Our critic’s weekend movie picks

Posted: November 30, 2013

Dallas Buyers Club The "inspired by true events" tale of Ron Woodroof, a party-hearty Texas cowboy who, in 1985, contracted the AIDS virus. Matthew McConaughey gives a literally transformative performance as this homophobic hell-raiser, refusing to accept the doctors' prognosis that he has only 30 days to live. He proves them wrong, becoming a cash-rich drug dispenser and patients'-rights advocate in the process, in this colorful, compassionate film. R

Nebraska Bruce Dern in a career-defining performance as an ornery coot who believes he's won a $1 million prize, and heads from Montana to Nebraska to claim it. His son (Will Forte) reluctantly tags along, in Alexander Payne's funny, sad, absurd road movie. In black-and-white. A gem. R

Philomena A surprisingly tough and tender tale from director Stephen Frears, adapted from the true story of a 70-something Irish woman (Judi Dench) looking to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was an unwed teen, and of the cynical veteran journalist (Steve Coogan) who accompanies her on her quest. R

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