10 films of Matthew McConaughey: From the sublimely bad to the sublime!

In his own words, Matthew McConaughey is undergoing a McConaissance of late, getting offered challenging roles and putting out some stellar performances. To celebrate the impending UK release of Mud, here are some highlights and low blows of the Texan’s career. We’ve both gone from loathing his output to thinking he’s the best thing since sliced bread, so here’s our ode to Matt.

The Bad…

He loves to get his lean on..
He loves to get his lean on…what a chilled guy.

1) Failure to Launch: It wasn’t so much that failure to launch was bad it just wasn’t any good. Sarah Jessica Parker and McConaughey have little to no chemistry together, the plot is just ridiculous, there is a scene where McConaughey gets bitten by a dolphin (wtf!). Oh and they didn’t capitalise the actors names in the poster. There really is no excuse for bad grammar..


2) The Wedding Planner: The late 90’s early 00’s was the era of the rom com by numbers and it doesn’t get more by numbers and more sickly than this McConaughey/Jennifer Lopez offering from 2001. This film is poorly written with horrible people doing horrible and cynical things. For some reason I have seen this film twice. Which means I hate it twice as much.

"Wait wait wait! Have you actually read the script?!"
“Wait wait wait! Have you actually read the script?!”

3) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: This film really was an embarrassment for everyone involved (Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone and Michael Douglas!) and may be one of the worst McConaughey films on the list. The modern rom com’s take on A Christmas Carol was unoriginal, predictable and oh so so so cheesy. McConaughey puts in a solid enough performance but could do this role in his sleep.

Dat on-screen chemistry…

4) Tiptoes: If you haven’t seen this film please please please watch the trailer to get a taste of exactly what we are talking about. Did the actors hear “Gary Oldman”, “role of a lifetime” and sign a contract before reading the script?? This film is LITERALLY insanity from start to finish and is a blot on the careers of all involved.

5) U-571: To say this movie is historically inaccurate is an understatement. One of the turning points in WW2 was the discovery and subsequent cracking of a naval Enigma code machine used by the Nazis. U-571 tells us that it was a crew of Americans and their heroics, spearheaded by Lt. Tyler (ol’ Matty McC), that undertook this mission, when in reality it was Great Britain (and other European Allies) that apprehended the cipher machine. It is for this reason, Matthew, that we are including this movie and your performance in the stinky end of the list.

Rule Britannia

The Good….

No more fucking rom coms! I have my serious face on now

1) The Lincoln Lawyer: The Lincoln Lawyer was the changing of the tides for McConaughey. His first film after Ghosts of Girlfriends past, this was a notable shift for the Texan actor. The subject matter was heavy, the character complex and the emotional range more demanding that anything he had done in the last decade. McConaughey is fantastic and pulls, what is otherwise a rather bland crime thriller, up to be a rather decent and enjoyable film.

“Put your hand up in the air if you think this is miles better than Wedding Planner!”

2) Magic Mike: McConaughey is one of many components that makes this film great but also manages to hold his own as the sexually enigmatic club owner. He effortlessly attacks this role and its difficult to imagine another actor doing a better job. A film definitely not just for the ladies.


3) Contact: While this probably kicked off Matt’s career in unchallenging, boring rom-coms, he gives a convincing performance as the voice of reason between science and religion. This is Zemeckis at his best, and we feel that this was one of the movies from the early part of McConaughey’s, non leaning on women, career that deserves some respect.


4) Dazed and Confused: Same goes with Dazed and Confused, his first major film role. As someone that has been young, this film was a refreshing, relatable tale on adolescent experimentation, regardless of it being set in 1970’s Texas. We’ve all experimented with all manner of glorious things, even if we think we haven’t (your latex fetish must have come from somewhere, right?…). You can tell he’s nailing his performance because he standing up straight.

God I'm so serious and intense and awesome now
God, I’m so serious and intense and awesome right now

5) Mud: OK, hands up…We haven’t seen it yet! But having seen the trailer, listened to the critical noise and eyed up the cast list so we’re confident that this should be fantastic. Check out the trailer now for a glimpse of the McConaughey magic in action.

Watch this Space….

Dallas Buyers Club: Currently in pre production, McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a drug abuser, womaniser and homophobic, who in 1986 was diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. McConaughey lost enormous amounts of weight for the role and is almost unrecognisable as the emaciated Woodroof. If Dallas Buyers Club is good, and it could be really good, we predict this could earn McConaughey an Oscar nod. The academy go crazy for physical transformations, real life stories and characters with addiction. This has all three. Remember you heard it here first.

McConaughey as AIDS victim Ron Woodroof in Dallas Boys Club
McConaughey as AIDS victim Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club

8 thoughts on “10 films of Matthew McConaughey: From the sublimely bad to the sublime!

  1. Ahhhhh, c’mon! It’s criminal for Killer Joe to not be on this list!

    I’m seriously debating seeing Mud this weekend.

    I feel very proud of myself knowing that I have not seen a single one of the movies on the bad end of the list. On purpose! Oh, wait, I’ve seen U-571 but I don’t remember it anymore. I didn’t know about the historical dickery.

    1. You have it on good authority that Killer Joe would have been on the list was it not for Mud being released and us representing that movie. He really is undergoing a complete shift which is awesome. Best movie on the list? Probably Magic Mike or Lincoln Lawyer! We can’t say Mud yet!

      1. I didn’t want to see Lincoln Lawyer at the time because he hadn’t started doing good shit yet, and then I totally forgot about it. I’ll have to rent that or see how much I can find it for.

      2. You owe it to yourself to check it out! It’s a fantastic movie. Amazon UK have the DVD for under a fiver, so it’s bound to be cheap in other markets as well!

  2. Good choices on both lists! Pleased I missed some of the bad and now see which I have to catch up with in the good section!

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