Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 47 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 352 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Loosely based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1985 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live. He started taking the FDA approved AZT, the only legal drug available in the U.S, which brought him to the brink of death. To survive, he smuggled non-toxic, anti-viral medications from all over the world yet still illegal in the U.S. Other AIDS patients sought out his medications forgoing hospitals, doctors and AZT. With the help of his doctor, Eve Saks and a fellow patient, Rayon, Ron unintentionally created the Dallas Buyers Club, the first of dozens which would form around the country, providing its paying members with these alternative treatments. The clubs, growing in numbers and clientele, were brought to the attention of the FDA and pharmaceutical companies which waged an all out war on Ron. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 47
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 47
  3. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. 100
    Dallas Buyers Club is one of the best pictures of the year.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Sep 14, 2013
    100
    The film manages to educate without ever feeling didactic, and to entertain in the face of what would, to any other character, seem like a grim life sentence.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 14, 2013
    90
    This is a bold, drastic and utterly persuasive inhabiting of a doomed fighter by a performer who has graduated from the shirtless rom-com Romeo of the last decade to indie-film actor du jour.
  4. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Oct 29, 2013
    80
    It’s a formulaic story that takes full advantage of these broad, familiar formulas to win viewers, but finds enough unique detail to retain its own identity.
  5. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Feb 3, 2014
    80
    Get this — Matthew McConaughey is currently the most exciting acting talent at work in movies. Next up, the simple business of a Christopher Nolan.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 13, 2013
    78
    Dallas Buyers Club is an indelible story about one man’s unwillingness to go gently into that good night, and the personal growth he experiences along the way.
  7. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    Oct 25, 2013
    63
    Conventional but never sanctimonious, it balances out its familiar recovery angle with a healthy measure of sardonic wit.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 69
  2. Negative: 1 out of 69
  1. Mar 13, 2014
    10
    Excellent movie and great acting. My pick for best movie. You feel the challenges of a life or death situation in face of government bureaucracy and what courage is all about. Recommend for young adults and older. Expand
  2. Feb 27, 2014
    10
    Dallas Buyers Club chronicles the struggles of a man suffering from AIDS as he is shunned by friends and finds solace in the most unexpected of places. As he struggles to stay alive, he is forced to use medication that brings him into conflict with the authorities.

    We follow Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) as his previously cavalier lifestyle is brought to a standstill with the knowledge of his disease. His confession of his illness to a friend has an unexpected effect when he is perceived as a homosexual, even though he clearly loathes them. He straightens up and does some research, and when he discusses this with Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner), he finds that as long as a treatment is not approved by the FDA, there's no chance he can opt for it, despite its use in other parts of the world. AIDS brings him into contact with Rayon (Jared Leto). His hatred of gays resurfaces. But they are another misunderstood group of people who indulge in their feelings without bringing harm to anyone. Ron is evicted by his landlord and his walls are vandalized. Finally he gives up everything and heads after a rumour in Mexico. On his return he starts the Dallas Buyers Club, and attempts to spread medication not approved by the authorities.

    Somewhere along the way, he changes and looks at life differently. This development is surprising when it happens, and I applauded when he rose to the occasion instead of going down the easy path. Ron becomes a big businessman, travelling between different countries in order to circumvent law in bringing life saving drugs into his own country. His interactions with Dr. Eve (Jennifer Garner) are a source of great insight into the disease and much amusement on the side. We also get to see some of the hidden life and past of Rayon. Ron finally takes FDA to court to avail his right to his own treatment.

    Matthew McConaughey has perhaps delivered the most shining performance of his career. Other than weight loss, which is what most actors go for when a role requires it, apart from weight gain, he created a character who was at once a southern hippy and low life yet had a peculiarly uplifting view of life.

    Jared Leto plays a cross dressing gay man who finds friendship in the reluctant Ron. Together they spend what time they have trying to keep other people suffering from AIDS alive.

    The script succeeded in imparting useful information about the disease and its possible cures and the development of medicine designed to keep the harmful effects of the virus at bay. But it did not achieve this at the expense of entertainment. The film was comical all the way.

    We also get to witness the dirty side of society_ the misconceptions people have about the disease and its patients, and their unforgivable behaviour when they unload their insecurities onto the hapless victims. Also portrayed is the behaviour of straight men towards homosexuals.

