The Good: Argo (2012)
Argo heralded Affleck’s rise to the position of bride, after many supporting bridesmaid performances.
Doing what he does best, Affleck not only acts in, but directs one of the greatest movies of the past 5 years. Playing CIA agent Tony Mendez, Affleck effortlessly blends the urgency of the film’s plot with a stoic bravado and dry humour that keep this movie captivating from beginning to end. Affleck’s vision for the film, based on a true story, won him an Oscar for direction, but a snub for acting. Nevertheless, his performance as a throwback hero was refreshingly nuanced and brilliantly delivered.
The Bad: Daredevil (2003)
Before Affleck became ‘Batfleck’ his previous foray into the world of superheroes was a dismal failure.
Donning the crimson unitard, he played Daredevil, a blind crusader in the vicious underbelly of Hell’s Kitchen. Poor writing leaves Affleck devoid of any sleekness and chock-full of smugness. In an age where the only cinematic equivalent was Spider-Man, Daredevil was doomed from the beginning.
Affleck’s overstated octave drops and his wrestler-physique failed to grasp any of the mystery and cult following that the comic had acquired. It’s a good thing Netflix and Charlie Cox were able to raise the character from the dead.
The Ugly: Gigli (2003)
In what was a career dip for everyone involved with the film, Affleck does actually plumb new depths.
The whole endeavour reeked of vanity project, but worse for Affleck, it didn’t even seem to be his ego that the film is serving. Instead his character is one of the most heinously emasculated ever committed to film, and had us literally squirming in embarrassment at the sheer variety of ways he found to abase himself before then-paramour Jennifer Lopez.
The bewildering absence of chemistry and the excruciating plot progression have made it one of Affleck’s most perplexing roles, blurring the line between bad and worse.