2. "Mud" (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions)

Everyone hails the memorable work of Matthew McConaughey in both "Dallas Buyers Club" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" (and yes, both are decent!), but for my movie money it doesn’t get more deep and layered then his turn in "Mud."  As a passionate drifter motivated by unrequited love, McConaughey gives the film just the right amount of fire and melancholy to create one exceptional and unforgettable performance.  Plus with his third and equally brilliant picture, writer/director Jeff Nichols (his first film "Shotgun Stories" was #1 on my 2007 list and the second "Take Shelter" was just as brilliant!) shows that he’s no filmmaking fluke.  "Mud" is a raw and real examination of love in all its guises – romantic, family and even friendship shown in its entire good, bad and ugly splendor.  If it is truly dirty to lay emotions beautifully barren, then "Mud" is aptly titled.

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