The script is solid, the story compelling, the characters flawed but vivid, and the acting phenomenal. Dallas Buyers Club is a small but great film that is easy to overlook against big movies getting bigger hype. It’s not an easy film to watch, but I was surprised as to just how much I liked it.


Dallas Buyers Club
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallee
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Dennis O’Hare


Premise: In 1985, Ron Woodroof, a playboy, drug-addicted, bull-riding, Texas cowboy, finds his life turned upside down when he is told he is HIV positive and has 30 days to live. After the drugs that were supposed to help him nearly destroy his immune system, Woodroof seeks out alternative forms of medication coming across less harmful drugs that are illegal in the United States. After figuring out the demand for safe AIDS drugs are high in the U.S., the ever resilient Woodruff launches the “Buyers Club.” He imports drugs from around the world and charges membership fees in exchange for drugs. After being ostracized by the people he called his friends, Woodroof finds camaraderie in the very people he once rejected. Reaping many profits from the club, Ron manages help hundreds of people while unknowingly changing himself in the process.


My Review: Yes, the story is gloomy and it times it could be depressing, but it didn’t always feel that way. It had a life about it, which is ironic because of the subject matter. But that’s what makes it so fascinating, the story is not just about dying, it’s about learning how to live. Ron Woodroof had to find out he was dying in order to start living his life and thinking of others. It took him hitting rock bottom in order for him to accept those very people he hated or was afraid of.


Based on a true story, Matthew McConaughey transformed himself into Woodroof with the help of a great script. He took on all of Woodroof’s flaws and imperfections, all the while making him sympathetic. But as great as McConaughey was, he was even better when Jared Leto was around. Jared Leto’s work as Rayon lives up to the hype. He immersed himself into the role completely and he is remarkable. She is remarkable. She is vibrant and full of life, while at the same time utterly heartbreaking. Despite having a dark cloud looming over her, her charm and spirit brings light to even the darkest part of Ron’s soul. Rayon and Ron’s old-married-couple bicker may be my favorite thing about the movie. She didn’t let Ron get away with anything. She called him on his crap and even though she knew he hated her, she never left him. She made him a fighter and in the end she changed him. Jared Leto made me want to be best friends with Rayon.

Powerful performances, gripping story, remarkable characters, and outstanding performances make Dallas Buyers Club one of the good ones for 2013. It’s definitely a movie you should check out. [Note: Matthew McConaughey’s Golden Globe win was a surprise as I was sure that Chiwetel would win. Jared Leto’s win was so deserving and I hope he wins an Oscar as well.]


Rating: A-




  1. CMrok93 says:

    Worth a watch, all due to the fact that Leto and McConaughey are so damn good with their roles. Nice review.

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