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Face-Off: Matt Damon vs. Ben Affleck

08.08.2013by: Mathew Plale
Last week, Malcolm X proved more popular than Dirk Diggler, as you chose Denzel Washington over Mark Wahlberg.

With Matt Damonís sci-fi actioner ELYSIUM due out in theaters this Friday and Ben Affleckís oh-so-quiet TO THE WONDER now out on DVD and Blu-ray, this weekís FACE-OFF pits the men against each other to see which of the Beantown BFFs you prefer.

Filmography
Damonís debut was MYSTIC PIZZA in 1988, and in the pre-GOOD WILL HUNTING days he spent a portion of his days working with Affleck (SCHOOL TIES, GLORY DAZE). After GWH, Damon got work with such directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Gus Van Sant, Steven Soderbergh, Paul Greengrass, and Martin Scorsese. Some of his finer works include SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE DEPARTED, two-thirds of the OCEANíS TRILOGY, and TRUE GRIT, while his duds include ALL THE PRETTY HORSES, HEREAFTER and STUCK ON YOU.
Affleck had a much stronger pre-GWH lineup than Damon, as he appeared in (aside from SCHOOL TIES and GLORY DAZES) CHASING AMY, MALLRATS and DAZED AND CONFUSED, which found him paddling freshman and donning his single greatest haircut. Affleck took a different route than Damon and wound up collaborating with the likes of John Madden, Michael Bay, Jennifer Lopez, and others. While Affleck certainly has good movies to his credit (ARGO, AMY, THE TOWN), there are far too many flops (DAREDEVIL, FORCES OF NATURE, GIGLI) on his resume.
Box Office
Ten of Damonís films have grossed more than $100 million domestically, with two having exceeded $200 million. Damonís lifetime gross currently sits at $2.6 billion, in major part to his involvement in the BOURNE and OCEANíS franchises, and his average is an impressive $72.9.
Affleck has had seven pictures cross the $100 million mark, with his top two being pairings with Michael Bay. Both Affleckís lifetime gross and average pale in comparison to his friendís, as his total is nearly $1 billion less than Damonís and his average is $50.7 million.
Awards
Damonís first trip to the Oscars saw him co-winning Best Original Screenplay for GWH. His only other nod for acting came for his turn in INVICTUS. Heís proven more popular at the Golden Globes, where his performances in GWH, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, INVICTUS, and THE INFORMANT! were nominated. Damon has also earned Emmy nods for both producing (PROJECT GREENLIGHT) and acting (30 ROCK).
Affleckís behind-the-scenes roles have proven popular with the Academy, as he has won for both co-writing GWH and producing (not {ahem} directing) ARGO. Both of those films also won him Golden Globes and he was nominated for his acting in HOLLYWOODLAND. Like Damon, heís earned Emmy nods for his work on PROJECT GREENLIGHT. Unlike Damon, Affleck has eight Razzie nominations with two ďwins.Ē

The Razzies do a lot to hurt Affleck, but winning two Oscars and two Golden Globes gives him the edge.
Boston Pride
Damon studied at Harvard, which many of you recognize as Max Fischerís ďsafety,Ē but left his senior year to pursue acting. He (along with Affleck) set and shot GWH in Boston, but didnít return to Beantown for cinematic purposes until THE DEPARTED in 2006.
Affleck has made his passion for Boston more obvious, having used the city as the backdrop for his first two directorial features (GONE BABY GONE, THE TOWN). Affleck has also professed his devotion to the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and New England Patriots. He is also probably a big fan of CHEERS.
Philanthropy
Damonís much-publicized humanitarian work includes co-founding the H2O Africa Foundation and promoting Water.org, which both focus on providing clean water to developing nations. Damon also has involved himself with the Not On Our Watch Project, which brings attention to human rights issues across the globe, as well as the ONE Campaign and Feeding America, which look to end hunger and poverty in Third World nations.
Affleck has been involved with the non-profit A-T Children's Project, which searches for a cure for the genetic disease of the same name, and, in 2010, he formed the Eastern Congo Initiative, which is meant to provide aid to CBOs in the country. Affleck has also teamed with the Global Poverty Project by living on only $1.50 a day, which must be quite the challenge for someone with three kids and a mansion in LA.
IT'S A TIE!
Damon has the stronger resume and box office performance, while Affleck has more Oscars on his mantle and unmatched hometown pride. In the end, theyíre two respectable movie stars that put as much effort into commendable charity work as they do their filmographies.

