Brandon Lang loves football: an injury keeps him from the pros, but his quarterback's anticipation makes him a brilliant predictor of games' outcomes. Needing money, he leaves Vegas for Manhattan to work for Walter Abrams advising gamblers. Walter has a doting wife, a young daughter, and a thriving business, but he has problems: a bum heart, a belief he's a master manipulator, and addictions barely kept in check. He remakes Brandon, and a father-son relationship grows. Then, things go awry. Walter may be running a con. The odds against Brandon mount. Written by
I can't think of a way that this could have been made without Pacino. Sure, