10 best Matthew McConaughey movies, ranked

Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas to parents who would eventually marry three times. He undoubtedly had an interesting and adventurous childhood. After a brief stint in Australia as part of an overseas exchange program, McConaughey decided to pursue law studies but eventually dropped out to attend film school. While making films, McConaughey’s love for acting grows and during a chance encounter at a bar, he meets a producer who invites him to audition for a film titled Dazed and confused. From there, it’s history.

McConaughey’s career has definitely seen its ups and downs. After playing opposite Sandra Bullock in A time to kill, McConaughey became the Next Big Thing and worked with great directors including Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg. His career took a turn and he became the go-to guy for romantic comedies and during that time he made questionable acting choices that damaged his reputation in Hollywood. Through it all, he has remained true to himself and his love for life and acting. Eventually, he would play Ron Woodroof, the HIV positive rodeo cowboy in Dallas Buyers Club where he won the Oscar for best actor. He showed in this performance that he not only has charisma but also has the acting skills to prove that he is one of the greatest. Today, after a long and adventurous career, McConaughey is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. Let’s dive into his ten best films, ranked.

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EDtv was one of McConaughey’s first films directed by Hollywood legend Ron Howard. The film is a satirical comedy about a reality show that sets out to follow the daily life of laid-back video store salesman Ed (McConaughey). Although it was a box office flop, the film was an interesting reality TV take on and McConaughey gave a charming performance. At the same time, he’s introduced the world to the chemistry between McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who will later be reunited on HBO. real detective.

9Rick white boy

Rick white boy

The detective drama of 2018 Rick white boy tells the true story of Rick Wershe (Richie Merritt) who became the youngest police informant in history and later a drug lord in Detroit in the 1980s during the crack epidemic. McConaughey plays his tough father who struggles to care for his family while being emotionally in conflict with his son’s choices. McConaughey gives a stellar, gritty performance in his role as a stage thief.



This WWII underwater action film tells the story of a German submarine picked up by American submariners on a mission to capture the Enigma cipher machine. U-571 is an action-packed WWII story that has been well received by critics and audiences alike. McConaughey stars as Lt. Andrew Tyler alongside an ensemble that includes Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel and Jon Bon Jovi.

7A time to kill

A time to kill

McConaughey stated in his acclaimed memoir, Green light, that this film made people recognize his face on the street. Originally, McConaughey was auditioning for a small role in A time to kill, but he convinced director Joel Schumacher to let him read for the bigger role of Jake Brigance. This gripping court drama, also starring Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson, was a box office success and launched McConaughey’s career.



McConaughey always seeks to work with great directors. In 1997, he had the chance to work with Steven Spielberg in his drama on slavery Friendship. McConaughey plays American lawyer 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 difficult to watch at times, but Spielberg delivered a great movie illustrating this true story.

5Lincoln’s lawyer

Lincoln's lawyer

This underrated legal thriller tells the story of Mick Haller (McConaughey), a defense attorney who works in the back of his Lincoln. Haller is called upon by wealthy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) to defend him in an assault case, and Haller soon discovers that there is much more to the story. Lincoln’s lawyer is a gripping crime drama and McConaughey shines as charismatic underdog Mick Haller.

4Dazed and confused

Dazed and confused

McConaughey debuted with his signature line “Alright, alright, alright” in Richard Linklater’s classic 1970s high school film, Dazed and confused. McConaughey’s first role was as Wooderson, an older man who can’t help but live like a high school student. McConaughey has proven his abilities as an actor and certainly showcased his destiny of becoming a star. McConaughey was initially 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.



The 2012 film by Jeff Nichols, Mud, may be responsible for the resurrection of McConaughey’s career. The critically acclaimed film shed light on McConaughey’s abilities as a dramatic actor and he was praised 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 that includes Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, and Sam Shepard.



Christopher Nolan’s science fiction masterpiece tells the story of a group of astronauts in search of a new world after Earth’s resources are exhausted. McConaughey plays the cowboy pilot, Cooper, who takes the lead to save humanity. Interstellar was a visually stunning adventure in the cosmos linked by the haunting score of Hans Zimmer. McConaughey shines in every scene as a man torn between saving the world and keeping his promise to return to his daughter Murph (Jessica Chastain).

1Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club

Jean-Marc Vallee Dallas Buyers Club gave us McConaughey’s best performance yet. The film follows rodeo cowboy Ron Woodruff (McConaughey) who discovers he is HIV positive, sending him on a quest to find new drugs to save his life. Woodruff forms a club with Ray, a transgender AIDS patient, brilliantly played by Jared Leto, to sell the drugs to others. It is a story of friendship, determination and fighting against the bureaucracy of our health care system. McConaughey and Leto both deservedly won Oscars for their brilliant performances.

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10 best Matthew McConaughey movies, ranked