13. 'A Time to Kill' (1996)
This John Grisham adaptation provided McConaughey his first chance to top-line a studio blockbuster — and he nailed it. Yes, director Joel Schumacher's sweaty, hyperbolic legal-eagle drama is all courtroom theatrics and liberal hokum (a Southern white guy stands up to racism and saves the black guy!) but McConaughey's aw-shucks likeability was especially potent during his early stardom. Sex appeal, modesty, understated intelligence: He uses them all to fine effect in a movie that probably doesn't deserve his talents.