The duo of Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass get a lifetime pass from fans of the action, thriller and espionage genres after they collaborated to deliver two of the 21st Century’s most influential and hard-hitting efforts in The Bourne Supremacy and sequel Ultimatum, which went on to inspire both the handheld shaky-cam style and bone-crunching fight choreography that became almost ubiquitous in the aftermath of their success.
In between the second and third installments in the Bourne franchise, Greengrass directed United 93, which won widespread critical acclaim and landed him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. And as for Damon, he starred in seven films during that period including box office hits Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen, along with Best Picture winner The Departed, so expectations were through the roof when it was announced that the star and filmmaker were reuniting for an Iraq War thriller.
Green Zone was based on the non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and saw Damon’s Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller on the hunt to find weapons of mass destruction, only to stumble upon a cover up instead. A proven leading man, a talented director and a hot button topic at the center made it seem as though the movie was destined for success, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and it flopped at the box office after failing to recoup the $100 million budget.
Reviews weren’t exactly glowing, either, and Green Zone wound up with a mediocre 53% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it’s managed to find a new life on Netflix a decade after it was first released to be greeted with a largely apathetic shrug, and it’s currently the third most-watched title on the platform, proving once again that subscribers love Matt Damon.