If you have suggestions for an upcoming Face-Off column, shoot me an e-mail at mathewplale@joblo.com!

Which method do you prefer? Lion face or lemon face?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!

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+1
12:41AM on 08/09/2013
You forgot the section on taking over the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Matt Damon definitely
You forgot the section on taking over the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Matt Damon definitely
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11:41PM on 08/08/2013

Damon

I'll go with Damon because we've never had to talk about him "coming back" from the abyss.
I'll go with Damon because we've never had to talk about him "coming back" from the abyss.
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11:25PM on 08/08/2013

I can't Decide!

I like both guys, and I think both bring their own pros and cons to the acting table...so it's a tie in my eyes.
I like both guys, and I think both bring their own pros and cons to the acting table...so it's a tie in my eyes.
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+5
9:49PM on 08/08/2013

Seriously...

Who cares about Boston Pride?! Sounds like it was thrown in there to get the tie. Damon is a much better actor with a laundry list of better movies. Affleck is not that great an actor. Doing well as a director, but the movies he stars in are lame, except for the Town, and that seemed like a Heat knockoff.
Who cares about Boston Pride?! Sounds like it was thrown in there to get the tie. Damon is a much better actor with a laundry list of better movies. Affleck is not that great an actor. Doing well as a director, but the movies he stars in are lame, except for the Town, and that seemed like a Heat knockoff.
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+4
7:15PM on 08/08/2013

tie breaker for me goes to matt damon

cause it's funner to say maaaatt daaaaaamon
cause it's funner to say maaaatt daaaaaamon
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6:18PM on 08/08/2013
I've always liked Affleck's personality a lot more than Damon's. And that's not saying Damon comes across as an a-hole or whatever. But Affleck seems way more down to earth. And seems genuinely funnier. But box office prowess rules all. So I suppose it's Damon FTW.
I've always liked Affleck's personality a lot more than Damon's. And that's not saying Damon comes across as an a-hole or whatever. But Affleck seems way more down to earth. And seems genuinely funnier. But box office prowess rules all. So I suppose it's Damon FTW.
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3:27PM on 08/08/2013

Matt Damon...easily.

Sorry, but I'm not a big fan of Affleck. He just annoys the hell out of me, even in Dazed and Confused, which is one of my favorite movies. Granted Argo was a great movie and he did a great job...I honestly can't think of another movie, off the top of my head, that I enjoyed him in. Not saying there isn't one, but I just can't think of it. When it comes to Matt Doman though, he's an all around great actor. I actually look forward to the movies he's in. Just because someone has won an award or
Sorry, but I'm not a big fan of Affleck. He just annoys the hell out of me, even in Dazed and Confused, which is one of my favorite movies. Granted Argo was a great movie and he did a great job...I honestly can't think of another movie, off the top of my head, that I enjoyed him in. Not saying there isn't one, but I just can't think of it. When it comes to Matt Doman though, he's an all around great actor. I actually look forward to the movies he's in. Just because someone has won an award or two, doesn't mean they've had a better career. I would rather watch an actor I know I'm going to enjoy, than one that I can only remember enjoying in a movie one time.
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3:07PM on 08/08/2013

Come on!

