This Ben Affleck watchlist bats a thousand

Before you watch “Triple Frontier,” check out these Affleck essentials.

Pierce Singgih, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Laugh all you want, but Ben Affleck is a good actor. He is an even better director. Sure, he fumbled through his career in the early 2000s with flops like “Daredevil,” “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl,” but he had a real resurgence from the late 2000s through the early 2010s. With his recent portrayal of Batman, he has fallen out of the good graces of mainstream audiences, but his talent for filmmaking probably still exists somewhere deep within his soul. Before our review of his latest film “Triple Frontier,” check out this essential watchlist that highlights Affleck’s phenomenal abilities as a writer, director and actor.

Good Will Hunting

Although Affleck has a minor role in the Matt Damon and Robin Williams-led film, he also co-wrote the emotionally exhausting movie, sharing the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with Damon. He perfectly portrays the thick-skulled Boston hooligan, adding moments of sincerity and emotional depth to his foul-mouthed persona, including that iconic “best part of my day speech.” The critically-acclaimed film has withstood the test of time, never failing to produce tears with every rewatch.

Gone Baby Gone

Affleck shows he is more than an actor and a writer with his 2007 directorial debut “Gone Baby Gone.” The film follows a private investigator as he takes on a heartbreaking kidnapping case, presenting a dark and dismal mystery that eventually leads to an impossible moral decision. Although Affleck does not act in “Gone Baby Gone,” the star-studded film, featuring Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman and Amy Ryan, keep you on your toes throughout the whole film and their characters’ decisions linger with you long after the credits roll.

The Town

In what may be his best film, “The Town” follows Boston bank robbers who seek to rob Fenway Park. Affleck is at his directorial peak here, presenting a heist film that’s dramatic, action packed and sympathetic toward our anti-heroes. Many heist films feel similar to each other, following the same story beats, but “The Town” is unique, vulgar, violent and utilizes Boston as more than off-kilter stereotypes or a beautiful skyline.


Many consider “Argo” to be Affleck’s best. It won Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards, earning Affleck his second Oscar and further validating his status as a premier director in the industry. Tense and thrilling, “Argo” follows the true story of the CIA’s rescue mission of six hostages from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis. Affleck shines as both the star and director of the film, skillfully commanding the screen while building jaw-clenching suspense from behind the camera. It is equally entertaining as it is exciting, highlighting how well Affleck can craft his stories.

Gone Girl

Directed by David Fincher in 2014, “Gone Girl” follows a husband who becomes the primary suspect in his wife’s sudden disappearance. Mysteriously thrilling, “Gone Girl” takes you down twists and turns that leave your spine tingling and your feet tapping. While Rosamund Pike is unabashedly the star of this film, Affleck perfectly plays the easy-to-hate, clueless husband who deserves everything that comes to him. Perfect for those who enjoy mystery thrillers, “Gone Girl” is nothing short of brilliant.

The Accountant

An action thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor, Ben Affleck plays an autistic, low-key accountant who doubles as an independent secret spy. “The Accountant” is an action film masterpiece, presenting action that is visceral, violent and comprehensible. Many modern action films feature too many smash cuts or utilize too much shaky cam, making the action sequences all but competent. In this film, the action shines, showcasing Affleck as the ultimate killing machine. Although it becomes sappy and convoluted toward the end, “The Accountant” is surprisingly endearing and certainly features Affleck as his prime crime-fighting self.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Just kidding.

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