Film Icon Matt Damon: From CIA Spy without a Memory to a Fairy Tale


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 Sandra Bullock: From Fearless FBI Agent with Heart to Protective Mother

Film Icon Matt Damon: From CIA Spy without a Memory to a Fairy Tale. Spotlighting the many roles of Matt Damon over the years. © Rissi JC

Like Sandra, Matt Damon is an Oscar-winner as a screenplay writer (Good Will Hunting), actor and seasoned producer (including for television shows). A name that’s 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 did rent, knowing little about. Matt is quite young in this role, which is odd to see as a viewer who “knows” him as Jason Bourne, and although he had an impressive list of co-stars (Will Smith, Charlize Theron) he holds in own in a great performance. Not my in my “top five” Damon film rankings but it’s 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), is there a better word to describe this than fun! That’s the best way to use for this cool caper film that inspired two sequels, 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

I know as fact that The Bourne Identity (2002) is not the first film I ever saw Damon in, but it’s perhaps my favorite, or high up on the list. Ironically, I watched the second or third film in this series before going back to re-watch from the star. Despite the reluctance to watch them, this has become one of my favorite spy thriller series – ever.

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.

Really what more can one say about this trilogy? The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) is the third one of the Bourne bunch and seems almost the best. Each movie builds off each other, 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. 

Film Icon Matt Damon: From CIA Spy without a Memory to a Fairy Tale. Spotlighting the many roles of Matt Damon over the years. © Rissi JC

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’s charming, perfect and poignant. 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, The Monuments Men (2014) is a more recent watch. It’s somehow how better than I’d anticipate, and also nothing like I wanted it to be. Yes, I know. This makes no sense. 

His more recent role is a return to the 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 is 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; are any of these film icon Matt Damon titles a favorite? Share which ones, and why they are your top picks below. 

Film Icon Matt Damon: From CIA Spy without a Memory to a Fairy Tale. Spotlighting the many roles of Matt Damon over the years. #BoxOffice #Movies #MattDamon #WhattoWatch #TheArchives Click To Tweet

Note: this was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. New edits and changes to fit current formats have been made to this publication; additional changes were also made.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. 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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