Jul 282014
Matt Damon

Photo Source – www.justjared.com

Matt Damon first caught my attention in the movie Courage Under Fire in 1996. Little did I know that a year later he would star in a movie that would wind up being one of my all time favorites.

Born in 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to two highly successful professional parents. He caught the theater bug as a young man and also grew up with and became best friends with what would be found out later to be a 10th cousin. Ben Affleck. Though he did not graduate he attended Harvard for four years. A few years later his acting career blasted off like a rocket.

Thank you to IMDB, Wikipedia and You Tube for providing the support information I obtained for the research in this Top 10 Matt Damon Movies post!

Wow, it’s been four months since my last Top 10 so let’s get started…

10  Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Question – What was unique about the chase scene with Nicky and Desh in Tangier?

This was the 3rd installment in the highly popular Bourne franchise series. The final cap of more spy movie madness and bullets flying as our hero continues to avoid the ultimate failure.

Answer – There was no control of the flow of people because it was too crowded and because the people they are pushing through are not extras.

9 Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Question – The scene where Linus and Rusty are spying on Tess as she is introduced coming down the stairs took several takes. What happened because of this?

As Linus Caldwell he was basically an understudy in this mega-cast of stars. While the apprehensive pickpocket resigns to play his part in the master heist he is still overshadowed by the bigger names. Though it is in the outer range of my Top 10 Matt Damon Movies list it is still a very worthy ranking.

Answer – Brad Pitt ending up eating 40 shrimp.

8  Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Question – Why did Steven Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Ryan?

Remember I’m ranking the actor not the mega-hit, Oscar award-winning movie that bares his character name. Damon was intentionally kept apart from the cast and did not have to participate in the impromptu boot camp that the rest of the main actors did. Therefore when they caught up to Private Ryan (Damon) on-screen (and on the set) there truly was some resentment build up by the guys who had come to get him. Very well-played Steven Spielberg.

Answer – Because he wanted an unknown actor with an All-American look. He didn’t know Damon would win an Oscar for Good Will Hunting (1997) and become an overnight star before the film was released.

7  The Bourne Identity (2002)

Question – Most mistakenly think that Krav Maga is the martial arts used in the film. What was used by Jason Bourne?

This did not follow the Robert Ludlum novel at all but however outside the box, it was nonetheless intriguing. The breakout movie in the Bourne series set a torrid pace for those that would follow it. A constant second guessing of who was playing whom in the game of outwit and outlast.

Answer – Damon was trained in Filipino Kali along with Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do by expert Jeff Imada.

6  Ocean’s Twelve (2004)

Question – What impromptu line occurs, and was kept, in Tess’s hotel room when Linus says to Bruce, “We’re looking to come off this pregnancy thing strong. You know, that little statue on the mantle starts smirking at you after a while, know what I mean?”

I felt Linus had a much more significant role this second time around despite the stardom he (Damon) was surrounded by. He was a key part of planning the heist of the egg (that was foiled) and being interrogated by the FBI agent who turned out to be his mom.

Answer – That was a dig at Willlis who has not been awarded an Oscar but Roberts and Damon have.

5 – Invictus (2009)

Question – Why was Morgan Freeman the first actor cast for the movie?

Though it’s a middle of the pack choice for my Top 10 Matt Damon Movies list, Clint Eastwood has the ability as a director to bring out something extra in the actors in front of the camera. This is what occurred here in his role as Francois Pienaar and turned an important story to be told from the 1995 World Rugby Cup into a spectacular victory on the screen.

Answer – Nelson Mandela said that he was the only actor that could portray him.

4  The Departed (2006)

Question – What is the commonality of the characters that get killed?

This is a fantastic movie with an elite cast as mobster turned mole Sullivan infiltrates the police force. Just when you think you have things figured out and it’s all coming to together with clear closure….is when you get caught way off guard.

Answer – Any character with 13 letters in their name, nickname or not, died.

3  The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

Question – Matt Damon and Jude Law each took what specific training for the film?

Matt Damon lost 30 pounds for this very twisted film. If you like constant unexpected turns along with a cat and mouse game empowered by constant suspense then you will love this movie. Don’t blink because you can easily miss a crucial part!

Answer – Damon learned to play the piano and Law the saxophone.

2  The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

Question – An actor who I always loved and adored on-screen played the Narrator in this film and it was his very last. At the beginning of the movie when he tees up he says, “It’s magic time.” This was that actor’s phrase he would say before every take in every movie he did. Who was that voice?

