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!