The 22 Best Matt Damon Movies Ranked

Matt Damon is a vastly talented actor, producer, and screenwriter with some fantastic movies on his record. The Massachusetts-born star's career has spanned five decades, and he's appeared in almost 80 films in that time.

Some of those films have been terrible, but that's the case for almost every actor as they meander through the peaks and troughs of their careers. The majority of Damon's credits, however, are worth watching.

In this piece, we'll take you through the 22 best movies in which Matt Damon has a performing role.

1. The Bourne Identity (2002, directed by Doug Liman)

The Bourne Identity Franka Potente Matt Damon Chris Cooper
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Bourne Identity is an action-thriller based on Robert Ludlum's 1980 novel and the opening installment in the Bourne movie series. In this one, the eponymous Foreign Service Officer Jason Bourne suffers from psychogenic amnesia and tries to ascertain his identity while dealing with a secret conspiracy within the CIA.

It's a skillfully made, action-packed, well-paced, and surprisingly witty movie that kicked this franchise off with a bang. Damon instantly made the role of Bourne his own, bringing the character to life expertly and helping to create a thoroughly entertaining spectacle.

2. The Last Duel (2021, directed by Ridley Scott)

The Last Duel Matt Damon Adam Driver Jodie Comer
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

The Last Duel is a historical action drama based on Eric Jager's 2004 book The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France. It's about a knight challenging his former friend to a judicial duel after the former's wife accuses the latter of assaulting her.

This movie has a lot of thought-provoking material, mainly regarding misogyny and related issues. It's genuinely brutal and well-acted by a great cast that includes Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer. The cinematography is awe-inspiring and overflowing with majestic grandeur.

3. Contagion (2011, directed by Steven Soderbergh)

Contagion Matt Damon Kate Winslet Jude Law
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Contagion is a medical thriller about a global pandemic involving a highly contagious virus transmitted by respiratory droplets and fomites. It depicts attempts to identify and contain the disease, the introduction of a vaccine to help, and the social disorder the situation creates. Remind you of anything?

Its incredible cast includes Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, and Marion Cotillard, who perform excellently. Contagion has a tight plot, lots of tension, and knows how to channel our collective fears. It's especially poignant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Chasing Amy (1997, directed by Kevin Smith)

Chasing Amy Ben Affleck Joey Lauren Adams Ethan Suplee
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

The third movie in Smith's View Askewniverse series, Chasing Amy, is a romantic comedy-drama about a male comic book artist who falls in love with a lesbian who is also a comic book artist. Unfortunately, the situation causes a rift between the man and his best friend, another comic book artist.

Damon's appearance in Chasing Amy is only brief as “Exec. #2,” but the rest of the cast, including Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, and Jason Lee, is excellent. It's a sensitive and honest movie that deals with some fragile themes incredibly well.

5. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, directed by Anthony Minghella)

The Talented Mr. Ripley Matt Damon Gwyneth Paltrow Jude Law
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a psychological thriller based on Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel. It's about a young underachiever named Tom Ripley in 1950s New York, who is sent to Italy to find a spoiled millionaire playboy and bring him back to America.

Damon is excellent in the eponymous role and stands out in a fantastic cast that includes Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. This movie received five Academy Award nominations and deservedly so, although it failed to win any. It's intelligent, tense, and darkly twisted.

6. Courage Under Fire (1996, directed by Edward Zick)

Courage Under Fire Denzel Washington Meg Ryan Lou Diamond Phillips Matt Damon
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Courage Under Fire is a Gulf War movie about a U.S. Army officer investigating a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor while feeling despondent about a deadly mistake he made in action.

This movie's great cast includes Denzel Washington as the despondent officer, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Bronson Pinchot. Damon plays medic Andrew Ilario, and he does so adeptly. It's an intriguing, intelligent, emotional, and profoundly moving film.

7. Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005, directed by Mark Cowen)

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Tom Hanks John Corbett Andrew Husmann Matt Damon
Image Credit: IMAX.

Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D is a feature-length IMAX 3D documentary about the Apollo program's twelve astronauts, the first humans to go to the Moon.

Damon provides the voice of Alan Shepard in this one, while Tom Hanks narrates, and the likes of Bryan Cranston and Morgan Freeman voice the other astronauts. It's an outstanding documentary that lives up to its “magnificent” billing. It's fun, inspirational, and genuinely mesmerizing.

