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The 20+ Best Matthew McConaughey Movies of All Time 

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Updated January 23, 2020 10.4k votes 2k voters 248.8k views 50 items

List Rules The best movies starring Matthew McConaughey.

The best Matthew McConaughey movies of all time prove that he is one of the top actors currently working. Since he first started out in the mid ‘90s, he has been a popular go-to leading man for filmmakers. McConaughey has appeared in plenty of blockbusters and critically-acclaimed movies, earning awards and accolades along the way. His highest grossing movies have been well-received at the box office and his lifetime box office total exceeds $1.5 billion.

Originally from Uvalde, Texas, McConaughey attended University of Texas and graduated with a degree in Radio-Television-Film. After university, he worked in local TV commercials and eventually moved on to small roles in TV and movies. His first big role was as the lawyer Jake Brigance in the movie A Time to Kill.

Since first capturing audiences' attention with his scene-stealing performance as David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused in 1993, Matthew McConaughey has been a favorite of critics and fans alike. By the 2000s, the best Matthew McConaughey movies featured him in leading roles—often romantic comedies. But by 2012, he recognized that he was being typecast and chased more dramatic roles. Now, he still plays the leading man, but in a wider variety of movies. His recent hits have included Interstellar and Free State of Jones.

So what are the best Matthew McConaughey movies of all time? Is it The Lincoln Lawyer or We Are Marshall? See what fans have ranked as their favorites in the filmography below. And if you think his best role isn't at the top, then vote it up. Don’t see it listed? Add it so that others may vote for it. 

If you are a fan of dramatic or comedic movies starring Matthew McConaughey, you might also like our list of the best Woody Harrelson movies or our list of the best Kate Hudson movies. And if you loved McConaughey as Baker Dill, check out the best Serenity quotes to relive some of his best lines.

Notable directors that have worked with Matthew McConaughey include names like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Christopher Nolan. If Matthew McConaughey movies are your thing, then check out the greatest movies by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Christian Bale too.

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1
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Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Bryan Cranston

Released: 2011

Directed by: Brad Furman

The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American thriller film adapted from the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly, starring Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe, William H. Macy and Marisa Tomei. ...more
2
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Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1996

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

For more like this, check out our Sandra Bullock movies list.

This film is a 1996 drama film adaptation of John Grisham's 1989 novel of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher. Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey ...more

More A Time to Kill 

#282 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #25 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked #282 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

3
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Matthew McConaughey, Kate Mara, January Jones

Released: 2006

Directed by: Joseph McGinty Nichol

We Are Marshall is a 2006 American historical drama biopic film directed by McG. It depicts the aftermath of the 1970 incident that 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd ...more

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#79 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #53 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #79 of 199 The Biggest Tearjerker Movies of All Time

4
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Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Paulson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Mud is a 2012 American drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film
5
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Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Bebe Neuwirth

Released: 2003

Directed by: Donald Petrie

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a 2003 romantic comedy film, directed by Donald Petrie, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. It is based on a short cartoon book of the same name by ...more

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#525 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #697 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

6
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Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey

Released: 1993

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming of age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including ...more

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#139 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #127 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

7
Serenity is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 20+ Best Matthew McConaughey Movies of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane

Released: 2019

Directed by: Steven Knight

Serenity is a 2019 American noir thriller-drama film directed by Steven Knight. The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain (Matthew McConaughey) living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt ...more

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#17 of 29 The Best Suspense Movies on Amazon Prime #104 of 116 The Best New Horror Movies of the Last Few Years

8
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Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Judy Greer

Released: 2001

Directed by: Adam Shankman

The Wedding Planner is a 2001 romantic comedy film directed by Adam Shankman, written by Michael Ellis and Pamela Falk, and starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey.

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#778 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #69 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

9
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Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon

Released: 2014

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Interstellar is a British-American 2014 science fiction epic film directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The film ...more

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#425 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
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Penélope Cruz, Matthew McConaughey, William H. Macy

Released: 2005

Directed by: Breck Eisner

Sahara, an American/Spanish 2005 action–comedy adventure film directed by Breck Eisner, is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Steve ...more

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#243 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #1,465 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

11
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Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto

Released: 2013

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée

Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film, co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Ron Woodroof was an AIDS patient diagnosed in ...more

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#70 of 236 The Best Movies Based on True Stories #75 of 113 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreakslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
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Zooey Deschanel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew McConaughey

Released: 2006

Directed by: Tom Dey

Failure to Launch is a 2006 American romantic comedy film. In the movie a 35-year-old man lives in the home of his parents and shows no interest in leaving the comfortable life his parents, ...more

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#266 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #187 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

13
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Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Donald Sutherland

Released: 2008

Directed by: Andy Tennant

Fool's Gold is an 2008 American-Australian adventure-romance film from Warner Bros. Pictures about a recently divorced couple who rekindle their romantic life while searching for a lost ...more
14
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Matthew McConaughey, Jodie Foster, Jay Leno

Released: 1997

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Contact is a 1997 American science fiction drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is a film adaptation of Carl Sagan's 1985 novel of the same name; Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote the ...more

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#483 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #20 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #114 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

15
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Olivia Munn, Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum

Released: 2012

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Magic Mike is a 2012 American comedy-drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey. The plot revolves ...more

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#868 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #25 of 101 The Best Dance Movies Ever Made #32 of 173 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

16
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Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Anna Paquin

Released: 1997

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen taken and managed ...more

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#22 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies #535 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #50 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

17
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The 20+ Best Matthew McConaughey Movies of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

Released: 2001

Directed by: Bill Paxton

Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

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#373 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #873 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

18
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Emma Stone, Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey

Released: 2009

Directed by: Mark Waters

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a 2009 American romantic comedy film whose plot is based loosely on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Mark Waters directed a script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. ...more

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#397 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #205 of 379 The Greatest Romantic Comedies of All Time #46 of 91 The Best Wedding Movies

19
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Matthew McConaughey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1994

Directed by: William Dear

Angels in the Outfield is a 1994 remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The film stars Danny Glover, Tony Danza and Christopher Lloyd, and features several future stars, including Joseph ...more

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#769 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #257 of 317 The Best Movies for Kids

20
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Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler

Released: 2002

Directed by: Rob Bowman

Reign of Fire is a 2002 post-apocalyptic action fantasy film directed by Rob Bowman and starring Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler. It takes place in the year 2020 in ...more

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#1,082 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #70 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

21
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Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Bill Paxton

Released: 2000

Directed by: Jonathan Mostow

U-571 is a 2000 film directed by Jonathan Mostow, and starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, Thomas Kretschmann, Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Noseworthy, Will Estes and Tom Guiry. In ...more

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#71 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #43 of 221 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
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Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr.

Released: 2008

Directed by: Ben Stiller

Tropic Thunder is a 2008 American action satire comedy film directed by Ben Stiller. Through a series of freak occurrences, a group of actors shooting a big-budget war movie are forced to become ...more

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#844 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #65 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #57 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

23
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie

Released: 2013

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more

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#197 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #9 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #127 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

24
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Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller

Released: 2009

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian is a 2009 American adventure comedy film directed by Shawn Levy, and starring Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson, Hank Azaria, Christopher Guest ...more

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#501 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #182 of 317 The Best Movies for Kids

25
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Matthew McConaughey, Kris Kristofferson, Frances McDormand

Released: 1996

Directed by: John Sayles

Lone Star is a 1996 drama, mystery, romance film written and directed by John Sayles.

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#326 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #3 of 16 The Greatest Westerns That Don't Take Place In The Old West