Ben Affleck Movies Ranked

4. Air (2023)

Air Review

Exchanging his morally complex work for a more straightforward and feel-good movie on all things Americana – sports, big business, consumerism, and the joys of the workplace – Ben Affleck navigated what could have been a piece that erased the impact of Michael Jordan’s skill (by exclusively celebrating the corporate men of Nike) to offer a film that was reasonably celebratory of the basketballer’s once-in-a-lifetime talents.

Though many of Air’s most memorable moments – a Matt Damon monologue, Viola Davis’ first appearance as Michael Jordan’s mother, the idea of Jason Bateman’s character to pay NBA fines for the new shoe breaking league rules – originated on the page, Affleck’s contribution is not unfelt, the director ensuring that more than moments and historical documentation, Air is remembered for how it makes you feel. And it makes you feel good.

Air doesn’t expand, evolve or even continue the themes present in the rest of Affleck’s oeuvre and must therefore be considered an outlier, but as a standalone piece on an important figure (and product) of American culture, it is a worthwhile piece of cinema.

3. Gone Baby Gone (2007)

gone baby gone

Affleck’s 2007 release, starring brother Casey Affleck and big-screen legends Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman, marked the writer-director’s first writing work (aside from a brief stint on the team that brought ‘Push, Nevada’ to the small screen) since his Oscar-winning story for 1997’s Good Will Hunting.

The drama-thriller, set against the backdrop of the director’s home town of Boston, marked the first of his entanglements with the morality of crime and the policing of it, as Casey Affleck’s Patrick Kenzie volunteered himself and his partner (Michelle Monaghan) to track down a young girl who had been kidnapped, inevitably getting caught under the strain of the task he had set upon his family. The movie, which features some powerful acting and a plot twist worthy of some of Affleck’s most respected peers, won critical praise across the board for its brooding and challenging material that honestly explored the limits of humanity.

Ranking in third place courtesy only of the quality of his other two films, Gone Baby Gone is a very good watch for anyone interested in seeing the potential of Affleck’s work and must be considered the turning point in his career; the first of his major artistic contributions to cinema.

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