8. Field of Dreams (1989, directed by Phil Alden Robinson)

Field of Dreams Kevin Costner James Earl Jones Ray Liotta
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Field of Dreams is a fantasy sports drama movie based on W. P. Kinsella's 1982 novel Shoeless Joe. It's about a farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield that attracts the spirits of deceased baseball legends, including Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Chicago Black Sox.

Damon is merely a teenage extra in this one, alongside Ben Affleck, but he's in it, so it counts! It's a fantastic movie about family, togetherness, and hope. It's deliciously sentimental, ambitious, and beautifully filmed, and the climactic payoff is incredibly satisfying.

9. Ponyo (2008, directed by Hayao Miyazaki)

Ponyo Liam Neeson
Image Credit: Studio Ghibli.

Ponyo is a Japanese animated fantasy movie about the eponymous goldfish who escapes from the ocean and gets rescued by a five-year-old human boy she bonds with after being washed ashore while trapped in a glass jar.

In the English version of the movie, Damon voices Kōichi, the young boy's father. He does a fine job alongside a fantastic voice cast boasting Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson among its ranks. This film is visually stunning, sweet, energetic, and suitable for the whole family.

10. The Martian (2015, directed by Ridley Scott)

The Martian Matt Damon Jessica Chastain Kristen Wiig
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

The Martian is a sci-fi movie based on Andy Weir's 2011 novel. It's about a lone astronaut's struggle to survive on Mars after being left behind and NASA's desperate efforts to rescue and bring him safely back to Earth.

Its exceptional ensemble cast includes Damon in the lead role alongside Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Benedict Wong. It's a fantastic movie with seven Academy Award nominations, though it sadly won none. The Martian is thrilling, intelligent, and even funny at times, the visual effects are spectacular, and Damon is sublime.

11. The Departed (2006, directed by Martin Scorsese)

The Departed Matt Damon Jack Nicholson
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The Departed is an epic crime thriller and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie Internal Affairs, loosely based on the real-life Boston Winter Hill Gang. It follows an undercover police officer and a mole in the force trying to discover each other's identities while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.

It received five Academy Award nominations and won four, and rightly so. Damon plays the man groomed as a spy inside the Massachusetts State Police, and he's fantastic. The rest of the impressive cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin, and Anthony Anderson. The Departed is gritty, expertly directed and acted, engaging, and highly quotable.

12. No Sudden Move (2021, directed by Steven Soderbergh)

No Sudden Move Brendan Fraser
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

No Sudden Move is a neo-noir period crime thriller about a group of criminals who are brought together under mysterious circumstances and work together to discover the truth of what's happening when their seemingly simple job goes badly wrong.

Damon makes an uncredited appearance in this one, but the main cast is exceptional. It includes Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Ray Liotta, and Bill Duke, all of whom are at their best. No Sudden Move is a thrilling crime caper that looks gorgeous, juggles its many layers brilliantly, and is entirely fascinating.

13. Air (2023, directed by Ben Affleck)

Air Matt Damon Jason Bateman Ben Affleck
Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Air is a biographical sports drama based on actual events about the origin of the basketball shoe line Air Jordan. It follows a Nike employee as he tries to strike a business deal with then-rookie Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan.

Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro, the movie's lead role, and he's excellent – particularly in his scenes with his good friend Ben Affleck. Damon and Affleck star alongside Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis, who are all in top form. Air is dynamic, funny, warm, and brilliantly written.

14. Ford v Ferrari (2019, directed by James Mangold)

Ford v Ferrari Matt Damon Christian Bale Jon Bernthal
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Ford v Ferrari is a sports drama about two car designers battling corporate interference to build a revolutionary racing car that defies the laws of physic to help Ford defeat Ferrari at the 1966 incarnation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans event.

It's a great movie with a terrific cast that includes Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, and a top turn from Damon as driver, designer, and builder Carroll Shelby. It's polished, gripping, and thrilling; you don't need to be a racing fan to enjoy it. Ford v Ferrari was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Editing.

15. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007, directed by Paul Greengrass)

The Bourne Ultimatum Matt Damon Edgar Ramírez Joan Allen
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Bourne Ultimatum is an action-thriller based on Robert Ludlum's 1990 novel and the third installment in the Bourne movie series after 2002's The Bourne Identity and 2004's The Bourne Supremacy. In this one, the eponymous Bourne continues searching for information about his past and becomes a target of an assassin program.

It's Damon's best performance in the Bourne role, which benefits the movie massively. The supporting cast of Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Édgar Ramírez, and Albert Finney is also on fire. It's intelligent, thrilling, and uniquely filmed, and it's undoubtedly the finest move in the Bourne franchise.

