The McConnaissance may have tapered off a little bit in recent years, but for a spell it felt like the resurgent Matthew McConaughey could do no wrong. Having spent the better part of a decade starring in a series of forgettable romantic comedies and becoming better known for taking his shirt off than his acting abilities, he made the conscious effort to tackle the most challenging roles he could find.
That resulted in an incredible hot streak of performances that saw him win widespread acclaim in the likes of The Lincoln Lawyer, Killer Joe, Mud, Magic Mike, an Academy Award winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street and Interstellar. Nobody could keep up that level of consistency forever, though, and sure enough, the critical and commercial disappointments eventually followed. In fact, this year’s The Gentlemen was the first live-action box office hit that the 50 year-old has appeared in since Interstellar in 2014, even though his performances have largely been solid across the board.
Now, one of Matthew McConaughey‘s forgotten bombs is set to drop on Netflix and while Free State of Jones didn’t exactly make a splash upon its release, it’s definitely worth checking out when it lands on the platform on October 1st.
Directed by The Hunger Games‘ Gary Ross, Free State of Jones is based on the true story of Civil War figure Newton Knight, who led an armed revolt against the Confederacy. The Western war epic could only manage to earn $25 million globally against a $65 million budget and came under fire for the white savior narrative, but the battle sequences were commended and the performances were solid across the board.
Free State of Jones might’ve turned out much better in the hands of a more well-equipped director, but nonetheless, it remains an entertaining enough snapshot of an often overlooked period in history. And we imagine a lot of Netflix subscribers will find themselves drawn to it when it arrives next week.