Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s latest collaboration Air has finally beaten a Rotten Tomatoes record previously held by their 1997 hit movie Good Will Hunting. As far as notable Hollywood partnerships go, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are among the most notorious. After first appearing as extras in 1989’s Field of Dreams, the filmmakers went on to achieve widespread acclaim in the Oscar-winning movie Good Will Hunting, which they co-wrote and starred in together. The actors have since appeared alongside one another in projects like the Jay & Silent Bob movies, Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, and the Affleck-directed 2023 sports drama Air.
Air debuted to stellar reviews across the board, as the movie holds a Certified Fresh 92% score from critics and a 98% score from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie marks a critical return to form for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon after the box office failure and awards snubs of 2021’s The Last Duel, with the on-and-off-screen collaboration and high quality of Air harking back to the success of their beloved film Good Will Hunting. Having dazzled audience members and critics alike, Air has shockingly beaten a Good Will Hunting record that hasn’t been touched by any other Ben Affleck and Matt Damon collaboration released over the past 25 years.
Air’s Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score Is Affleck & Damon’s Highest Since Good Will Hunting
Air’s 98% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is the highest of any acting collaboration for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, having finally surpassed the 94% score held by Good Will Hunting. While Damon and Affleck have appeared in numerous films together in the 25 years since Good Will Hunting, none have come this close to achieving the 1997 drama’s audience acclaim until Air. Both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have received Oscar nominations and widespread praise for their movies after Good Will Hunting, such as with The Martian and Argo, but these instances have largely occurred in projects that they weren’t starring in together.
Comparatively, Affleck and Damon’s other major films have still been received positively by audiences, but not at the same level as Good Will Hunting and Air. Their 1992 film School Ties only holds a 69% audience score, the 1999 movie Dogma stands at 85%, and the Ridley Scott-directed drama The Last Duel has an 81% score from audiences. While 2019’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot has a 93% Rotten Tomatoes audience score, Affleck and Damon only appear in cameos, making it unfair to judge against their more prominent roles in movies like Air and Good Will Hunting.
Why Good Will Hunting Is Still Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s Best Movie
Good Will Hunting has stood the test of time as an incredibly impactful, poignant, and game-changing movie. The film had a small budget, was written by Affleck and Damon before the actors advocated for themselves to star, and yielded two of the most memorable acting performances of the past 30 years from Damon and Robin Williams. Good Will Hunting also went on to win Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Damon and Affleck at the Oscars, setting the stage for their careers’ prestige thereafter. Air is still an incredibly entertaining and well-crafted crowd-pleaser, but Good Will Hunting remains Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s most important collaboration.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes