With so many Matthew McConaughey movies out there, we thought we’d save our readers time and compile the list of the top five of his films from the last five years, many of which are currently streaming through online platforms like Netflix, HBO Go & Amazon Prime. McConaughey has established quite a career as an actor with a range that we’ve all come to respect. For those looking for a good scare, he gave us his eerie performance in “Frailty.” For those who prefer straight comedy, he delivered with the Tivo-loving Hollywood Agent Rick Peck in “Tropic Thunder” and who can forget his big screen debut as the iconic Wooderson in “Dazed in Confused”. Looking for inspiration? How about that motivating southern-twanged speech as Jack Lengyel in “We Are Marshall?”This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory.” You know the one we’re talking about. Maybe you like your McConaughey shirtless (and pantless for that matter), and for you there’s his guitar smashing stripper, Dallas in “Magic Mike.” These are all great McConaughey movies, no doubt, but this list is going to focus the best of his most recent work so without further ado, here are the top five Matthew McConaughey movies in the last five years…
#5 – “Mud”
Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), “Mud” stars Matthew McConaughey along with Tye Sheridan and Reese Witherspoon. It tells the story of two young boys, living in Arkansas, who bond with a fugitive (McConaughey) and decide to help him with his plans to sidestep the law and ultimately get back his lost love. “Mud” is a personal story and without question, one of the best coming of age dramas to appear on film in recent years. It is a suspenseful, fairy tale type story with rich and complex characters and was one of the best films of 2012.
#4 – “The Paperboy”
Coming in at number four on our list is “The Paperboy,” written and directed by Lee Daniels (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Precious”), and based on the novel, of the same name, by Pete Dexter. “The Paperboy” stars Mcconaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack and Nicole Kidman. It’s a thriller, set in 1960s Florida, and centers on reporter Ward Jansen (McConaughey) and his brother Jack (Efron) as they investigate the strange events tied to a murder case that could result in execution. It’s sexy, gritty, creepy and very sweaty and it brings out some of the finest performances we’ve seen to date from the unlikely, highly diverse cast. The film slowly descends down a murky and mysterious road with an ending that is both highly suspenseful and horrifically surprising.
#3 – “Bernie”
Number three on our list is the black comedy “Bernie,” starring Jack Black, Shirley Maclaine and Matthew McConaughey. The movie, written and directed by Richard Linklater (“Dazed and Confused”), is based on a true story about Bernie Tiede (Black), a beloved small-town mortician in Carthage Texas who murders a wealthy, abusive widow (Maclaine). He exploits her bad reputation to great lengths around town to benefit himself, but with district attorney Danny Buck Davidson (McConaughey) hot on his trail, he struggles to keep his wrongdoings from being discovered. “Bernie” is a hilarious character study with a rich narrative. It’s light, it’s dark and it’s all around funny. Linklater does a great job of playing the line of drama, comedy and also surprisingly documentary. Black and MacClaine play great off of one another and McConaughey does a lot with a little as Danny Buck, making this an all around entertaining movie.
#2 – “Killer Joe”
The coveted number two spot on our list goes to “Killer Joe,” written by Tracy Letts (based on his play of the same name) and directed by William Friedkin (“The Exorcist”). The pair also collaborated as writer and director on “Bug” back in 2006. McConaughey plays the title character of Joe, supported by Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple and Thomas Haden Church. Set in Texas, a debt-ridden young man (Hirsch) hires a contract killer (McConaughey) to take out his mother so he can collect the insurance to essentially save his own life. When all doesn’t go according to plan, the stakes get severely raised, pushing relationships and family bonds to the limits. This movie will truly scare the crap out of you. Rated NC-17, it is perverse with it’s sadistic sexuality, it is disturbing with it’s violence and it contains one of the most twisted scenes we’ve seen on film in a very long time. Friedkin and Letts will have you taking cover while simultaneously making you laugh as they present a cast of troubled characters willing to display horrific, deranged behavior with no reluctance. “Killer Joe” has a great cast and is an all around excellent movie that will certainly leave a lasting impression.
#1 – “Dallas Buyers Club”
The number one movie on our list of the top Matthew McConaughey movies from the last five years goes to “Dallas Buyers Club.” The film was written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack (“Meet Bill”) and was directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (“The Young Victoria,” “Wild”). It is based on the true story of Dallas rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) who, in the mid 1980s, was diagnosed with AIDS. Unable to source affective legal drugs, he skirts US law, acquiring illicit medications for himself and his growing clientele. The film arguably pulls career best performances out of McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto, both who lost significant weight for their roles and won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. The film delivers an interesting story that tackles issues of sexism, tolerance and homophobia told through several very interesting characters, gripping you tightly for the length of the film. It also features an excellent supporting cast including Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare and Steve Zahn, and was absolutely one of the best films of 2013.