7. Mud
Of Matthew McConaughey’s three main roles in 2013, Mud is the one people are talking about least. That’s understandable given it’s a whole lot less showy than his parts in Dallas Buyers Club or Wolf Of Wall Street, but quietly, Mud is the best thing the budding superstar gave us this year. As the mysterious title character, he spins a web of Southern charm, intrigue and danger that’s simply captivating. Sometimes he comes off like a man to be admired. Sometimes he comes off like a man who desperately needs our sympathy, and sometimes he comes off like a full blown asshole. During every single moment, he’s captivating as a man on the run, hiding in a houseboat in the woods.

In her best role in years, Reese Witherspoon steals a few scenes as the object of Mud’s affection and the downfall of his existence. Michael Shannon too offers up some double takes as an out of control family member with some awful advice and newcomers Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland more than hold their own opposite the far more famous co-stars. Mud didn’t make a big dent at the box office, but it’s a film that should be sought out and appreciated by a wide audience of movie fans interested in complicated stories that live in the margins.

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