I actually bought this movie for my best friend on his 40th birthday this year. It strives for and achieves a life message way beyond golf. It’s about an individual’s transformation through an angelic messenger to know all that is possible within us all.

Answer – Jack Lemmon.

1  Good Will Hunting (1997)

Question – The scene where Sean and Will are in his office, and Sean starts talking about his deceased wife and her farting antics. Why was Matt Damon laughing so hard along with the camera shaking?

The undeniable choice for my #1 Top 10 Matt Damon Movies as he was absolutely stunning and convincing in his role as Will Hunting. At times taking on a John Nash-esque role with his mathematics genius he also made the audience believers in his character’s deep pain of his past and a yearning for a simple life and being with the one he loved. As the title of the post says in regards to Will driving off into the sunset to pursue his dreams, “How ’bout them apples?”

Answer – Robin Williams caught everyone off guard and had ad-libbed that entire part. Damon lost it laughing along with the cameraman…hence the camera shaking.

What is your favorite Matt Damon movie?

Phoenix and I are sending a thank you to our friend, Catherine at Ever Changing Scenery! She hails from York, England with a world-wide traveling itinerary on the horizon with her boyfriend. She’s traveled extensively around a good part of Europe along with a stop in India. She appreciates animals, people in general, food and comes from a large family that she sometimes travels with. We are so thankful for you supporting Phoenix and me, Catherine! So please click on over and check out her fantastic blog here!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  76 Responses to “Top 10 Matt Damon Movies, How Do You Like Them Apples?”

  1. That’s a hard choice – he’s so talented. The Ocean films were just plain fun to watch and Good Will Hunting was of course an excellent film, but I really liked The Talented Mr. Ripley. Twisted is a good word to describe it and his character was SO creepy, it was just so good. I think he’s going to be a classic actor as he ages and grows more professionally. He seems also to just be a really good guy.

    • I agree with you across the board, Patti! 🙂 Creepy is an excellent descriptor in his Ripley role and too hope he becomes more diverse and really stretches his “range” as an actor. I think he can be even better! He does seem to be a really good guy and that’s always a huge appeal to me for any actor/actress 🙂

  2. Matt Damon is my husband favourite actor, his favourite movies being The Bourne trilogy and Ocean’s movies. I must check out The Legend of Bagger Vance.
    Yeah for the coming back of your top 10!

    • Oh thank you SO much for the Top 10 compliment, Rita! Folks seemed to like them before so I will put some up here and there again 🙂 I would recommend Baggar Vance to anyone who likes those deep life message movies 🙂

  3. I think I saw the first Bourne movie which didn’t make much of an impression. The only other 2 I’ve seen were “Good Will Hunting” and “Saving Private Ryan”. I thought both of those were top notch.

    • You keep surprising me over the past years that we have more movies in common than you and I thought for you being a non-movie watcher, Suzanne! That always makes me smile! 🙂

  4. he has been in so many amazing movies!!

  5. My favorite is definitely Good Will Hunting. Nothing comes close to that, although I also love him in The Talented Mr. Ripley. I would like him as Jason Bourne, if I hadn’t read the whole series. Loved the books, hated the movies!

    • I’ve heard that across the board (and has been textbook about Hollywood) that the books were far superior to the Bourne movies, Aleah! My #1 choice so far has been my biggest consistent hit maybe in any of Top 10’s with my readers! 🙂

  6. Wonderful list Mike!! I have always enjoyed Matt’s movies. He never seems to disappoint. Glad to see the Top Ten list again

    • Oh thank you so much also for the compliment on seeing a Top 10 again, Jenn! This was kind of a test run to see if I would do them again and that would be a big YES 🙂

  7. You’re a walking encyclopedia with a very good taste when it comes to movies Mike. I’ll have to memorize all the info, so I can show off next time there’s a Matt Damon film on.

    • LOL on memorizing the info, Mette!! That’s funny! I’m far from an encyclopedia and spend a great deal of time researching these to ensure accuracy across the board. Now, my best buddy Hendrix?? HE is a walking data base of movies! I hope you knock their socks off at your next Matt Damon movie! 🙂

  8. Aw, thanks is much for featuring me on the end there, that was a nice little surprise 🙂

  9. I haven’t seen some of those so now I’ll make a point of it. Loved Baggar Vance and taped it the other day to show Alpha Hubby this weekend. I also thought he was funny in The Brother’s Grimm and the light and fluffy We Bought A Zoo! I suspect he’s awesome in The Monument’s Men, too. Eh, he’s good in everything he does. Bourne movies are my faves. What I like about your lists is I find new movies to try. Give Phoenix a good belly rub for me!