Although Affleck has made a great comeback, he is still far behind Damon who has a near perfect career (only trailing DiCaprio) going on as of right now. Affleck looks to be back to making duds in front of the camera with the upcoming Runner Runner, while Damon has Elysium and The Monuments Men coming.
Although Affleck has made a great comeback, he is still far behind Damon who has a near perfect career (only trailing DiCaprio) going on as of right now. Affleck looks to be back to making duds in front of the camera with the upcoming Runner Runner, while Damon has Elysium and The Monuments Men coming.
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11:47AM on 08/08/2013
I'm not against the tie, as Affleck is proving just as much of a director as Damon is an actor. That Matt Damon avoided the sort of bad publicity Ben Affleck had a decade ago puts him only marginally in the lead for me.
I'm not against the tie, as Affleck is proving just as much of a director as Damon is an actor. That Matt Damon avoided the sort of bad publicity Ben Affleck had a decade ago puts him only marginally in the lead for me.
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11:41AM on 08/08/2013

Right now, Damon...

But Affleck's potential behind the camera could take him to a whole new level in Hollywood.
Great face-off btw.
But Affleck's potential behind the camera could take him to a whole new level in Hollywood.
Great face-off btw.
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9:48AM on 08/08/2013
I like the tie. Affleck is a great film maker. Damon is a movie star. They need to make another film together.
I like the tie. Affleck is a great film maker. Damon is a movie star. They need to make another film together.
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1:31PM on 08/08/2013
Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season
Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season
9:47AM on 08/08/2013

Tie

Damon's the better actor while Affleck kills it in the director's chair.
Damon's the better actor while Affleck kills it in the director's chair.
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9:41AM on 08/08/2013

Affleck

Was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!
Was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!
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9:04AM on 08/08/2013

Damon's only acting nod?

He was also nominated for Best Actor in Good Will Hunting.
He was also nominated for Best Actor in Good Will Hunting.
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8:21AM on 08/08/2013

Good choice but...

Stop with the ties. Pick one or the other already!
Stop with the ties. Pick one or the other already!
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8:18AM on 08/08/2013
Cop out! Boston pride? Really? Ben Affleck was the shit in Phantoms. But really though Damon because of Bourne.
Cop out! Boston pride? Really? Ben Affleck was the shit in Phantoms. But really though Damon because of Bourne.
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4:59PM on 08/08/2013
As a Boston-area native, I have to agree. A pointless red-herring.
As a Boston-area native, I have to agree. A pointless red-herring.
8:07AM on 08/08/2013
I'm going to vote Damon. I've seen a hell of a lot more quality work out of him than Affleck's combined acting & directing.

Doesn't help that you waited so damn long to pit them together. It really does kind of feel like a tie at this point though.

Also, as much as I appreciate Affleck's directing jobs so far, all the ass-kissing he gets kind of takes him down a half a peg for me. He's really good but praised as some kind of titan or something . . .
I'm going to vote Damon. I've seen a hell of a lot more quality work out of him than Affleck's combined acting & directing.

Doesn't help that you waited so damn long to pit them together. It really does kind of feel like a tie at this point though.

Also, as much as I appreciate Affleck's directing jobs so far, all the ass-kissing he gets kind of takes him down a half a peg for me. He's really good but praised as some kind of titan or something . . .
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+1
5:43AM on 08/08/2013

I think that Damon wins this one, even thou a tie is acceptable !!!

