Texas actor Matthew MacConaughey’s acting ranges from goofy to serious.Whatever role he is cast,  his everyday Texas charm always steals the scene. Throughout the 2000s, he was often type casted as down-to-earth lead in sappy romantic comedies including Fool’s Gold, The Wedding Planner, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Ever since he appeared in more serious roles in The Lincoln Lawyer and the first season of HBO’s drama series True Detective, moviegoers now look forward to the diverse emotional range of the seemingly mellow and fun-loving, bongo drumming, actor.

This drastic change was called “the McConaissance” Here are ten films showing his range.

10Dazed and Confused (1993)

This film is about different groups of young high schoolers partying at the end of the schoolyear in Austin, Texas in the 1970s. Matthew McConaughey appears as Dave Wooderson, a loser in his 20’s hanging out with high schoolers. His scene stealing performance combined charming and pitiful. This was his first movie role.


Before he appeared in Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey was in another intelligent science fiction film. This Hugo Award winning sci-fi drama is based on a book by influential scientist Carl Sagan. McConaughey plays a religious philosopher who often debates his agnostic girlfriend Dr. Ellie Arroway(Jodie Foster) about religion and science as she searches for extraterrestrial life.


This Steven Spielberg directed historical drama is about the U.S. Supreme Court case involving escaped prisoners on the Spanish slave ship Amistad. Matthew McConaughey plays the lawyer representing the unbound Africans trying to assert their freedom in the antebellum United States.


Matthew McConaughey joins director Richard Linklater(from Dazed and Confused) again in Bernie. He plays a lawyer who is tasked with prosecuting a charming and friendly alleged murderer Bernie Teide(Jack Black) in a small Texas town called Carthage.

6Tropic Thunder(2008)

The rollicking comedy features a star-studded cast and edgy satire of Hollywood life. Matthew McConaughey appears as Tugg Speedman’s(Ben Stiller) overambitious agent who goes above and beyond in the jungles of the Golden Triangle.

5The Lincoln Lawyer(2011)

Matthew McConaughey’s star began to shine brighter shortly after appearing in a serious role in The Lincoln Lawyer. McConaughey plays a traveling criminal defense attorney who takes up an assault case in Los Angeles with many twists and turns along the way.


This rural drama plays to Matthew McConaughey’s strength as a down-to-earth actor. In this film he plays Mud, a drifter and fugitive who asks two local boys for help evading both the police and the vengeful family of a man he killed.

3Killer Joe(2011)

This disturbing, unrated thriller shows Matthew McConaughey changing roles from a nice guy to a depraved predator. McConaughey plays a corrupt detective and contract killer Joe Cooper who snakes into a trailer-park family who hired him to murder one of their own.


This film is the Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan’s tribute to science fiction and space exploration. McConaughey plays a former pilot who is tasked with a last-chance space expedition to find a new home for humanity.

1Dallas Buyers Club(2013)

This movie earned Matthew McConaughey his first Oscar win for Best Actor. He plays Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who begins importing and selling an antiretroviral drug on the street in the 1980s. He had lost 50 pounds to fit into his role.