6 December 2012 2:05 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

For a while there, it looked as if Matthew McConaughey would never shake his on-screen image as the stoned, shirtless, good ol’ boy who mugged through Southern-fried thrillers and C-grade rom coms. But 2012 finally stuck a pin in all that as the 43-year-old Texas-born star stretched in every way he could across five films that showed his range and, for the first time, sparked discussion of awards consideration. This year, McConaughey starred in Lee Daniels’ Southern potboiler “The Paperboy,” William Friedkin’s pitch-black crime thriller “Killer Joe,” Jeff Nichols’ indie drama “Mud,” Steven Soderbergh’s stripper comedy “Magic Mike” and the crime comedy “Bernie,” which reunited him with the filmmaker who gave him his brig break 20 years ago in “Dazed and Confused,” Richard Linklater. It’s a potent mix that led to his New York Film Critics’ Circle honor for best »

- Jay A. Fernandez

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