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Dallas Buyers Club Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Thanks, straight dude. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    84

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Variety Peter Debruge

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    What's remarkable about Dallas Buyers Club is its lack of sentimentality. The movie, like its star, is all angles and elbows, earning its emotion through sheer pragmatism.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty

    It's been 20 years since Tom Hanks put a movie star's face on the AIDS crisis in "Philadelphia." Since then, Hollywood has largely ignored one of the most tragic chapters of the 20th century. Considering that track record, even a movie as imperfect as Dallas Buyers Club is something worth celebrating.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Through its detailed depiction of the lead character and McConaughey's outstanding portrayal, Dallas Buyers Club enlightens compellingly without sermonizing.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Time Richard Corliss

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter David Rooney

    What distinguishes Borten and Wallack’s screenplay is its refusal to sentimentalize by providing humbling epiphanies to set Ron on the right path and endow him with empathy.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    This classic tale of a little guy taking on giants benefits from being essentially true, and from accomplished filmmaking, but most of all from the beautiful vitality of Mr. McConaughey's performance.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Dallas Buyers Club reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Grim, intense movie tells a powerful, relevant true story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dallas Buyers Club is an intense drama based on a true story about finding treatment for AIDs in the early days of the disease. The movie contains very strong subject matter overall -- including graphic unsafe sex, drug abuse, and bigotry -- but tells a powerful and relevant story. There's some fighting and threats, and a little blood. Some nudity is visible during sex scenes. Language is very strong, and includes several racial and homophobic slurs. Drugs are prevalent, both illegal recreational drugs and AIDS medicines, and characters often drink heavily, or abuse their meds with alcohol. Many characters smoke cigarettes.

  • Families can talk about the actions of the drug companies and the FDA as portrayed in this movie. Were they doing the best they could? Or was business (and profits) getting in the way of helping people?
  • Even though Ron Woodroof more or less broke the law, is he still a hero?
  • How does Ron Woodroof's bad behavior (drinking, smoking, unsafe sex, etc.) in the movie's first half affect his character overall? How does the Ron Woodroof character overcome his homophobia? How does the "Rayon" character help this?
  • What's the movie's position on AIDS treatment? Does the movie advocate healthy living over hospitals and prescription drugs? Where do the two meet?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The main character learns to help himself and help others when no system is in place to do it for him. He goes against various laws, but the results of his actions are most certainly for the good. For AIDS patients, he advocates simple vitamins and proteins (as well as clean living and non-processed food) over harsher medicines. Ultimately the message is that when motivated, people can change for the better and fight for the greater good. There's also an anti-corporate message demonstrated through drug companies' heartless actions.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: The main character transforms from a rotten person to a heroic one. He starts out as a homophobic, bigoted, promiscuous drug user. Over the course of the story, he learns to take care of himself, eat healthy, and learns to appreciate and love others regardless of who they are. Initially, his catalyst for helping others is to help himself and make money, but he eventually learns to see the good he is doing for others.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The main character often picks fights with others, especially in the first half of the movie. Much of the time, this doesn't result in anything except some threats or missed punches. In one fight, he gets punched and has a bloody mouth. He's also injured by an electric shock while on a job, and some blood is shown. Even during the second half, however, there is shouting and some showy threats. Characters' feeble and deteriorating conditions are arguably more upsetting than any acts of violence or aggression in the film.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The main character has sex with many partners, often unsafe. As the movie opens, he's seen having sex with two girls in the stadium, though it's mostly in close-up with no nudity shown. Later, a flashback shows him having sex with a woman with track marks on her arms; its how he contracted the HIV virus. After being diagnosed, the main character has spontaneous sex with a woman, also diagnosed with the virus. Some female toplessness is shown. The main character's bottom is shown, in another scene he is heard masturbating. There's also strong sexual innuendo, both gay and straight, throughout.

  • language false4

    Language: Language is much stronger in the movie's first half, before the character is reformed. It includes "f--k," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "p---y," "Goddamn," "son of a bitch," "hell," "dumbass," "motherf--ker," "a--hole," and "c--k," as well as racial and cultural slurs like "faggot," "homo," "chink," the "N" word, and "spic."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Both the main character, Ron, and the secondary character, Rayon, are shown to be habitual drug users and/or drinkers. In the first half of the movie, Ron drinks heavily (mostly whisky), snorts cocaine, and smokes cigarettes. When Ron first starts taking AIDS meds, he abuses them and takes them with beer. Ron eventually recovers but Rayon keeps using throughout. We rarely see Rayon using, but Ron confronts Rayon about being high in some scenes. Hypo needles are shown, and AIDS medications are discussed at length.

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