‘Dallas Buyers Club’ movie review: Matthew McConaughey triumphs

November 7, 2013 10:54 PM

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McConaughey has doubled down on the persona in “Dallas Buyers Club,” an alternately wrenching and exuberant fact-based drama for which he famously shed nearly 40 pounds to play an emaciated HIV patient. As Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, McConaughey delivers the performance of his career, characterized not just by an astonishing physical transformation but by a wellspring of deep compassion and fearlessness. Together with co-star Jared Leto — whose facial and corporeal transformation is every bit as startling — McConaughey personifies the kind of blazing, all-in commitment that defines screen acting at its simplest and its best.

From its very first scene, “Dallas Buyers Club” announces what kind of tough, even tawdry world it intends to inhabit: At a rodeo where cowboys are hurled into the ground like yard darts, Woodroof embarks on a wild, panting assignation of his own in the form of a furtive sexual encounter with two wo...

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