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Oscar®Oscar® Winner for Best Actor in a Leading Role—Matthew McConaughey, Best actor in a Supporting Role—Jared Leto, Best Makeup And Hairstyling
NOMINEE FOR: Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay

Movie Review

Dallas Buyers Club

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.

Reviewed by: David Simpson
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Biography Drama
Length:
1 hr. 57 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
October 10, 2013 (festival)
November 1, 2013 (select)
November 22, 2013 (limited)
DVD: February 4, 2014
Copyright, Focus Features click photos to ENLARGE
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Focus Features

being diagnosed HIV-positive

dying man / death

fighting to live / will to live

Once diagnosed with AIDS, did Ron Woodroof use his remaining life wisely? What should he have done, and why? Was he focused on the wrong life, Earthly versus eternal? Physical death versus eternal death?


LUST—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

dangers of fornication and unprotected sex

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer


FDA and pharmaceuticals

illegal drug use and drug addiction

doctor patient relationships


about hope

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.
Homosexuality

GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.

Can a gay or lesbian person go to heaven? Answer
If a homosexual accepts Jesus into his heart, but does not want to change his lifestyle, can he/she still go to Heaven?

What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality? Answer

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality


Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Featuring: Matthew McConaugheyRon Woodroof
Jennifer GarnerEve
Jared Leto … Rayon
Denis O’Hare … Dr. Sevard
Steve ZahnTucker
Michael O’Neill … Richard Barkley
more »
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Producer: Voltage Pictures
Truth Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Focus Features

Each year there is a low budget independent film that receives more attention than the others. The 2014 Academy Awards will prepare for that genre with “Dallas Buyers Club.” Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, a French Canadian best known for “The Young Victoria” and “C.R.A.Z.Y,” “Dallas Buyers Club” gives us a unique story, with very special characters. Matthew McConaughey plays the real life Ron Woodroof, a Texan bull-rider who contracts the HIV virus through a careless sexual encounter with a drug addict. Horrified that he is given 30 days to live, and fighting the local homophobic attitudes, Ron sets out to save himself, and finds a way to save others.

With HIV AIDS breaking out across the world, Ron’s friends abandon him to deal with his illness. Realizing the only medication that will help him is unavailable in the United States, Ron travels abroad to Mexico, and begins a private business of dealing in pharmaceutical drugs illegally. Despite being terminally ill, and dealing with a drug and alcohol addiction, he is able to create solid relationships and make something of the life he has left.

“Dallas Buyers Club” addresses many topics. From a homosexual lifestyle to homophobia, drug usage, the dangers of a promiscuous sexual lifestyle, dealing with imminent death, and fighting for what’s right by doing something technically wrong, the film tackles them all manfully.

However, it does come at a cost. With over 100 f-words, and a large scattering of other vulgarity and profanity (s**t, c**ks**cker, g*dd**m, among others), the largely Texan character base, McConaughey in particular, does not hold back. There are four scenes of a sexual nature, although one is more implied and is valuable to the backstory (how Ron is infected), and these all involve topless women and implied sexual activity. There is a strip club involved on two occasions with graphic nudity, and a shot of male backside. Many of the characters seen are homosexual, and much of their lifestyle is strongly implied. There is a scene in a gay club where men and transsexuals dance provocatively.

GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer

What about gays needs to change? Answer

The main characters consume copious amounts of drugs (mostly cocaine snorted or injected), alcohol and cigarettes throughout the film. As the main theme of the film is HIV AIDS, many people are seen at different stages of the virus—various stages of ill health, a heart attack, coughing up blood, injecting of medication and the results of unhealed wounds. Overall, the content is heavy and disturbing, at times. It’s difficult to watch, but nothing is glamorized or glorified. It is all key to the story, minus a couple sexual scenes, and helps plot out the path of the main character.

The Bible sets out what is wrong, and what is right. God laid out that sexual relations outside of marriage is sin, and will have consequences. This is proven through Ron’s contraction of HIV. Although this is a very serious, and ultimately fatal outcome, it does paint a strong and brutal picture of what can happen if we do not harness our emotions. Although Ron is straight, the majority of characters we see are homosexuals. Living in this lifestyle is one of the main reasons AIDS spread back in the 80s and left the world in a state of shock.

There is severe homophobia in this film, and strong rejection and hatred. God loves every single one of us, no matter what. He desires a relationship with us, and to guide us towards living through his perfection and his purity. His ultimate love is what each of these characters are looking for.

Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

Ron Woodruff is not a church-going man. However, in desperation, it is always interesting to see how people react. There is a very touching scene where Ron, in utter despair prays out loud to God, begging to have another chance. The camera then zooms out, and we realize he’s sitting at the bar in the strip club. It’s a fascinating portrayal of the vulnerability and fragile outlook of human beings and something that is probed brilliantly all the way through the film.

