Matthew McConaughey is closely associated with his “alright, alright, alright” catchphrase from his first film appearance in 1993’s “Dazed & Confused.” The actor even dropped the phrase during his Golden Globes and Academy Awards acceptance speeches and newspaper writers and reporters jumped on the bandwagon. While that phrase is quintessential McConaughey and its new-found ubiquity shows just how the McConaughssance is sweeping the world of entertainment, it only glosses upon the brilliance of the Texas-born actor’s dialogue delivery. Matthew McConaughey’s acting chops really shine when he has a true monologue to work with and his talent at delivering brilliant monologues shows just why he has evolved into such a talented actor. He is able to find a character’s internal monologue and establish that as a character blueprint, making him one of the best actors alive today. A look back at the best Matthew McConaughey monologues shows us his range and brilliant ability to draw the audience into his character’s motivation.
9) True Detective (2014) – Rust Cohle’s Existentialism
It was hard to pinpoint just one defining monologue for Rust Cohle’s character as he has many prolific thoughts throughout the series. Rust Cohle’s ramblings on life have captivated audiences and garnered a new found respect for Matthew McConaughey as he plays such a complex and deeply troubled man with startling realism. Time is a flat circle during the McConaughssance.
8) Failure to Launch (2006) – You Don’t Love Boats Quote
“Failure to Launch” is a largely forgettable rom-com from the pre-McConaughssance days when the actor was letting his brilliant acting skills sit idle. But this movie did feature a truly solid moment when Matthew McConaughey’s character delivered his crafty “You don’t love boats, you love the idea of a boat” line. The metaphor was great and gave male viewers something to identify with.
7) Dazed & Confused (1993) – Just Keep Livin’
Matthew McConaughey stole the show as Wooderson by delivering iconic one-liners like, “alright, alright, alright,” and, “that’s what I love about these high school girls, man.” The high point of the character revealing his identity and prerogative came near the end of the cult-classic film when Wooderson delivered his legendary “just keep livin'” monologue. The story behind that particular line within the monologue is also very touching and inspiring.
6) We Are Marshall (2006) – Pre-Game Speech
“We Are Marshall” is a riveting sports story that never garnered the recognition it truly deserved, especially considering that the movie was based on the true story of the 1970 Marshall Thundering Herd football team. Matthew McConaughey’s pre-game speech to the team is one of the most inspired and well-delivered monologues ever in a sports movie. Bandwagon believers in the McConaughssance and aspiring actors should check out this 2006 football film and appreciate the talent on display.
5) Killer Joe (2011) – Joe Tells A Story
Suspension of disbelief is something actors, filmmakers and storytellers frequently talk about as it is crucial to their success. When Matthew McConaughey’s character sits down with Dottie to tell her a rather disturbing story, the viewer gains a valuable insight into the character’s internal monologue as he delivers the verbal monologue. This is a disturbed character and the monologue is delivered impeccably to convey that to the audience.
4) Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – The Money Chant
Although it is not a monologue in the truest sense of the word, Matthew McConaughey’s “Wolf of Wall Street” moment is so iconic that it warrants consideration as one of Matthew McConaughey’s best monologues and on-screen moments. Matthew McConaughey took the vocal exercise he uses between takes and used it in the restaurant scene with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort character. The performance was over the top, fitting for a movie of this nature.
3) Dallas Buyers Club (2013) – Schooling the CDC
Matthew McConaughey’s portrayal of Ron Woodroof won him the Academy Award for Best Actor and it’s hard to single out any single moment as the defining moment of the film due to the brilliant performance given from start to finish. With that said, the moment that Woodroof walks into the CDC meeting with Dallas residents and turns the tables on the definition of a drug dealer is a moment that draws empathy while simultaneously providing brilliant insight into the character. The McConaughssance was in full swing.
2) Killer Joe (2011) – Chicken Bone
“Killer Joe” was really the movie that was the catalyst of the so-called McConaughssance. The actor known for playing the go-to rom-com guy had taken on a dark role and it was done in stellar fashion as critics and audiences took note of the new-found edginess in the actor’s work. The most talked about scene from this William Friedkin-directed dark comedy was also one of the most memorable and disturbing monologues to ever grace the silver screen.
1)A Time to Kill (1996) – The Closing Argument
“A Time to Kill” is the movie that made Matthew McConaughey a movie star and the closing argument that he delivers in this John Grisham film is largely responsible for that meteoric rise to fame. Just watch and enjoy an early glimpse into the brilliance that has defined the modern McConaughssance. It is a dramatic monologue that all acting students and screenwriters should study.
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