    The production design did a remarkable job given that the budget was negligible compared to other great movies nominated for the category of Best Picture. The environment of the 1980s and 1990s Texas, including the cars and dresses, was convincing. The film succeeded in letting us glimpse into the daily life of that era as well as telling a good story with intriguing characters.

    Dallas Buyers Club is a must watch film because I don't really know any other that has dealt with the subject with this much depth.
    Expand
  3. Nov 2, 2013
    9
    This is the movie you see about a week or two after seeing "How to Survive a Plague", which comprehensively details the political/movement details underpinning this excellent story. McConaughey is outstanding, but I want to make sure and mention that Jennifer Garner is fantastic in a supporting role. She is so much better in subtle, compassionate roles, as opposed to the caricature stuff she often plays, such as her role in "Butter." I also hope that Jared Leto is recognized for such a daring portrayal. Even though the topic is extraordinarily emotional and heavy, the movie is not difficult to endure. It's a hopeful tale one that I recommend. Expand
  4. Dec 19, 2013
    8
    Set in the mid 1980s during when AIDS was considered a homosexual disease, the story shows how far a man will go to keep living as well as how much a person can change. The strengths of this film are many, but the story (based on the real life Ron Woodroof) and the acting (stellar performances by McConaughey and Leto) are what make this film great. Can anyone say Oscar? Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2014
    8
    Nel momento in cui più che una malattia l’AIDS sembrava un flagello divino, Ron Woodroof si scopre sieropositivo dopo un controllo di routine: un marchio difficile da portare per uno come lui, omofobo elettricista che partecipa ai rodei, vive in un piccolo mondo dalle vedute ristrette come le sue e ha con il sesso un rapporto di puro consumo. In ospedale gli danno trenta giorni e una medicina che lo fa stare peggio: Ron decide di reagire, va in Messico alla ricerca di una cura alternativa e, quando la trova, mette su un’importazione parallela (nonché illegale) per distribuirla ad altri nelle sue condizioni attraverso il club di cui al titolo, ingegnosa trovata per aggirare il divieto di vendita diretta. Ad aiutarlo c’è soprattutto il travestito Rayon, che gli allarga a dismisura la clientela, ma presto arriva il contrasto con la rigidità della medicina ufficiale e con le case farmaceutiche: una battaglia persa, ma, prima di morire ben sette anni dopo rispetto a quando gli era stato pronosticato, Ron riuscirà a ottenere, almeno in parte, ragione. E’ curioso che, anche adesso che la malattia è stata culturalmente metabolizzata, i film sull’AIDS continuino a essere assai rari: l’argomento sembra restare tabù e anche questa sceneggiatura di Craig Borten e Melisa Wallack ha fatto una gran fatica a venire alla luce. Il progetto, nato quando Woodroof era ancora vivo, è passato per tante mani ed è stato finalmente realizzato solo grazie al contributo di McConaughey e al contenimento dei costi: solo venticinque giorni di riprese (se non altro, i due protagonisti hanno così evitato di morire d’inedia) e attrezzature ridotte al minimo. Con queste ultime, il canadese Vallée firma un dramma classico in cui si narra la parabola di redenzione di un uomo ignobile che ha il coraggio di sfidare il destino e i mulini a vento (ovvero Big Pharma), superando al contempo i propri pregiudizi mentre mette in mostra un fino a quel momento sopito spirito imprenditoriale. Come si nota, tutta una serie di classici temi del cinema statunitense che vengono però raccontati con il piede ben piantato sul pedale del freno: i patetismi sono banditi in favore di uno sguardo molto naturalistico (magari un po’ aiutato dalla carenza di mezzi) che sembra ispirarsi a certe opere di Cassavetes. Il Texas che ne esce è un postaccio, dove lo squallore degli ambienti si somma alle ristrettezze mentali di chi ci vive senza alcun desiderio di allargare l’orizzonte: solo la malattia arriva a portare un sconvolgimento tale da far cadere le barriere, ma il prezzo è venire esclusi senza pietà dal proprio ambiente. Proprio per la capacità di narrare tale sconvolgimento, la prima parte del film si rivela più interessante della seconda, dove hanno il sopravvento le disavventure del protagonista con la DEA e con la giustizia del suo Paese diminuendo in qualche modo l’intensità della pellicola anche se l’impostazione visiva rimane coerente: si veda il tristissimo ristorante in cui Ron cena con la dottoressa Saks (Jennifer Garner), l’unica esponente della medicina ‘ufficiale’ che si degni di dargli ascolto. E’ probabile che gli