Matthew McConaughey’s Strangest Film Is A Streaming Success

Matthew McConaughey's high-brow thriller Serenity is currently climbing the streaming charts.

By Douglas Helm | Published

Matthew McConaughey in Serenity

Matthew McConaughey has plenty of popular films out there, but his 2019 thriller Serenity is not one of them. However, the streaming world is a strange place and gives movies a second life when no one thought they’d have one. That’s the case with Serenity, which FlixPatrol says is currently sitting a #9 on HBO Max.

Serenity stars Matthew McConaughey as a fishing boat captain whose ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) comes to him for help murdering her abusive husband (Jason Clarke). However, things aren’t quite what they seem. Saying more than that would be a huge spoiler but needless to say, the movie probably isn’t what you’re expecting.

Along with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jason Clarke, Serenity stars Diane Lane, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Strong, Garion Dowds, Charlotte Butler, David Butler, and Rafael Sayegh. The film is directed and written by Steven Knight. Despite the dynamite cast, the film was a financial and critical failure when it was released.

Most reviews of Serenity criticize the high-concept plot for not landing, despite solid performances from Matthew McConaughey, Hathaway, and the other cast members. The film has a 21% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a 30% from audiences. It’s tough to say why it’s doing so well on streaming, other than people just being curious about a McConaughey movie they’ve probably never seen before.

There’s a very good chance most of these viewers haven’t seen it because the film only made a measly $14.4 million at the worldwide box office against a $25 million budget. Even Matthew McConaughey¬†and Anne Hathaway couldn’t get people out to see this one. Both leads were even nominated for Golden Raspberry awards, showing their acting talent was fairly squandered.

anne hathaway
Anne Hathaway in Serenity

Fortunately, Matthew McConaughey cushioned the rest of his 2019 output with some solid films like Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen and a hilarious appearance in Between Two Ferns: The Movie. However, since The Gentlemen, we haven’t really seen McConaughey in much. In fact, we only really heard him in the Dreamworks sequel Sing 2 when he reprised his voice role as Buster Moon.

This is undoubtedly partly due to the pandemic, but even in these more normal times, Matthew McConaughey doesn’t really have any big projects in the works. In fact, his next feature titled Dallas Sting was scrapped by the studio two months before production was set to begin. The film would have starred McConaughey as real-life high school girls’ soccer coach Bill Kinder, whose team beat some of the best in the world in 1984.

However, Matthew McConaughey’s WME representative received an anonymous complaint against Kinder, accusing him of inappropriate touching and name-calling. The note was forwarded to the studio and producers, leading them to hire an investigator. Though the findings of the probe haven’t been revealed, McConaughey and the director left the project essentially leaving it dead in the water.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long to find out what Matthew McConaughey plans to do next. In the meantime, you can revisit one of his stranger films with Serenity. It’s currently streaming on HBO Max.