Skip to main content

The best Matt Damon movies, ranked

From Good Will Hunting to Ford v. Ferrari, these are the best Matt Damon movies that you can stream right now

For more than 25 years, Matt Damon has been one of the great movie stars of his or any generation. What makes Damon so special is that he has plenty of charm, and can definitely lay it on when he needs to, but he’s not a one-trick pony. Damon can play idiots, sociopaths, and basically any other type of role that Hollywood wants to throw at him. He’s an expert comedian and a wonderful dramatic actor, and he easily stacks up against the great movie stars of all time.

10. Ford v Ferrari (2019)

10. Ford v Ferrari
Genre Drama, Action, History
Stars Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal
Directed by James Mangold
Damon is one of our great movie stars, but he may be even better when he works as a co-lead. In Ford v. Ferrari, he plays the automotive designer who teams up with a temperamental driver, played by Christian Bale, to attempt to win the Le Mans race. Damon and Bale have wonderful chemistry together, and Damon’s level-headed persona is perfectly suited for the role. He may not have the showier of the two parts, but this is Damon in pure movie star mode, and few actors are more perfectly suited for a role like this than he is.
FORD v FERRARI | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

9. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

9. Ocean's Eleven
Genre Thriller, Crime
Stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
In Ocean’s Eleven, Damon is self-consciously cast as the young upstart who plays off of George Clooney and Brad Pitt’s more experienced thieves. It’s a supporting role, but one that established that Damon was more than capable of hanging with the likes of Pitt and Clooney. Damon’s Linus is meant to be smart and naturally gifted but quite green, and the many scenes where Clooney and Pitt’s characters have to go over the rules of heisting are some of the best in the movie. Damon becomes a surrogate audience figure, and although he’s not the movie’s main character, it wouldn’t work without him.
Ocean's Eleven (2001) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

8. True Grit (2010)

8. True Grit
Genre Drama, Adventure, Western
Stars Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon
Directed by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Another supporting role for Damon, True Grit also may be the best performance he’s ever delivered. Playing a Texas ranger who joins up with a young girl and a US marshal on a quest to deliver the man who murdered the girl’s father to justice, Damon is playing an out-and-out fool and seems to relish the opportunity that the role provides him. This is Damon in a purely comic mode, and he’s rarely been funnier than he is here. The Coen brothers’ True Grit is a genuine masterpiece, and the only reason it’s not higher on this list is that Damon is not at the center of it.
True Grit - Trailer

7. Margaret (2011)

7. Margaret
Genre Drama
Stars Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
The story of Margaret‘s long journey to the screen is too much to get into here, but Damon’s supporting performance is absolutely crucial to what makes the movie work. Damon plays a teacher who strikes up a highly inappropriate relationship with one of his students, but what makes the movie great is that he’s very much just one part of this girl’s journey. Here, we get to see how quietly despicable Damon can be, even as he acts like a supportive teacher who only cares about his student’s best interests.
Margaret (2011) HD Movie Trailer - Kenneth Lonergan New Film

6. The Departed (2006)

6. The Departed
Genre Drama, Thriller, Crime
Stars Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Another great example of Damon in a co-lead role, The Departed features Damon as a cop who is secretly working for the mob. At the same time, Leonardo DiCaprio is a gangster who is really an undercover cop, and the two attempt to ferret one another out without being caught themselves. This is one of Scorsese’s most thrilling films, in large part thanks to Damon and DiCaprio’s dueling turns in the central roles. Damon got to whip out his full Boston accent here, and he used all of the charm he has in his back pocket to make you understand the movie’s most despicable character.
The Departed (2005) Official Trailer - Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson Movie HD

Read more: The best Leonardo DiCaprio movies of all time 

5. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

5. The Bourne Ultimatum
Genre Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Stars Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn
Directed by Paul Greengrass
The best action franchise of Damon’s career, The Bourne Ultimatum is the ideal representative from the franchise on this list. The sequel ranks among the best ever made, and that’s thanks in part to Paul Greengrass’s contribution to both this film and its predecessor. Really though, The Bourne Ultimatum just has a thrilling combination of good plotting and inventively made action, and it proved to be the perfect capper to the original trilogy of Bourne films. The less said about subsequent installments in this franchise, the better.
The Bourne Ultimatum Official Trailer #1 - David Strathairn Movie (2007) HD

