Re: HBO's True Detective
McConaughey went through a bad stretch of romantic comedy leads, like Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. Ughh. And unfortunately, those are the kind of movies that get circulated on cable forever.
Then he started taking some peculiar roles. I'm sure he made plenty of money on those date movies, and probably felt like he could take some chances. We start seeing him in smaller budget stuff, and smaller roles that are more interesting. The Lincoln Lawyer was excellent. Killer Joe was super weird and pulpy. He had small comic roles in Eastbound and Down and Tropic Thunder where he stole scenes. I haven't seen Mudd but have heard great things. Another supporting role in Magic Mike where he steals every scene he's in. Very short appearance in Wolf of Wallstreet that reminded me a little of Alec Baldwin's epic walkthrough in Glen Gary Glen Ross. An Oscar caliber leading performance in Dallas Buyers Club (A movie I had a few issues with, but none with him or Jared Leto). Now this role in True Detective, and probably an apex as the sort of hand picked lead in Christopher Nolan's new movie Interstellar for next year.
That's a hell of a run that spans comedy and drama in roles that are Oscar bait leading man stuff, to weird character pieces, to small one offs.
And I do believe the guy has always been good. Myth listed a couple good ones. He was chosen by Speilberg for a major role in Amistad. His Wooderson is comic legend from Dazed and Confused.
All that said, I worry about this True Detective role. When Woody tells him to stop saying weird shit, and that the car is for internal reflection, I was right there with him. Although his current day version of Rust Cole seems far more interesting, and the getting from point a to point b on that character may be the most intersting thing the show does.