A complete emotional rollercoaster. It's impossible to prepare yourself for something like that.
McConaughey was great. Otherwise, it was a regular american drama - good, but not really remarkable.
On a sidenote, quite a few of these "based on a true story", high budget movies came out in 2013. Dallas Buyers Club, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street. Interesting trend.