    • For starters thank you very much for the Phoenix belly rub part and I will do that immediately for him, Nan! 🙂 Excellent choice to have Alpha Hubby watch and let me know what he thinks of it! Monument’s Men received atrocious reviews and while I don’t base my movie watching on that I do put them on much lower priority. Funny, now just reading your comment and typing my reply I want to see it. Going to make a note! 🙂

    • We stopped listening to the critics because we found they were often VERY wrong. They tend to want “high and mighty” and blow off some that make you laugh and feel good (like The Princess Bride) or just are too cool for school – they blew off Stallone’s Expendables and yet here we are, chomping at the bit for August 15th to see the THIRD one – because they are just fun. Not deep, not educational, not anything but good fun and a chance to see all the cinema heros from way back!!

    • THAT is something I’ve begun to pay big attention to, Nan! The critics! One movie that looming huge on that level is the Monuments Men. Btw…I own Princes Bride. Mega (cult) hit!! 🙂

  10. Good Will Hunting for me.
    And I love that scene. I always think of it, actually. That’s master acting right there to ad-lib that because he doesn’t at all sound like he was trying to be funny. It was RAW.
    That said, I love that Matt Damon appreciates a good fart joke. I do too.
    I met him in NYC! Guess what? I was taller than him!

    • I loved that scene to after that pompous a$$ dressed Will down in front of Skylar then he gets that great payback!!

      What??!! First the fact that you get to live with Han Solo….NOW you’ve met Matt Damon?? Tell Cassidy that I’m up’ing that move in time with you guys for Phoenix and I. We are packing our bags…except where are my slippers? Arggh….PHOENIX!!!!! 🙂

  11. Matt Damon is such a wonderful natural actor and is so interesting to watch when he is interviewed on a show like Dave Letterman. He did a good job in the Monument Men, but he didn’t get to “exercise his chops” very much in the film. Great combination of information, trivia questions Mike.

    I love to re-watch the Oceans 7, 11 and 12 for the uniqueness of each film. Also since my son orchestrates the water fountain to the music at the Bellagio, it has a personal attachment for me.

    • I saw him on Letterman too and I completely with you, Neva, in that he seems to down to earth on top of being an amazing natural actor. Funny…now I really have to watch Monuments men now!

      I really like the tie in with the Bellagio and your son. VERY cool that he orchestrates the music for the fountain!! I LOVE that!! 🙂

  12. #1 is hands down my favorite, Mike! It’s been so long since I’ve seen it that it would be like watching it for the first time. That scene brought tears to my eyes. I also loved The talented Mr. Ripley. It was classic, mystery suspense. Psychological thriller with dark twists. He’s so talented!

    • Sweet on my #1 being such a big hit the readers this go around, Lisa! I hope to see more dimension and diversity from in the future to see just how far his range is. I absolutely agree with you on The Talented Mr Ripley! 🙂

  13. Yep, I’d say Good Will Hunting is in my top five all-time favorite films. An interesting note of difference between the book and film version of Mr. Ripley is that Dickie was a wannabe artist in the book, but that wouldn’t have translated as well to film, so their characters were given instruments to play instead.

    • Ooooo, brilliant take on the difference between the book and the movie, Jeri! I like that and you are always so good at it! That’s why I enjoy following your blogs so much 🙂

  14. Wow! Now that was a fun speed date! 😀

  15. My favorite actor, my wife says I have a ‘man crush on him’. Guys might chose some of the above in a different order. My favorite is the Bourne Identity, seen that almost 10 times and always gets the blood pumping. Also loved Good Will Hunting and The Talented Mr. Ripley. What is interesting in all these roles is the diversity of characters he plays.
    Good roundup!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Ha, well we have something in common because I’ve had my “man crush” on actors too…i.e. Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Kevin Costner 🙂 This is definitely an interchangeable Top 10 because virtually all of them were mega hits at the box office. And I completely agree with you on the diversity of his roles, Frank! That’s awesome you stopped by, thank you, and hope we can connect up again sir! 🙂

  16. I’ve watched the ocean series and the departed, Matt seems to have done a wide variety of projects (action, drama, comedy …)

  17. Oh I love Matt Damon movies, I saw most of these but still missed 2 or 3, so I know what to do this weekend 🙂 He’s a great actor. I love your questions & answers under each movie 🙂 I did not know the answer to most of your question and especially not the answer to the question under the Departed

    • Ha, as you’ve seen over quite awhile now my trivia questions would not be easy in a game. But, I try to put some really fascinating facts in them to entice the interest in each movie. I’m glad you are a Matt Damon fan, Freya!! 🙂

  18. My gosh this list has brought back memories – I have watched most of these.

    • That is one of my favorite things about memories, Bintu, is that they evoke either emotion or a memory 🙂

  19. How Do You Like Them Apples?***

    One of my favorite, satisfying lines EVAHHHH!

    Love your picks and cool trivia notes, Mike!

    LOVE GOOD WILL HUNTING. Love the scene where Robin Williams keeps saying “It wasn’t your fault: OMG.

    Love you and Phoenix. xxxxxxxxxx

    • Most excellent Kim and I’m sooooo jazzed a few of you “got that” as much as I did with the line! I STILL use that to this day! 🙂 Oh yes, “It wasn’t your fault…” was soooo powerful. Gawd, I may have to go pull it out of my dvd rack and give it a watch myself now tonight! Thank you and so much love back to you and your’s always, Kim xoxo 🙂

  20. I’ve seen 7, and my fave is the Talented Mr. Ripley, I just love how deep (and crazzzyyyy!) his character is in that film! This was a great roundup, Mike, made me realize how much I like him as an actor all over again!

    • Oh thank you so very much, Jess! Agreed he was “crazy” awesome in The Talented Mr Ripley. I like how you mentioned it making you realize how much you like him. That happens often to me when I’m doing these Top 10’s for the various actors and actresses 🙂

  21. My fella absolutely loves Matt Damon films! And Mark Whalberg ones… and I’m still pretty sure they’re the same person! x

    • Well, he has excellent taste, Scarlett! Now you have me pulling up Marky Mark to listen to one of my fav songs “Good Vibrations”! Great to hear from you 🙂

  22. Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like Matt Damon? I think not. I myself love him. I can see why he was chosen as The All American Boy by Spielberg. I loved him in the Bourne Identity movies.

    • He’s definitely a movie lover’s favorite isn’t he, Jan? The Bourne series was such a smashing success and yes Spielberg is pure magic – always 🙂

  23. I had to join in after seeing the title of this post on Dana’s site. I love Matt Damon! I think l might be one of the few in the world who hasn’t seen Bagger Vance and Good Will Hunting. They look boring to me, but maybe l need to give them a chance. My favorite of his would have to be Bourne Identity, and Invictus. Oh..and Talented Mr Ripley, and Saving Private Ryan, and The Departed. Can you see that l can’t make up my mind?? 🙂 . Thanks for posting this, but now..l keep humming “good vibrations” after reading the comment above!

    • Great to hear from you and thank you so much for commenting, Kemkem! LOL..I have that song in my head as well 🙂 It is sooooo hard to actually rank movies except usually I feel pretty strongly about my #1 picks in my Top 10’s. Baggar Vance is unique but I have to say Good Will Hunting is a must see!! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  24. I have to say I have a soft spot for Good Will Hunting, such emotional dialogue!

    • I very emotional and very powerful dialogue indeed in Good Will Hunting, Becky!! I’m glad you liked it also 🙂

  25. Its like my top 9 list 😛 I dunno how i missed the Good Will Hunting ! Gonna watch it tonight! Love the ocean series too!

    • Oh sweet on you watching Good Will Hunting, Rashmi! I hope you love it as much as I do! 🙂

  26. Matt Damon is one of my faves – not to mention he’s easy on the eyes. 😉 I think he was very underrated in his role in “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” I saw that movie years ago, but I remember being so impressed with his acting. And I absolutely LOVE all of the Bourne movies. I never get tired of watching them. And “Saving Private Ryan” was also excellent. Tom Hanks was excellent in that movie as well! Great roundup!

    • Thank you, Dana, and yes LOL…he is one very good looking guy! I could not agree with you more on his role in The Talented Mr Ripley being underrated. You come away from that movie and say, “Wow, there is a lot of depth and range in that performance.” Or at least I did 🙂

  27. I love Matt Damon and all of his movies but I think Good Will Hunting is my favorite. I love how you do these posts, Mike – weaving in all the cool little known facts like Spielberg keeping him away from the other actors in Private Ryan to build resentment. Also, how awesome is it that Robin Williams ad libbed the fart scene? He’s somebody I’d LOVE to meet in person. What a comedy genius. Great list, friend! Hope you and Phoenix are having an excellent day!!

