Has there ever been a career resurgence quite like what we're seeing with Matthew McConaughey? It really is one of the most unprecedented trajectories towards quality that there has ever been in the entertainment industry. It'd be the equivalent of Madonna's next three albums being Kid A, Nevermind and The Dark Side Of The Moon. But how did this come about?

Prior to 2011, McConaughey's last movie was Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, a by-the-numbers rom-com that fit in nicely with the image he had cultivated for himself. Which is quite odd, as there has always been something unhinged behind those eyes of his. Even as he was charming up a storm with the ladies, topless as much as possible and as laidback as a deck-chair, it never felt like this was what he was supposed to be doing.

His career could be divided into two categories, and there were (1) the rom-coms: Ghost Of Girlfriends Past, Fool's Gold, Failure To Launch, How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, The Wedding Planner, or (2) his failed attempt to do anything else: Reign Of Fire, Two For The Money, Sahara, Ed-TV, U-571, Frailty, We Are Marshall, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

There had been glimpses of his potential over the years with the likes of Dazed and Confused, Amistad, A Time To Kill, his supporting turn in Tropic Thunder, but it wasn't until 2011 when everything changed.

Budget: $40 million
Box Office: $75 million
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review: Something about being in the courtroom seems to bring out the best in McConaughey, and here it kickstarted his career turnaround. A solidly entertaining legal drama/thriller with a pleasantly enjoyable leading performance from Matt, this was one of the best undiscovered gems of that year. Four Out Of Five.

BERNIE (2011)
Budget: $5 million
Box Office: $11 million
Rotten Tomates Score: 90%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review: Nobody went to see this film, probably because the promoters didn't know what to do with it. The normally loud and annoying Jack Black was playing an effeminet murderer, and McConaughey was a laconic detective on the case. It was darkly comic, and more than a little weird, but yet another hidden gem on McConaughey's CV. Three Out Of Five.

Budget: N/A
Box Office: $3.5 million
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review:
This was it, this was the one that finally warped all of our perceptions on what McConaughey was actually capable of. A cold-hearted sociopathic hitman, this was an incredibly dark thriller filled with terrific performances and a scene involved a chicken drumstick that will turn you off them for life. Not for everybody, but for those who are willing to persevere, this will stick in your mind. Four Out Of Five.

Budget: N/A
Box Office: $1.3 million
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review: Just about everybody in this movie is trying on a new type of character, between Nicole Kidman going trailer trash, John Cusack a terrifying murder, Zac Efron being a grown up actor, and McConaughey as a reporter with A LOT of dark secrets. Again, incredibly dark, and not for the faint of heart, this is an uncomfortable watch, but definitely one to seek out. Three Out Of Five.

MUD (2012)
Budget: N/A
Box Office: $30 million
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review: One of the best reviewed movies of the year, and may be looked back upon as our generation's version of Stand By Me, this finds McConaughey living in a character that is solely shades of grey. One of the first performances by him that should legitimately be considered for an Oscar nomination. Four Out Of Five.


Budget: $7 million
Box Office: $167 million
Rotten Tomates Score: 80%

Entertainment.ie Hindsight Review: While Channing Tatum was front and centre of the movie, all eyes were on McConaughey whenever he was on screen. As the owner of the all-male strip club, he had a ferocious carnality about him that was both intimidating and consuming. He should've received the Best Supporting Actor award for the scene where he dry humps up on Alex Pettyfer alone. Four Out Of Five.

Irish Release Date: January 17th 2014

Entertainment.ie Foresight Preview:
McConaughey looks to be in scene-stealing form again, swiping the attention out from under Leo DiCaprio, all under the watchful eye of Martin Scorsese. That's right. That guy from How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days is now working with the director of Goodfellas and The Departed. This is how far he has come.


Irish Release Date: February 7th 2014

Entertainment.ie Foresight Preview: This is McConaughey in full on “Give Me An Oscar” mode, playing a homophobic man who is diagnosed with AIDS and will die in 30 days, so he sets about buying potentially life-elongating drugs illegally. Early word that this will get McConaughey a nomination at the very least.

Irish Release Date: November 7th 2014

Entertainment.ie Foresight Preview: The latest movie from the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, the plot is being kept underwraps, but what we do know is that McConaughey will be joining the likes of Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, John Lithgow and Topher Grace in a massive sci-fi epic dealing with wormholes. We haven't seen a single frame of footage, but we already know it's going to be amazing.

TRUE DETECTIVE (2013-2014)
Irish Release Date: January 2014 (provided you have access to HBO)

Entertainment.ie Foresight Preview:
Teaming up with Woody Harrelson as two detectives getting involved in a murder case that was closed 17 years previously, this is further proof of McConaughey's new found super-power for picking interesting projects. The writer of hit show The Killing on creating duties, and the director of recent adaption Jane Eyre behind the camera, this is likely to get McConaughey an Emmy come next year's award season.

Looking back over the last two years, and the next twelve months, is there anyone who has had such a string of critical hits like McConaughey. No, no there isn't, and we can't wait to see what it is that he does next.