4. The Last Duel (2021)

4. The Last Duel
Genre Action, Drama, History
Stars Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver
Directed by Ridley Scott
Perhaps an unlikely contender for a spot this high on the list, but The Last Duel is maybe the most underrated movie of the 2020s to date. Starring Damon as a noble knight who discovers that his wife is claiming that she was raped, the film is told in a Roshomon-like structure, offering three different perspectives on the events at its center. Damon is once again tasked with playing a doof here, but her performs the role admirably and then graciously steps out of the way to allow Jodie Comer, the film’s real star, to shine. The titular duel at the movie’s climax is thrilling, but that’s basically true for every moment of The Last Duel from beginning to end.
The Last Duel | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios

3. The Martian (2015)

3. The Martian
Genre Drama, Adventure, Science Fiction
Stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels
Directed by Ridley Scott
The Martian has a sprawling, star-studded ensemble, but it’s Matt Damon’s movie from front to back. Telling the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars who has to figure out how to survive there for years, the movie relies so heavily on Damon’s charm and charisma that it’s hard to imagine any other actor taking on the part. Damon makes surviving alone on Mars seem downright fun at moments, and The Martian is a great story about solving problems one at a time. It’s science fiction, but the kind that’s deeply rooted in real science.
The Martian | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

2. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

2. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Genre Thriller, Crime, Drama
Stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
Directed by Anthony Minghella
Coming on the heels of Good Will Hunting,  The Talented Mr. Ripley proved that Damon was going to have a long, long career in Hollywood. Here, he plays Tom Ripley, an obsessive con man who becomes ensconced in the life of a wealthy and powerful young man. All of the charm that Damon displayed as Will Hunting is totally absent here, replaced by an emptiness that feels both terrifying and sad. Tom Ripley is dangerous, and in spite of his square jaw and conventional leading man looks, Damon knows exactly how to make him feel like a real threat.
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Read more: The best Ben Affleck movies of all time

1. Good Will Hunting (1997)

1. Good Will Hunting
Genre Drama
Stars Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck
Directed by Gus Van Sant
The movie that definitively launched Damon and won him an Oscar, Good Will Hunting had to be at the top of this list. Damon plays Will, a brilliant mathematician who is scared of building a life based on his brilliance. The movie lives and dies on the performances of both Damon and Robin Williams, and the movie is still a tear-jerker all these years later. Is it a little sentimental? Maybe, but if you’re not weeping by the end of the movie, you don’t deserve everything that Damon has to offer.
Good Will Hunting | Official Trailer (HD) Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck | MIRAMAX

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance culture writer based in upstate New York. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The…
Every James Bond actor, ranked from worst to best
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, we've ranked every James Bond actor in the character's 60 year history.
Sean Connery as James Bond.

James Bond has been gracing our movie screens periodically for more than 60 years, and in that time, six different men have played the role. The length of time each James Bond actor played the part varies pretty wildly, but one thing that seems undeniable is that Bond has become an icon unto himself, separate from the men who have played him. None of these actors have been A-list American stars like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but each built a career in part out of playing James Bond.

Through each of these performances, Bond has changed and transformed, sometimes to be in step with the times and sometimes to be wildly outside of them. The quality of these movies has also varied significantly. Some have been among the best action movies ever made, while others have totally fallen flat. These actors all put their own distinctive imprint on the role, for better are worse, and each one of them only made Bond a firmer part of the culture as a whole. Without further ado, here is every James Bond actor ranked from worst to best.

Read more
The best Ryan Gosling movies of all time
These are our favorite movies from one of Canada's finest exports
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie.

Few actors have had more fascinating careers in the 21st century than Ryan Gosling. Since emerging as an A-list star, Gosling has found a way to inhabit roles in broad comedies, serious dramas, and almost everything in between while maintaining a remarkably consistent persona. Gosling is a great actor, but he's also someone who knows where and when to push himself and when he should rely on the charms that come with his insanely good looks. He's younger than movie stars like Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but he definitely exists in the same mold. These are the best Ryan Gosling movies so far.

First Man (2018)

Read more
Disney Plus GroupWatch: What is it, and how does it work?
Watch a show or movie along with friends in real time
A Disney Plus screen preparing for GroupWatch.

One of the best features of Disney Plus is its Watch Party feature, also known as GroupWatch. It's a great way of joining together to watch all your favorite shows via the streaming service. Read on to learn more about how to use Disney Plus GroupWatch, or check out this list of the best movies on Disney Plus.

What is Disney Plus GroupWatch?
Launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney Plus GroupWatch allows you to watch a show or movie together with up to six other friends remotely. It allows for an entirely virtual watch party, where everyone can watch and react to the same thing in real time. The feature syncs Disney Plus playback across the group so that everyone is watching the same thing at the same time. While doing so, each user can pause, rewind, or fast-forward the content for the whole party, so no one ever falls behind. There is no "leader" of the GroupWatch. Everyone is equal and has the ability to control the viewing experience.

Read more