Considering their movies and their performances, Damon has an advantage but Damon lacks something that Affleck does extremely good: the director's job (So far he's directed 3 movies and doesn't have a miss yet). While Damon has been in movies of Scorsese, Coppola, Soderbergh, Spielberg, G. V. Sant, Eastwood, Redford, Gilliam, Coen Bros etc. this line alone shows a lot... while Affleck's started on the right path with Kevin Smith movies and movies like Shakespeare in Love and G.W.H. and than for
Considering their movies and their performances, Damon has an advantage but Damon lacks something that Affleck does extremely good: the director's job (So far he's directed 3 movies and doesn't have a miss yet). While Damon has been in movies of Scorsese, Coppola, Soderbergh, Spielberg, G. V. Sant, Eastwood, Redford, Gilliam, Coen Bros etc. this line alone shows a lot... while Affleck's started on the right path with Kevin Smith movies and movies like Shakespeare in Love and G.W.H. and than for some years he hit the bottom by going way to commercial but i have enjoyed his comeback and that was thanks to his own ability by directing and giving some good performances... I think that he and Mat McConaughey are the only actors around that have discovered that Pitt secret and putting their carrier on the right path. So my vote goes for Damon
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3:45AM on 08/08/2013
Another topic to consider - Action Star. Surely Matt Damon is a better action star than Affleck. Other than that, I agree with the article. It's really a tie.
Another topic to consider - Action Star. Surely Matt Damon is a better action star than Affleck. Other than that, I agree with the article. It's really a tie.
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3:27AM on 08/08/2013

Matt Damon

HUGE fan of both guys; huge fan. Good Will Hunting is my favorite film of all time and Matt Damon is one of my top five favorite actors of all time and I've always supported Ben Affleck even through his slump. When it comes to who's better in a matchup like this, I have to pick Damon for having the better consistent career.

But I'm just glad that both are still very relevant today and are still making great films. I really hope they decide to star in another film with one another again very
HUGE fan of both guys; huge fan. Good Will Hunting is my favorite film of all time and Matt Damon is one of my top five favorite actors of all time and I've always supported Ben Affleck even through his slump. When it comes to who's better in a matchup like this, I have to pick Damon for having the better consistent career.

But I'm just glad that both are still very relevant today and are still making great films. I really hope they decide to star in another film with one another again very soon. Possibly in a future film directed by Affleck.
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1:25PM on 08/08/2013
Yeah. The film is just incredibly inspiring. Great music too.
Yeah. The film is just incredibly inspiring. Great music too.
9:50AM on 08/08/2013
I agree. GWH is one of my favorite films, a huge inspiration for me coming from Southie. They filmed it down the street from where I lived. Inspired me to go back to college and get my degree, live the happily ever after life. Possibly one of the most important films in my life.
I agree. GWH is one of my favorite films, a huge inspiration for me coming from Southie. They filmed it down the street from where I lived. Inspired me to go back to college and get my degree, live the happily ever after life. Possibly one of the most important films in my life.
3:11AM on 08/08/2013
Affleck has staged a truly impressive comeback but Damon has been more consistent over the years and was able to make the transition into an unlikely (but sufficiently convincing) action star. The bromance between these two is one of those great true Hollywood stories and I do like that they've stuck together.
Affleck has staged a truly impressive comeback but Damon has been more consistent over the years and was able to make the transition into an unlikely (but sufficiently convincing) action star. The bromance between these two is one of those great true Hollywood stories and I do like that they've stuck together.
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+6
2:56AM on 08/08/2013

Shoot, as soon as I saw the title I thoght "Woah, now this is an inspired choice for a face off"

But I was super disappointed when I saw that you just made it a tie. Didn't you used to have a tie-breaker category when that happened or was that a different column? I mean I know some of these wind up as a pretty close call but having you actually call it "a tie" just seems like a major cop-out.
But I was super disappointed when I saw that you just made it a tie. Didn't you used to have a tie-breaker category when that happened or was that a different column? I mean I know some of these wind up as a pretty close call but having you actually call it "a tie" just seems like a major cop-out.
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2:45AM on 08/08/2013

Damon!

While I love Affleck as a director, Damon just seems smarter and better.

Plus, Jason Bourne. Done.
While I love Affleck as a director, Damon just seems smarter and better.

Plus, Jason Bourne. Done.
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6:52AM on 08/08/2013
Only the first one counts, the others were.. Disappointing. I don't think Damon has anything as BA as The Town tho.
Only the first one counts, the others were.. Disappointing. I don't think Damon has anything as BA as The Town tho.
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