Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas to parents who would end up marrying each other three times. He without question had an interesting and adventurous childhood. After a brief stint in Australia for a foreign exchange program, McConaughey decided to pursue a law degree but ended up dropping out to attend film school. While making films, McConaughey’s love for acting grew and during a chance encounter at a bar, he met a producer who invited him to audition for a film entitled &Dazed and Confused. From there, it’s history.
McConaughey’s career has definitely had some ups and downs. After starring opposite Sandra Bullock in &A Time To Kill, McConaughey became the next big thing and worked with some big directors including Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg. His career took a turn and he became the go-to guy for romantic comedies and during this period, he made some questionable acting choices that hurt his reputation in Hollywood. Through it all, he stayed true to himself and his love for life and acting. Eventually, he would go on to play Ron Woodroof, the HIV-positive rodeo cowboy in Dallas Buyers Club& where he took home the Oscar for Best Actor. He showed in this performance that not only does he have charisma, but he also has the acting chops to prove that he is one of the greats. Now, after a long and adventurous career, McConaughey is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. Let’s dive into his top ten movies, ranked.
&EDtv was one of McConaughey’s earlier films directed by Hollywood legend, Ron Howard. The film is a satirical comedy about a reality show that decides to follow the daily life of the laid-back video store clerk, Ed (McConaughey). Although it was a box office flop, the film was an interesting take on reality television and McConaughey gave a charming performance. At the same time, it introduced the world to the chemistry between McConaughey and Woody Harrelson who would later be reunited in HBO’s &True Detective&.
9White Boy Rick&
The 2018 crime drama White Boy Rick tells the true story of Rick Wershe (Richie Merritt) who became the youngest police informant in history and later a drug kingpin in 1980’s Detroit during the crack epidemic. McConaughey plays his tough-as-nails father struggling to look after his family while being emotionally conflicted by his son’s choices. McConaughey gives a stellar and gritty performance in his scene-stealing role.
This WWII submarine action film tells the story of a German submarine taken over by American submariners on a mission to capture the Enigma cipher machine. U-571 is an action-packed WWII story that was well-received by critics and audiences alike. McConaughey plays the lead role of Lieutenant Andrew Tyler alongside an ensemble cast including Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi.
7A Time To Kill &
McConaughey has stated in his acclaimed memoir, Greenlights, that this film resulted in people recognizing his face on the streets. &Originally, McConaughey was auditioning for a smaller part in A Time to Kill, but he convinced director Joel Schumacher to let him read for the bigger role of Jake Brigance. This riveting court drama, also starring Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson, was a box office success and jump-started McConaughey’s career.
McConaughey is always looking to work with great directors. In 1997, he got the chance to work with Steven Spielberg in his slavery drama Amistad. McConaughey plays United States attorney Roger Sherman Baldwin, who must learn to communicate with a group of slaves to prove their freedom in court. The heart-wrenching film can be hard to watch at some points, but Spielberg delivered an excellent film depicting this true story.
5The Lincoln Lawyer&
This underrated legal thriller tells the story of Mick Haller (McConaughey), a defense lawyer who works out of the back of his Lincoln. Haller is sought upon by the wealthy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) to defend him in an assault case and Haller soon finds out that there is much more to the story. The Lincoln Lawyer is a riveting crime drama and McConaughey shines as the charismatic underdog Mick Haller.
4&Dazed And Confused &
McConaughey debuted his signature line of “Alright, alright alright” in Richard Linklater’s classic film about 1970s high school, Dazed and Confused. McConaughey’s debut role was that of Wooderson, an older man who can’t stop living like a high school student. McConaughey proved his capabilities as an actor and certainly showcased his destiny to become a star. McConaughey was originally supposed to have a much smaller role, but Linklater saw his potential and gave McConaughey more scenes where he improvised many of his classic lines.
Jeff Nichols’s 2012 film, Mud, may be responsible for the resurrection of McConaughey’s career. The critically acclaimed film shined a light on McConaughey’s capabilities as a dramatic actor and it was loved by audiences and critics alike. The coming of age story follows two boys who help an outlaw named Mud (McConaughey) reconnect with his lover while trying to flee the country. It’s a story with action, heart, and a stellar ensemble cast including Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, and Sam Shepard.
&Christopher Nolan’s science fiction masterpiece tells the story of a group of astronauts on a quest to find a new world after Earth’s resources have been nearly depleted. McConaughey plays the cowboy-like pilot, Cooper, who takes the lead to save humanity. Interstellar was a visually stunning adventure into the cosmos bound together by the haunting score of Hans Zimmer. McConaughey shines in every scene as a man torn between saving the world and keeping a promise to return back to his daughter Murph (Jessica Chastain).
1&Dallas Buyers Club&
Jean-Marc Vall&ée’s Dallas Buyers Club gave us McConaughey’s finest performance to date. The film follows rodeo cowboy Ron Woodruff (McConaughey) who discovers that he is HIV-positive, sending him on a quest to find new drugs to save his life. Woodruff forms a club with transgender AIDS patient Rayon, brilliantly played by Jared Leto, to sell the medications to others. It is a story about friendship, determination, and fighting against the bureaucracy of our healthcare system. Both McConaughey and Leto deservingly took home Oscars for their brilliant performances. &