Overall, this is certainly not a film for children or young people. Its strong content is targeted at adults. However, I am not offended directly by this film. It portrays people living a life of sin, but trying to make up for it when time is short. The bond between the two main characters grows and develops until it holds the audience captive—desperate for them to find a way out, and to have hope that there is something better waiting for them, even when life ends. That hope is never realized in this movie. It is still, a very powerful message to believers, that we cannot, and SHOULD not reject people because of the way they live. Everyone is crying out for Christ and His salvation, and it is our job to present that to them in the loving way we had it presented to us.

Learn how to be more effective in evangelismStumped about how to share your faith in Christ with others? Our EffectiveEvangelism.com site assists Christians in effectively reaching out to others with love and truth. Learn about the worldview of the people you meet, ways to share the gospel, read stories submitted by site users, and more.

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a brilliant and moving film. The actors portray the characters with such reality, the script is raw and unwavering, and this is Matthew McConaughey’s turning point into serious acting. This is a real role, and a real film, and should inspire many to reach out to those hurting around them, while standing firm against sinful behavior and bad decisions, and urging repentance and acceptance of God’s gracious offer of salvation through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer

Are you going to Heaven?Are YOU going to Heaven when you die? Are you SURE you know the answer this extremely important question? Or have you made some common wrong assumptions? Find out now!

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy to Extreme—“G*d-d*mn” (21), “J*s*s Chr*st” (4), “J*sus” (2), OMG (1), “My L*rd” (1), “Swear to G*d” (1), “h*ll” (14), damn (2) / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I have watched two thirds of the film and am amazed at how much I see God and Jesus in Ron Woodroof’s story. Jesus dwelt in the midst of “sinners”. God has used “sinners” of the most depraved kind to bring his love, comfort wisdom and healing to the world. Through the depraved, imperfect and terminally-ill Ron Woodroof, God brought countless marginalized, reviled sick and forgotten men and women hope and comfort. These were people even Woodroof would not have associated with before he was sick.

Doctors, researchers, FDA, etc. were the Pharisees and Sadducees blindly stuck in their interpretation of proper procedure, health “care” and law. Alas, Ron Woodroof thought he was in it for the money and to save his own skin. I, the willing disciple, would only hope that God would call me like that and that I would go. Although I would like to believe otherwise, I am not so sure I would if there truly was nothing in it for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sally, age 48 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I chose to watch this movie as it is based on a true story, and I am intrigued by human interest stories and quite frankly all the awards buzz around this movie. I watched this movie with two of my friends who are lesbians. As a Christian, I am offended by many things in this movie and wish I had read the review before committing to watching this movie with friends. Beyond all the sex scenes and nudity, the most offensive to me was the use of God’s name in vain throughout this movie, including several G… d…mn and a few Jesus… F’… Christ. Normally if I were at a movie or at home, I would have walked out for that alone.

I was, however, touched by the performances and the development of compassion for those suffering with addictions, AIDS and those living this lifestyle.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Wini, age 48 (USA)
Negative—…This movie has no redeeming qualities; it is pure propaganda. It doesn’t surprise me that America is in the state it’s in. I am just glad I am not an American, because clearly your time is finished.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Steve, age 32 (Australia)
Negative—This movie is just pure pro homosexual propaganda. It’s hard to finish it, because of how awful it is. It’s better just to read the ending on-line. It is no surprise that God’s name is used in vain throughout. There is no point to this movie. It’s not entertaining, nor do we get any value or morals from it. …this movie victimized homosexuals in order to push their lifestyle as acceptable. The movie attacked those that disagree with homosexuality. More Hollywood propaganda, it’s no surprise 2 stars got Oscars from this. Oscars are given many times based not on talent but on what agenda you push. Rating: F
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Sam, age 28 (USA)
Movie Critics

…Matthew McConaughey’s career resurrection is in full bloom in “Dallas Buyers Club”. …an indelible story about one man’s unwillingness to go gently into that good night, and the personal growth he experiences along the way. [3½/4]
—Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle

…The movie’s often touching and very watchable, but what gets you past the script’s sincere calculation is the growing sense of rage toward a medical-industrial complex that saw AIDS sufferers as guinea pigs and sources of profit. …
—Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

…The empathy the film builds for individual human beings who are suffering and dying can only be seen as a good thing. But in embracing Ron’s and Rayon’s painful stories, we’re also asked to excuse and accept a slew of bad—sometimes illegal—decisions and actions, while staring wide-eyed at searingly seedy depictions of strip clubs and sexual encounters. …
—Adam R. Holz, Plugged In

…Jared Leto's turn as the drug-addicted transsexual Rayon is also terrific. Leto brings this sweet and wounded character to vivid life. …
—Claudia Puig, USA Today

…Matthew McConaughey is in top form in this entertaining account of a rodeo redneck who becomes an unlikely angel in the AIDS struggle. …
—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

…extremely crude libertarian musings… pro-homosexual worldview… very good acting and an insightful warning about big government…
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

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