16. Thor: Ragnarok (2017, directed by Taika Waititi)

Thor Ragnarok Chris Hemsworth Tom Hiddleston Cate Blanchett Matt Damon
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Thor: Ragnarok is a superhero movie, the sequel to 2011's Thor and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and the 17th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film follows Thor's attempts to escape the alien planet Sakaar to save Asgard from his evil sister Hela and the impending prophecized Ragnarök.

Damon only has a cameo as an Asgardian actor playing Loki, portraying the events of Thor: The Dark World, and he looks like he's enjoying himself. The rest of the movie is a hoot, with Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Mark Ruffalo, and Tessa Thompson having a blast. Thor: Ragnarok is funny, colorful, and wonderfully action-packed.

17. Behind the Candelabra (2013, directed by Steven Soderbergh)

Behind the Candelabra Michael Douglas Matt Damon Scott Bakula
Image Credit: HBO Films.

Behind the Candelabra is a biographical comedy-drama movie that dramatizes the final ten years of the life of famous pianist Liberace, his relationship with Scott Thorson, and the lawsuit Thorson filed against him.

Michael Douglas brilliantly plays Liberace, with Damon superbly portraying Thorson as well. Behind the Candelabra is an honest, entertaining, and sometimes sad movie that conveys the idea of celebrity loneliness in a sensitive fashion. It is a tragedy that Douglas and Damon didn't get any significant award recognition.

18. Saving Private Ryan (1998, directed by Steven Spielberg)

Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks Matt Damon Tom Sizemore
Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures / Paramount Pictures.

Saving Private Ryan is an epic World War II movie following a group of soldiers on their mission to find and remove the eponymous Private James Ryan from the war after all three of his brothers lose their lives on the battlefield.

It was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won two, for Best Special Effects and Best Sound. Tom Hanks is brilliant in the lead role as Captain John Miller, and Damon portrays the eponymous Private Ryan with absolute sincerity. Saving Private Ryan is brutal, brilliant, expertly directed and performed, and incredibly eye-opening. The opening scene on Omaha Beach is one of the finest ever put to film.

19. True Grit (2010, directed by the Coen Brothers)

True Grit Jeff Bridges Matt Damon Hailee Steinfeld
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

True Grit is a Western movie and the second adaptation of Charles Portis' 1968 novel after the John Wayne-led 1969 film. It's about a dogged and determined teenager who enlists the help of a tough U.S. Marshal to track down the man who murdered her father.

Although it received ten Academy Award nominations, it didn't win any, which is a huge shame. True Grit is dark, atmospheric, and surprisingly fun, with brilliantly developed characters. Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin, and Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, are all fabulous in it.

20. Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004, directed by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller)

Howard Zinn You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train Matt Damon Daniel Berrigan Howard Zinn
Image Credit: First Run Features.

Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train is a feature-length documentary about the life of Howard Zinn, a historian, activist, and author, and how he involved himself in some of the most pertinent social movements places during his 87 years on this Earth.

Damon narrates this brilliant documentary with objective assurance. It's concise and far from being elaborate, but it perfectly illustrates the achievements of one of America's most significant and underappreciated academics. It truly is a warm and loving tribute to Howard Zinn.

21. Good Will Hunting (1997, directed by Gus Van Sant)

Good Will Hunting Robin Williams Matt Damon Ben Affleck
Photo Credit: Miramax.

Good Will Hunting is a psychological drama about the eponymous character, a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who possesses a remarkable talent for mathematics but requires the assistance of a psychologist to find proper direction in his life.

It was Damon's early defining role, and it came in a movie he wrote along with Ben Affleck. He perfectly plays Hunting, while Robin Williams portrays his mentor Dr. Sean Maguire equally well. Good Will Hunting received nine Academy Award nominations and won two, including Best Supporting Actor for Williams. It's touching, clever, and hugely entertaining, and the payoff is excellent.

22. Inside Job (2010, directed by Charles Ferguson)

Inside Job Matt Damon Gylfi Zoega Andri Snær Magnason
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

Inside Job is a feature-length documentary that takes an in-depth look at what caused the worldwide financial crisis in the late-2000s, particularly the financial services industry's systemic corruption in the United States.

This documentary is so good that it won Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. Damon narrates it and does an incredible job of getting information across. It's certainly not an upbeat spectacle – it's downright disheartening, in truth – but it does have some moments of good humor and provides a brilliant insight into the crisis.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.