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Matthew McConaughey: Do you really need to show your abs?

Matthew McConaughey and Bryan Cranston in "The Lincoln

Matthew McConaughey and Bryan Cranston in "The Lincoln Lawyer" Credit: Handout

It's often said that Matthew McConaughey spends more time shirtless onscreen than not — and it's hard to blame him. If you had the 41-year-old's glistening washboard abs, you'd want to show them off, too.

Yet there's never been a study, to our knowledge, of the correlation between the quality of a particular McConaughey film versus whether or not the Texas-born actor manages to keep his shirt on.

So with "The Lincoln Lawyer," the actor's latest, hitting theaters tomorrow, we compare the cinematic highlights of Matthew's shirted or shirtless films.

"Lone Star"
As Sheriff Buddy Deeds, the key figure in John Sayles' modern-day western/murder mystery, McConaughey keeps his uniform on and comes away with what is arguably his best film.
Shirtless: Nope
Film quality: 10/10

"Reign of Fire"
McConaughey does the psycho, tattooed, bare-chested warrior thing in this overwrought, hyperactive sci-fi/action hybrid, in which he and Christian Bale battle a brood of evil dragons.
Shirtless: In battle
Film quality: 5/10

We bet the actor wishes he'd never signed on as Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt in this infamous commercial flop/subject of legal proceedings, but at least he got to flaunt his midsection while making love to Penelope Cruz, so it wasn't all bad.
Shirtless: For sex
Film quality: 6/10

"Fool's Gold"
If McConaughey dons a shirt over his tanned, immaculate body at any point during this terrible tropical romance/adventure flick, co-starring the queen of terrible romantic comedies Kate Hudson, we must have missed it.
Shirtless: Constantly
Film quality: 3/10

"The Lincoln Lawyer"
Shirtless beach-rat Matt transforms into smooth-talking, sharply attired attorney Matthew in this sleek, entertaining courtroom thriller that opens tomorrow.
Shirtless: Very briefly
Film quality: 7.5/10

Conclusion: Matthew, we know your abs are impressive, but for the sake of our entertainment and your future career, please keep them hidden.

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