Ben Affleck is Maximus Decimus Meridius
Affleck plays betrayed general and gladiatorial champion Maximus in his genre-reviving sword and sandal epic. The film is a disaster: Joaquin Phoenix’s villain Emperor recognises the masked Maximus immediately thanks to his massive chin, and puts him to death.
Russell Crowe is Matt Murdock
Crowe is blind but fearless lawyer and superhero Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil. What could have been a dreary flop is livened up by Crowe’s furious watchability, which transforms the plastic Murdock into a tragic revelation. Oscars follow.