11 Matthew McConaughey movies that will make you exclaim: “Alright, alright, alright …”

It seems that good old Matthew McConaughey, in addition to for people to have learned to pronounce his last name correctly, has needed almost thirty years of professional career since his debut in an episode of ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ in 1992 and steal all the spotlight in the hulking HBO series ‘True Detective’ so that he has ended up being revered as one of the great interpreters of the current Hollywood scene.

To pay tribute to the Texan interpreter, who has just turned 51, I bring you this list in which I have selected what, in my point of view, are the 11 best films in which he has lent his broad acting qualities. I have to say that, in addition to those selected, there are more than worthy of mention works of the level of ‘Movida del 76’ and ‘Los Newton Boys’ de Richard Linklater, ‘U-571’ by Jonathan Mostow, the infravaloradísima ‘Magic Mike’.

That said, let’s get down to business with the selection. Alright, alright, alright…

‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’

Since it was going to be completely impossible to ignore the elephant in the room throughout this entire list, let’s start by doing justice to this hilarious Donald Petrie romantic comedy. I admit I am quite a cynical person and not at all fond of the subgenre, but I have to admit that ‘How to lose a boy in 10 days’ caught me off guard and made me fall asleep before his worldly pleasures thanks, almost entirely, to the overflowing chemistry that Kate Hudson squanders and a Matthew McConaughey that steals all the spotlights and exudes charisma despite the limitations of the role.

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‘Tropic Thunder: A very bitchy war!’

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In addition to being a real gem in the meta-cinematic parody, ‘Tropic Thunder’ has one of the roundest, most lucid and unleashed choral casts in recent years – yes, at the level of ‘Daggers in the back’ – in which they shine from its protagonists even some secondary ones, among which stand out Tom Cruise’s deranged Les Grossman, and a Rick Peck, played by Matthew McConaughey; impeccable in his role as a boot-twisting agent, devoted body and soul to the needs of his clientEven if it means taking a TiVo into the jungle.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Tropic Thunder’, the tropic of joking

‘Killer Joe’

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Although the good old Matthew had already demonstrated his acting skills before, the genius of William Friedkin had to come to offer him a role that would completely banish his image of industrial hotties and open doors to unexplored lands. And is that both ‘Killer Joe’ and its moonlighting cop as the main hitman are an ode to sleaze, to the driest and most contained violence, to a humor that tightens on a barbed wire and to that risky and subversive cinema so necessary.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Killer Joe’ by William Friedkin

‘Mud’

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Just a year after the premiere of ‘Killer Joe’, Matthew McConaughey once again surprised locals and strangers with the third feature film by a Jeff Nichols who already held the title of champion of the North American independent scene after the magnificent ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Shotgun Stories’. In Mud, the director gave the interpreter another role outside of his presumed comfort zone that ended up reaffirming him as the great star that he is, and with which he dazzled with overwhelming restraint. Undoubtedly, along with ‘Killer Joe’, one of the great surprises of the Texan’s career.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Mud’, and the story of the boy who believed in love

‘The Gentlemen: The Lords of the Mafia’

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If Jeff Nichols got gold from Mr. McConaughey’s talent in ‘Mud’, Guy Ritchie did the same with his ‘The Gentlemen’ by substituting interpretive moderation for a frenzy at the height of the house brand staging. Good old Matthew had a hard time standing out from a cast that featured names such as Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam or Michelle Dockery, but his work as Michael Pearson rises as the best in the movie – with the permission of a Hugh Grant simply stellar-.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘The Gentlemen: The Mafia Lords’ brings back the best Guy Ritchie in an electrifying exercise in style

‘The wolf of Wall Street’

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‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is a three-hour masterpiece full of moments to remember, but among all of them, if there is one that automatically comes to mind when I think of the Martin Scorsese film, it is the meeting between Jordan Belford and Mark Hanna. A scene dominated by a Matthew McConaughey in his sauce, with the verbiage unleashed, and that culminates with his particular version of ‘The Money Chant’ based on blows to the chest. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a – very – memorable secondary.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, sex, drugs and stock market scams

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‘Interstellar’

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The first half of the 2010s marked the definitive takeoff of Matthew McConaughey’s career, and one of the great exponents of this fact is his participation in Christopher Nolan’s wonderful quantum odyssey ‘Interstellar’. In it, shielded by a cast made up of great performers such as Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway or John Lithgow, the actor articulated a fantastic work that knew how to balance the emotionality necessary to make the story work and that charisma that every protagonist of a blockbuster of these characteristics should have.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Interstellar’, the ambitious emotional journey of Christopher Nolan

‘Dallas Buyers Club’

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Luckily for McConaughey, his Oscar career has not been as arduous and long-suffering as his partner in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Leonardo DiCaprio. In his case, it came in 2014 from the outstanding ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ by Jean-Marc Vallée, in which the Texan thoroughly squeezed one of those papers based on real events that the North American Academy like so much, giving life to the rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof, diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. Special mention for his co-star, also Oscar winner, Jared Leto.

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, the fight for life

‘Kubo and the two magic strings’

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Although Matthew McConaughey is an actor recognized mainly for his roles in live action, we cannot let his work fall on deaf ears in what, without any doubt, is one of the best animated films that the 21st century has left us until the date. A ‘Kubo and the two magic strings’ in which the actor lent his unmistakable voice to Beetle, elevating the Laika studio’s exquisite work even more visually and narratively..

Criticism in Espinof: ‘Kubo and the two magic strings’, bordering on perfection

‘Friendship’

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It is difficult not to end up becoming a revered actor when in the first decade of your film career you have been able to learn from a teacher like Steven Spielberg and heavyweight castmates Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins or Stellan Skarsgård in a drama of the depth of ‘Friendship’. In it, McConaughey gave life to Roger Sherman Baldwin, the thirty-second governor of Conecticut who participated as a lawyer in the United States case against the ship “La Amistad” after the mutiny of 53 black slaves who were traveling on board.

Criticism in Espinof: Steven Spielberg: ‘Friendship’, one more stumble of the director

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‘Contact’

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We close this selection of films with another of McConaughey’s first great roles. This is none other than that of Palmer Ross, the Christian philosopher who, among other things, serves as a catalyst for the strong theological discourse of the science fiction drama ‘Contact’ directed by Robert Zemmeckis from the novel by Carl Sagan. To get the job, the actor turned down the title role in Michael Caton-Jones’ ‘Jackal’ and stepped over a great like Ralph Fiennes; there is nothing.

Criticism in Espinof: Robert Zemeckis: ‘Contact’, look at the stars

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11 Matthew McConaughey movies that will make you exclaim: “Alright, alright, alright …”