Movie Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, an HIV sufferer who acquires illegal drugs in "Dallas Buyers Club."

Marijuana isn’t the only illegal drug people join buyers’ clubs to purchase. Turns out, draconian anti-drug laws and regulations, capricious bureaucrats and outrageous prices have forced people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS into similar situations.

Based on a true story dating back to 1985, Jean-Marc Valle's Dallas Buyers Club stars an incredibly emaciated Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, a Texas native and rodeo worker, initially homophobic and angry, who's in hot denial that he could be diagnosed with a disease he associates with homosexuals. Once he actually calms down a bit and begins to research the facts, Ron realizes, in a tearjerking scene, that due to his wild lifestyle of free sex and tons of drugs, he put himself in a category of extreme risk for infection; he accepts the truth of the matter and begins seeking a way out. When Ron discovers he can't obtain the AZT they tell him he needs, he begins looking for a source, eventually finding himself conferring with a U.S. doc in Mexico, whose license to practice medicine was revoked for his unorthodox theories and treatments of HIV in the States, but simultaneously educates Woodroof on the fact that AZT, particularly in large doses, is more toxic, and even deadly to the human body, than the HIV/AIDs it’s supposed to be attacking and curing.

Ron and his new partner Rayon (portrayed by the equally impressively transformed Jared Leto) begin an extremely beneficial, under-the-table buyers club to supply the drugs they manage to bring into the U.S. from Mexico, China and other countries - drugs that are not yet even regulated by the FDA. The Feds do everything in their power to stop Ron and Rayon from successfully helping all the patients who come to them in desperate need. Yet the patients never lose faith in Woodfroof and his efforts to help them when the system has completely failed to do so, allowing these ostracized, deathly ill people at least a while longer on the planet to enjoy what life they have left. 

This is definitely one of McConaughey’s better performances to date, and the same for Leto. Catch this moving inspirational film at your earliest convenience, making sure to get your more homophobic, undereducated friends and acquaintances to sit through it with you. Dallas Buyers Club is a great start, and an even better tool, to help break down some boundaries.

Preston Peet

Preston Peet

Editor of "Under the Influence, the Disinformation Guide to Drugs," former editor of, and writer of numerous articles around the globe.