western re-make.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
Based on a Philip K. Dick short story about a politician whose life is not necessarily being controlled by him Damon co-stars with Emily Blunt in this sci-fi thriller.
Which Matt Damon movies do you like? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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