The Weekend Rent: Go on a Ben-der!

The Weekend Rent: Go on a Ben-der!

Sep 17, 2010

Ben Affleck's role as Doug MacRay—one of the masked thieves that takes a Boston bank at gunpoint in the crime thriller The Town—is one of the actor's best roles in years as well as his second directorial effort. Affleck's career has more highs and lows than a bipolar sufferer's average week, from critical acclaim (Good Will Hunting) to panned box-office blockbusters (Armageddon) to notorious trash (Gigli) to cult favorites (Mallrats). If you can't make it to theaters to see The Town this weekend, here are a few reasons to go on a Ben-der.

Mallrats: In this Kevin Smith classic, Affleck stars as Shannon Hamilton—a clothing store manager who doesn't want Brodie (Jason Lee) to get the girl (Shannen Doherty) because of Brodie's "lack of a shopping agenda." Since Affleck usually plays the hero in films, this mall romp is a fun example of him getting to play against type.

Good Will Hunting: Affleck and BFF Matt Damon starred in and shared an Oscar for writing the screenplay for this Gus Van Sant-directed drama about a genius MIT janitor (Damon) with a serious knack for mathematics. This movie, available on both DVD and Blu-ray, is the one that made Affleck a household name.

200 Cigarettes: Everyone seems to be in this ensemble comedy set in Manhattan during New Year's Eve in 1981, including Kate Hudson, Courtney Love, Christina Ricci, Jay Mohr, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo and even Ben's younger brother, Casey Affleck. Ben plays the dim-witted bartender whom every woman seems to want a piece of.

Daredevil: OK, so Affleck's first foray into superhero territory as a blind man whose other four senses are extraordinarily heightened doesn't hold up alongside The Dark Knight or Iron Man, but it was successful enough to spawn a spin-off (Elektra) and earn him an MTV Movie Award for "Best Kiss" with co-star/future wife Jennifer Garner. The director's cut is available on both DVD and Blu-ray.

Hollywoodland: Affleck nailed the role as George Reeves—the real-life actor who played Superman on TV—in this acclaimed drama co-starring Diane Lane and Adrien Brody that centers on Reeves's suspicious death, which is ruled a suicide. Affleck took home a few awards for best supporting actor for this 2006 gem, which is available on DVD and the deader-than-Reeves HD DVD format.

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