10 Good Matthew McConaughey Movies

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Matthew McConaughey Movies

If you like to surf, drink mixed beverages, or smoke weed, then there’s a good chance you’re a Matthew McConaughey fan. Of course, you don’t have to be a stoner to appreciate this laid back Texan’s approach to life. Whether he’s following his personal creed of “keep on livin’” or getting arrested for playing his bongo drums in the nude, McConaughey seems to approach each day with a sense of wonderment and the kind of smile that leaves women weak in the knees.

It’s high time we took a look at some of his best work in cinema. All of the following are available on DVD or Blu-ray, and you can have them delivered right to your home if you become a member of Netflix, America’s leading source for online movies.

Dazed and Confused (1993) – Richard Linklater’s ensemble film didn’t make a splash at the box office, but its solid screenplay and cast filled with future superstars made the movie into a cult classic over the years. Set on the last day of classes at an Austin high school, the film follows a variety of students as they paddle the hell out of freshman, flee from seniors, and ponder life outside of public school. McConaughey appeared in his first significant movie role as David Wooderson, an older guy who still likes hanging out with teens and hitting on the girls. He’s joined by the likes of Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Jason London, and Rory Cochrane. Set during the ‘70s and featuring music from KISS, Foghat, and Rick Derringer, it’s a perfect movie to watch while you’re baked.

We Are Marshall (2006) – Based on a true story, We Are Marshallrelates the challenges of the Marshall Thundering Herd football team after a plane crash kills the majority of their players and coaching staff. McConaughey stars as Jack Lengyel, the new head coach hired to continue the season despite overwhelming odds. An inspirational sports movie that co-stars Matthew Fox, Ian McShane, January Jones, and David Strathairn.

Lone Star (1996) – Written and directed by John Sayles, Lone Stardelves into the secrets of a Texas border town when the skull of a long-dead sheriff (Kris Kristofferson) is discovered in the desert. The current sheriff, Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper), heads up the investigation, but he fears that his late father (McConaughey), also a former sheriff, may be the guilty party. Meanwhile, Sam renews his relationship with Pilar Cruz (Elizabeth Pena), a high school sweetheart who his father seemed to disapprove of. A fascinating murder mystery filled with romance, racial tension, and a number of long-buried secrets, Lone Star will have you guessing right up until the end.

Frailty (2002) – Bill Paxton made his directorial debut with this intriguing thriller about a father (also Paxton) who claims he received an order from God to cleanse the world of demons in human form. The otherwise kind-hearted dad recruits his young sons to help with the mission, abducting seemingly innocent citizens and dispatching them with an axe named Otis. Told through a series of flashbacks, the tale is related by Fenton Meiks (McConaughey), a grown man who claims that he was one of the sons of the killer, and that his brother has been carrying on the family legacy for years. Frailty is filled with solid performances, but Paxton steals the show as a loving single father who truly believes he’s doing God’s good work.

A Time to Kill (1996) – Matthew McConaughey’s star got a major boost into the Hollywood heavens with his portrayal of Jake Brigance, a Mississippi lawyer defending a black man (Samuel L. Jackson) who gunned down his young daughter’s rapists on the courthouse steps after their acquittal. Based on the novel by John Grisham, the all-star cast includes Sandra Bullock, Kevin Spacey, Ashley Judd, Chris Cooper, and Kiefer and Donald Sutherland. While many were upset by the film’s overall message of justified homicide, it still remains an entertaining courtroom drama.

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Tropic Thunder (2008) – A hilarious spoof of action films and the actors who star in them. Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black head up the cast as self-centered performers starring in a film about the Vietnam War. But when they get lost in the jungle and run into heroin manufacturers, they’ll have to get their act together in order to survive. McConaughey co-stars in a small role as Rick Peck, the oily agent and best pal of action star Tugg Speedman (Stiller). Downey steals the show as Australian method actor Kirk Lazarus, an performer so talented and so committed that he’s playing an African-American soldier. Also starring Brandon T. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Nick Nolte, Danny McBride, Steve Coogan, and Tom Cruise in a notably hilarious cameo as a foul-mouthed studio head.

Amistad (1997) – While McConaughey seems a little out of his depth at times alongside acting heavyweights like Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman, he still manages to conjure up an appropriate level of naïve heroism as Roger Sherman Baldwin, a property lawyer who’s called in to represent a group of slaves after an uprising on a Spanish ship. Based on a true story–with a number of details altered for dramatic purposes–Amistadallows a number of impassioned courtroom speeches, the most notable being delivered by Hopkins during his closing arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the cast is filled with recognizable faces, including Djimon Hounsou, Stellan Skarsgard, Anna Paquin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, David Paymer, and Pete Postlethwaite.

EDtv (1999) – While it was a massive failure at the box office, this Ron Howard comedy features McConaughey at his most charming as normal guy Ed Pekurny. Selected to be on a television show where his life is broadcast 24/7, Ed romances a number of women (including Jenna Elfman and Elizabeth Hurley), reunites with his estranged father (Dennis Hopper), and becomes a pop culture phenomenon in the process. But the constant intrusion of the camera wears him down, and soon Ed begins looking for a way out of his contract. Also staring Woody Harrelson, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, and…(wait for it)…the mighty Clint Howard.

The Wedding Planner (2001) – I’m not normally a big fan of romantic comedies, but the chemistry between McConaughey and co-star Jennifer Lopez is hard to deny. He dons an occassional pair of glasses to play Dr. Steve Edison, the kind of physician who only exists in the movies. She’s Mary Fiore, a respected wedding planner in San Francisco. The sparks fly when he saves her from a potentially fatal accident, but Mary learns that he’s engaged to her latest client (Bridgette Wilson). You can see the ending coming from a mile away, but that doesn’t mean the journey isn’t a pleasant one. On an interesting side note, Lopez made history with this movie, becoming the first woman to have a #1 film and a #1 album in the same week.

Contact (1997) – While Jodie Foster gets top billing as Ellie Arroway, a SETI scientist who discovers an alien transmission and is chosen to make first contact, McConaughey also plays an important role as Palmer Joss, a Christian philosopher who becomes intimate with Ellie while noting her lack of faith in a higher power. It’s hardly the typical romance, and the story (originally written by Carl Sagan and wife) is far from the average sci-fi movie. If you’re looking for an intelligent film about extra-terrestrial life, you can do a lot worse that Contact. Besides, no real-life Christian philosopher could hope to have hair as stunning as McConaughey.

If you’d like to see any or all of the Matthew McConaughey movies listed above, be sure to become a member of Netflix. Shipped movies usually arrive in just a day, or you can cut out the USPS completely and choose to stream films on your PC. We do get a commission if you sign up through our site, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 at 8:58 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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