Film Icon | From a CIA Spy without a Memory to a Teller of Fairy Tales, Spotlighting Matt Damon

Friday, April 7, 2017

Years ago, I wrote a post about Sandra Bullock’s film career, her movie roles and which I liked best. Originally, I had thought this idea could become more of a regular practice, but time got away from me (in spectacular fashion) and I am just now writing my second “Film Icon” blog – besides, most of you who watch movies now the films your favorite stars have appeared in. 

Film Icon | From a Plucky FBI Agent with Heart to a Protective Mother, Spotlighting Sandra Bullock

Like Sandra, Matt Damon is an Oscar-winner as a screenplay writer (Good Will Hunting), actor and seasoned producer (including for television shows) who's name is synonymous with bringing in a sold-out crowd at the box office. 

Below is a modest list of the films he has appeared in and those I’ve seen that credit his name, along with some thoughts on the movie.

The  film, The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) is one I rented with little to no knowledge of its story or box office success (or lack of). Matt was quite young in this role, which was a switch for a girl who “knows” him as Jason Bourne, and although he had an impressive list of co-stars (Will Smith, Charlize Theron) he held his own and turned in a great performance. Not my in my “top five” Damon film rankings but it is a pretty 30’s era film.

All the Pretty Horses (2000) was the most recent old film I saw starring Damon and all I can say is – there was a reason I’d not seen it. Watching this movie was kind of like sitting through a boring finance lecture or uninspired sermon. This title most certainly takes first place on my list of least-favorite Damon flicks. It was unusual, which isn’t something I’m against when it comes to the “magic” of movie-making but the plot seems to go nowhere and even the ending feels… stupid. (Sorry, fans!)

Ocean’s Eleven (2001) | What better word to describe this than fun! That is the best way to describe this cool caper film that inspired two sequels (Ocean’s Twelve / Thirteen) both of which are equally entertaining. The third movie is less interesting but ironically it is the movie that Damon’s lacking-in-confidence character, Linus is actually allowed a larger role in the con – and he is hilarious

Anyone who likes fairy-tales may have noticed Brother’s Grimm (2005) as a movie that could be a good one. I rented it primarily because of its fairy tale connection but also because of its top two billed stars. Based on the “real life” of two of the most recognized men to ever write a storybook Matt plays something of the bumbling idiot brother in this one but the movie itself isn’t nearly as memorable as it could have been.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) | What more can I say about this trilogy!? This is the third one of the bunch and seems almost the best. Each movie has built off of the others and keeps our pulse pounding every single second – each time Jason (Damon) finds another clue to piece back together what once was his life. Damon is brilliant in these movies. 

The Adjustment Bureau (2011) | Interesting would best describe this film. Many Christians found serious fault with it because it seems to toy with the idea of our free will – whether we have one or don’t. Personally, I found it an intriguing, well-conceived mystery that pushes us to think about our choices.  

This one, We Bought a Zoo (2011), made me smile and surpassed my expectations. Here Damon plays a widowed father struggling to piece back together his family. It was charming. It was poignant. It was perfect. Although it didn’t make its presence known with strong box office returns or otherwise, this film is one of my favorites from an actor who has proven how versatile he is.

Though it's far from my favorite historical film, I recently saw The Monuments Men (2014) which was somehow better than I thought, and also nothing like I wanted it to be. Yes, I know. This makes no sense. 

His most recent film (that I've seen) is a return to the (modern movie) iconic role of Jason Bourne (2016). In it, Jason's journey comes full circle in a sense, and while I'd love to see more of these films, there was also a sense of completion. 

Currently Damon stars in The Great Wall, and next he stars in Downsizing and Ocean's Eight. Following that, he will produce the 2019 adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie, Witness for the Prosecution

What are your favorite Matt Damon flicks? Share which ones, and why they are your top picks below. 

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.


  1. I enjoyed the Bourne movies and the Ocean's Eleven movies!

    1. ME TOO, Heidi. They're among my favorites. :)

  2. Damon is one of my favorite, if not my top favorite, male actors. We own all the Bourne movies as well as all the Ocean movies. We plan on seeing The Great Wall as well, just because he's in it and I also think it's an interesting switch for him. We also saw We Bought a Zoo, which I thought was rather touching and a great movie (I'd love an edited version to watch with my kids). Fun post, Rissi!

    1. I own all of the Bourne and Ocean's films too, Tressa. The former are tense, cutting-edge thrillers, and the latter are SO MUCH FUN! I've not seen The Great Wall, but the controversy attached to it makes me think I'd like it. :)

      'Zoo' is one of my favorites because it's such a good, "solid" family film.

      Thanks! It was fun to put together. :)


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