Sometimes actors get on these stretches where it seems not only that they are everywhere, but everywhere they are is good. Matthew McConaughey is on one of those runs.
His output since 2012 has included Magic Mike, a movie he pretty much took over; the acclaimed Mud; the marvelous HBO series True Detective; and two Oscar-nominated movies, The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club.
He is nominated for an Oscar for best actor for the latter film and has to be considered the favorite right now. At the same time, his Dallas Buyers Club co-star Jared Leto is on track for a best supporting actor Oscar, having also won earlier honors for his work.
Those two actors alone should be enough reason to check out Buyers ($29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo). They are terrific. But they are also giving their best in service of an excellent movie, whose six nominations also include best picture and original screenplay.
McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a rambunctious and reckless Texan who learns in 1985 that he has HIV. Determined to fight the virus and the likely onset of AIDS, he begins questioning what is passing for treatment and demanding other approaches. Because the FDA is refusing to authorize some of the alternatives, Woodroof goes to Mexico and smuggles drugs into the United States. He also learns of others seeking medical assistance — including transsexual Rayon (Leto). With her, he sets up a "buyers club" that skirts laws against selling unapproved drugs by selling memberships in the group and then giving the drugs to members.
The movie is many things at once: an examination of discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS, an attack on government obstinacy, a couple of gripping character portraits of complicated people and a film about change and redemption.