dia ascolto anche perché, sotto i baffoni e dietro l’aspetto pelle e ossa ottenuto perdendo circa venti chili, c’è il fascino di Matthew McConaughey, la cui prova d’attore, con incluso tour de force fisico, è il vero valore aggiunto di ‘Dallas buyers club’ che, grazie a lui, passa da lavoro discreto a pellicola da vedere: l’immedesimazione è sia fisica sia psicologica per una recitazione che, come il film, riesce a trasmettere la carica emotiva pur sforzandosi di non mostrarla in modo palese. Accanto a lui, gli altri attori danno vita a onesti ruoli di supporto (anche Garner risulta sacrificata e non è particolarmente incisiva) con la sola eccezione di Jared Leto che – dopo una pausa di cinque anni – si toglie una decina di chili per incarnare un/una Rayon molto femminile: una bella prova solo messa un po’ in ombra da quella di McConaughey che magari fa un po’ la figura di quei chitarristi abbonati all’assolo che mettono in secondo piano il resto della band ma, tutto sommato, meriterebbe proprio l’Oscar. Expand
  6. Aug 2, 2014
    7
    Dallas Buyers Club is certainly a pretty good biopic of a man dying of AIDs who decides to try and help other victims get the drugs they need. I think the hype over the acting is a little over the top. Their transformations are amazing and the acting is great, do not get me wrong, but it is certainly not McConaughey or Leto's best performance. To me, McConaughey was better in Mud, Killer Joe, and (later) True Detective. Leto was better in Requiem for a Dream and Mr. Nobody. However, both were great here and deserved their Oscars, if not just for this film, but for their body of work. Jennifer Garner is also good here, though she somehow managed to fly under the radar for many. The biographical elements here are solid and the film itself is a alright, but certainly not anything great. What really makes this one click is the aforementioned acting from McConaughey and Leto. Their chemistry is great too and is truly contagious. They both do a great job playing their respective roles and the praise they received is deserved. The praise for the film itself, however, may be a little much, but I enjoyed it regardless. Expand
  7. Sep 17, 2014
    0
    So, this movie was a great hit for Hollywood. That's the biz they are in. getting people to the theater. The issue comes in when the public believes this movie was real. or the public begins to "relate" to it and react because of it. Now, on some levels it was a good scary live right movie or you will die. Good stuff; BUT, now it had almost nothing to do with the real AIDS campaign. Sure, they made sure to drop a few key words to wet ones appetite, BUT, it still sent the following false messages: a.) Some big things aren't about money. b.) Everything IS about money. c.) Aids was a big deal in places other than San Francisco. d.) People can have heart attacks and walk out of a hospital 30 minutes later just fine, (if your matt m. famous movie actor). 4.) An average person can treat legal, law enforcement, and medical folks violently and not be put in jail, or brought up on charges. If I shot a shotgun at a door anywhere, there would be cops there in 3 minutes. So, what now? On to the good stuff. The acting was marginal and seemed fake and felt like they were reading the script in rehearsal. Am I jealous of what these actors get paid to do this stuff? Your dam right I am. Do I believe that anyone with "talent" can "make it" if they try really hard? No I don't. Can they cut the scenes any shorter? More later. Expand

See all 69 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. 2014 Oscar Nominations: Full List and Analysis

    2014 Oscar Nominations: Full List and Analysis Image
    Published: January 16, 2014
    The Oscar nominations are in. What were this year's biggest surprises and snubs? Find a complete list and analysis of nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
  2. The Best and Worst Movies of 2013

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2013 Image
    Published: January 6, 2014
    There were more great movies released in 2013 than in any year in recent memory. Browse our official lists of the year's highest-scoring movies in a variety of categories, and check out 2013's worst films, too.
  3. 2013 Fall Film Festival Recap: The Verdict on Films Screening at TIFF, Telluride, and Venice

    2013 Fall Film Festival Recap: The Verdict on Films Screening at TIFF, Telluride, and Venice Image
    Published: September 17, 2013
    Find capsule reviews for the 30 most notable films that debuted during the three major fall film festivals, including upcoming films from Alfonso Cuaron, Jonathan Glazer, Hayao Miyazaki, Jason Reitman, Steve McQueen, Stephen Frears, Bill Condon, Richard Ayoade, Kelly Reichardt, and more.