In the fact-based drama, Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies. In 1985, Ron was blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Bypassing the establishment, the entrepreneurial Woodroof joined forces with an unlikely band of renegades and outcasts — who he once would have shunned — and, seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, established a hugely successful “buyers’ club” that fellow HIV-positive people could join to get access to his supplies. Extras: TBA. Vitals: Director: Jean-Marc Vallee. Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Kevin Rankin, Denis O’Hare, Jane McNeill, Griffin Dunne. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 117 min., Drama, Box office gross: $14.257 million, Universal.