    • Phoenix and I are so thrilled you stopped by to check it out, Kristi! I always love that you take the time to read all of the trivia I put in these posts. That always makes the effort so worth it for me! 🙂 Are you kidding I would be right behind you in line to meet Robin Williams! Could you imagine sitting at the bar (just the two of you uninterrupted) and just talking. I would LOVE that as well! You and Tucker have an amazing weekend also!! 🙂

  28. I have loved Matt Damon since high school! I actually haven’t seen two of the movies on your list. I really liked We Bought a Zoo that he was in a few years ago. Scarlett Johansson is my favorite actress so I loved them in a movie together!

    • Oh, ya know I still haven’t watched We Bought A Zoo, Becca! And that’s like movie sacrilege for me considering what a huge celebrity crush I have on Scarlett! 🙂

  29. Ive seen 1/10 with number 2 to follow as soon as I get to a place where I can enjoy the movie without interruptions! And thanks again for the movie by the way! Rounders is also a good one I like.

    • Oh sweet! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, Tony. And yes pick 2 hours of uninterrupted time buddy 🙂

  30. I haven’t seen all of Matt Damon’s movies, mainly because I don’t get out enough. I am definitely a fan. Morgan Freeman too, since you mentioned him as well. He is an amazing actor and I love his voice. Maybe I should start watching the ones I haven’t seen on Netflix…

    • I’m also a huge Morgan Freeman fan…and…hmm…I haven’t done a Top 10 on him! Good reminder, Michelle 🙂

  31. It’s so good to have your Top 10 back, Mike. I love Matt Damon and what great trivia and information. I feel like I need to rewatch some of these movies again. I really like him as Jason Bourne and who knew he could carry out being an action star after Good Will Hunting. What a diverse actor!

    • Very diverse and obviously you now know how I feel about Good Will Hunting, Mary! 🙂 Thank you for the Top 10 return compliment! 🙂

  32. Good Will Hunting is my favorite too…

  33. Good Will Hunting all the way! He’s my dream man in that movie 😉 (Ok, well my dream man wouldn’t be so insecure, but he’s definitely that intelligent!).

    “How do you like them apples” oh that line gives me so much satisfaction!

    • Ha, ha that’s funny, Shing, re: your “perfect man”. It was fascinating to see his character be torn completely down my Sean and then built back up. Fantastic writing, directing and acting to cap it off! 🙂

  34. Matt Damon is so very yummy! I could easily watch any movie if he was in it 🙂
    But I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t seen any of your top 10 Matt Damon Movies! But I watched your YouTube Trailers and I would really like to see “Saving Private Ryan” and “Bourne Ultimatum” along with “The Legend of Bagger Vance” 🙂

    Have seen him in “We Bought A Zoo” – loved that movie!

    • I still have to see “We Bought A Zoo” and shame on me because I’m a HUGE Scarlett Johansen fan, Lisa! Hopefully and the boys will get a chance to catch a few of the movies sometime on movie day. Thank you for checking out the trailers…I appreciate that! 🙂

  35. Mike, I love all Matt Damon movies, but I have to say the Bourne series are my favorite. I read the books years before the movies came out, because Robert Ludlum is one of my all time favorite authors. I could watch those movies over and over..oh yeah, I do.

    • Oh awesome, Corinne! I love when I pick just the right the actor/actress that resonates with the majority of the nice folks who stop by here to read my silly posts! 🙂

  36. I haven’t seen a lot of these movies but I love the Bourne trilogy! I haven’t seen that many of his other movies, but I think my fav is The Talented Mr. Ripley! Haven’t seen him in a movie in ages though!

    • He really had a soaring streak for quite some time there didn’t he, Michelle? It’s tapered off a little bit and I hope we are for another run of fantastic movies from him! 🙂

  37. Matt Damon is a superb actor. I admit to being totally surprised by his consistently great performances. Loved him in the Bourne films. It was the kind of role that you would initially think would have gone to one of the usual suspects, but he was a perfect choice.

    • I agree with you completely, Catherine, on the Bourne roles and him being the perfect fit. And still has not been a role actor because of the success from that trilogy. Good call 🙂

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