Matthew McConaughey may be one of the most famous actors in the world, but he’s also one of the most underrated. He shifts seamlessly from rom-coms to action, while cultivating a bunch of solid indie work and supporting roles on the side. He’s still best known for his cool, cocky grin, Texas swagger and off-screen antics (naked bongo drum party, anyone?), though that’s slowly been changing in recent years with memorable turns in Killer Joe, Magic Mike and Mud.
Finally, the real game-changer is here. McConaughey’s work as an HIV positive man supplying drugs for fellow patients in Dallas Buyer’s Club is undeniably excellent, and we’re sure to see him on awards show short lists in coming months. Obviously this is a great time to brush up on McConaughey’s most memorable roles, and we’ve got a perfect list of his finest films for you to review. Some are excellent, some are terrible, and some are recommended to VH1 by the actor himself. Behold, the 20 Most Essential Matthew McConaughey Movies to watch RIGHT NOW. (In reverse chronological order, because we’re anal like that.)
20. Dallas Buyers Club
- What: McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff, a Texas man fighting for access to HIV drugs in the 80s.
- Why: It’s McConaughey at his best – an amazing performance where his familiar onscreen characteristics – machismo, Texas drawl – shine in all the right ways.
- Rotten Tomatoes says: 93% – “The real halo here belongs to McConaughey. He does justice to Ron’s story and to his own quicksilver talent.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
- It’s… awards season-y. Taste the flavor!