We first heard Matthew McConaughey utter the words “alright, alright, alright” in Dazed and Confused about thirty years ago. The statement has now been ingrained not just in the actor’s toolkit, but also in our collective pop culture. Matthew McConaughey has a long history as a rom-com leading man, a skilled adventure hero, a comic performer, and a sought-after drama actor.
Let’s have a look at his five best movies.
Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club ranks first among Matthew McConaughey’s finest films. Not every notable actor receives a gold award for his finest performance, but in his instance, they nailed it. McConaughey taps into his skills as a cowboy-wearing Texan in this film but takes it to the utmost limit of his acting abilities. It’s widely considered to be his finest performance to date, and without him at the heart of the film – which included a significant physical makeover – cinema would have suffered a significant loss.
Interstellar: And who can forget Matthew McConaughey and Christopher Nolan’s cooperation on the space epic Interstellar? The film delivers an especially moving narrative about fatherhood that spans time and location. The actor takes on the role of a NASA pilot and engineer who is sent on a critical mission. He’s grappling with the idea of abandoning his two children, and they’re grappling with their own sentiments of abandonment. You’ll never forget seeing McConaughey’s Cooper cry as he sees his beloved Murph grow up right in front of his eyes from far away in space.
Dazed and Confused: Dazed and Confused, coming in at number three and the crème of Matthew McConaughey’s filmography, naturally merits a spot here. It’s the most McConaughey-centric film ever made. It was the major break that catapulted the actor to his current position. McConaughey portrays a 20-year-old charmer who still goes out with his high school friends. The plot of the film centers around the events of a Texas high school’s last day of classes in 1976. Hazing, getting high, partying, and a little romance are all memorable features of the era. It’s his breakthrough performance.
Mud: Mud is one of McConaughey’s most critically-lauded and underappreciated films. Jeff Nichols’ coming-of-age drama follows two boys who stumble discover a fugitive named Mud, portrayed by Matthew, who is hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. He tells the guys a series of incredible stories about how he came to be alone, and they agree to assist him in reuniting with his true love. The film flopped at the box office, yet it has a near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 percent. McConaughey does an excellent job of blurring the lines between his past roles as both a hero and a villain in Mud.
The Lincoln Lawyer: The “McConaissance” was established between 2011 and 2014 when the actor shifted away from rom-coms and began taking on more serious roles. As you can see, the bulk of the films on this list are set during this time period, with The Lincoln Lawyer being the first to do so. Mickey Haller is the central character of Brad Furman’s neo-noir legal thriller. He’s a fictitious lawyer who runs his practice from the trunk of his Lincoln Town Car. The film follows Haller as he defends the assault case of the son of a rich LA businessman. It turns into a suspenseful legal thriller, with McConaughey giving a riveting performance.
Happy Birthday to him!