Screen hunk Matt Damon has leaped to the defence of his pal Ben Affleck after he was criticised over a succession of movie flops.

Critics had a field day tearing apart movies such as Gigli two years ago (03) - in which he starred alongside his then-fiancee JENNIFER LOPEZ - but Damon insists Affleck should be judged by his acting prowess, not his unfortunate choices.

He says, "What people forget is that Ben is a terrific actor. Maybe he hasn't made the best choices these past couple of years, but he's just made a movie called TRUTH, JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY that is going to put him right back on top again.

"Ben is a guy who just doesn't care about what the public is going to make of the way he lives his life."