Academy Award winner Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey star in this adrenaline-charged thriller about the sexy, high-stakes world of sports betting, where fortunes can be made and lost with a flip of a coin. When Brandon ... more »Lang (McConaughey) becomes the protégé of sports gambling's power player, Walter Abrams (Pacino), he swiftly becomes the golden boy of the high-rolling world for consistently picking football winners. Now, with millions on the line, he finds himself in a deadly game of con-versus-con with his new mentor. Also starring Renee Russo and Jeremy Piven (TV's Entourage), Two For The Money sizzles with intense, non-stop thrills!« less
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"TWO FOR THE MONEY takes on the topic of Sports Gambling and makes a serious attempt to turn it into a movie. The story is apparently based on a true one (as per the opening screen statement) but it is from the pen of Dan Gilroy that the well-drawn characters are realized. DJ Caruso (Smallville, The Salton Sea, The Shield) knows his way around matters such as these and his pacing is fine, allowing for the isolated 'arias' in the film to work well. The problem, for this viewer, is the topic: how interesting can bilking chronic gamblers over football game wagers possibly be?
The story is related by Brandon Long (Matthew McConaughey) who begins life as a sports hero and just at the moment when he is ready to break in to the Pro Football domain, he fractures his leg in a winning touchdown. Six years later, and still dreaming of making it as a player of football, finds him in the numbers game with a talent for picking winning teams and calling 900 numbers to urge gullible people t place bets according to his predictions. Enter Alter Abrams (Al Pacino), a recovering Gambler who is making it big in the sports gambling arena. He coerces Brandon to join him in New York, wines him, dines him with the aid of his smart and beautiful wife Toni (Rene Russo), and in no time Brandon Long takes on the persona of John Anthony and makes it big as a TV personality who successfully bilks willing gambling people out of their money. Long as Anthony takes on a life of his own and it is the conflagration between the creator Abrams and the protégé Anthony that fleshes out the film.
Interesting to a point, the story loses steam in the last half and we soon lose interest in the outcome or the characters. And not that that is the fault of the actors! Al Pacino is very effective as the reformed gambler still fighting demons and Rene Russo is as beautiful as ever, acting her role with complete conviction and holding what is left of the story, once started, together. Matthew McConaughey spends much of the movie without his shirt on which is a major contribution to the visuals of the film! Buff and beautiful he manages to keep the heart of Brandon Long beating inside the persona of John Anthony.
Not a great movie by any means, but some truly fine acting from the trio of stars. The supporting cast also gives solid roles despite the skimpy script. If gambling of any sort, and sports gambling in particular, is of interest to you, then this is a movie to recommend. Otherwise see it for the actors, not the story. Grady Harp, January 06"
Avoiding This Film Is A Safe Bet.
Jason Whitt | Southwest Mich., United States | 03/07/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There's no easy way around it. "Two For The Money" is a bad movie. A very bad movie. It pains me to say this for the following reasons. I'm an avid, life long sports fan and a great admirer of both Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey's work.
Alas, the film is a formula "hick in the big city" tale that revolves around the shark-like world of sports booking. McConaughey plays Brandon, a young studly former athlete who possesses a gift for making game picks on the 900 lines in Vegas. Pacino plays Walter, the chain smoking kingpin owner of a sports book advice line with an addictive personality. Walter catches wind of Brandon's abilities and woos him to New York to polish the diamond in the rough and make him his next golden boy. Sound interesting? It's not.
Clearly poor dialogue shares the blame, but McConaughey delivers a disappointingly shallow, paper thin performance that offers nothing for the viewer to sink his teeth into. You get the obligatory hickory smoked drawl and charming grin, some bad hair, a few gratuitous shots of his pecs and not much else. Likewise, Pacino's role is overacted, stale, stock and downright cartoonish at times. (Think "The Devil's Advocate" or "Any Given Sunday".) Rene Russo is utterly forgettable as Pacino's concerned, salon owning wife.
The film fails miserably at creating an interesting or believable depiction of its characters and the world in which they exist. Every aspect of the film has a contrived artificial feel. The few sports scenes that are in the film are almost comically unconvincing. But worst of all, the story never really seems to find its voice, leaving the viewer to wonder what the heck the movie is trying to say. By the end of the film the viewer answers his own question by saying "I really don't care.""
TWO FOR THE MONEY
D. Elia | Orange, CA United States | 10/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The general premise, man gets sucked into the world of sports gambling and then tries to find a way out of it. Thats the whole story in a nutshell.
Really, the story is nothing new. Actually quite formulatic. I can't really say that there is anything new. But the thing about this movie is the acting.
The acting is great. Matthew M. is suprisingly very good. I don't think he is a bad actor, but I don't see him as a breakout actor for his acting abilities. He is quite good in this movie though as the arrogant sports-to-go-to man for gambling tips. Jeremy Piven, though in a small role, is very similar to his character on Entourage, but you know, he's great as that character as he is in this one. Al Pacino is always good. Acutally, he's great in this movie. The only problem is that his character is very conventional Pacino. Always yelling, yelling, yelling, getting mad, being scary. But, Pacino is good at that. Though Pacino is presenting nothing new here, he is very good at presenting nothing new. My favorite though is Rene Russo. She really suprised me with her performance. Her struggles to keep her husband (Pacino) in check and keeping (McC) out of the business is well covered by her acting abilities. Though all three previous actors are great, I think Russo steals the movie.
The great thing about this movie was the ending. The resolution is very powerful and is very well done.
3 Things why is movie isn't great: 1. Its a tad recycled 2. McC transition from loser to big man is kind of abrupt 3. The movie seemed lengthy & should've had some cuts
But yeah, movie is pretty. Don't have the heart to give it a three, but not quite a 4. 3 1/2 out of 5."
A FLIP OF THE COIN
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The fiercely competitive and beneficial world of sports betting gets the Hollywood treatment in this lukewarm drama, boasted by the performances of its talented cast. Al Pacino is fine as the head of a sports betting company that even has its own t.v. show to boost "sales." Matthew McConaughey plays well against Pacino as Brandon Lang, a former football sensation sidelined by a knee injury who has the "gift" to pick winners. Pacino picks him to join his team and it isn't long before Brandon (now known as John Anthony) becomes his golden boy and a surrogate son to boot. That's the basic plot and it just isn't charismatic enough to keep you interested, if it weren't for the top notch cast. Rene Russo offers strong support as Pacino's wife, a former addict who is trying to keep Pacino away from his addiction---gambling. Jeremy Piven is devilishly effective as Jerry, Lang's competitor and former golden boy who gets displaced. The movie falls apart midway and never really recaptured my interest, but I did appreciate the thespian efforts."
INTERESTING FILM, BUT FLAWED! 3 1/2 STARS!
! MR. KNOW IT ALL ;-b | TRI STATE AREA | 08/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pacino and McConaughey are very good in this tale about men who predict the outcome of sports events and the morons who believe someone can do this! If you don't like gambling & profanity don't watch this movie! The DVD transfer is very good."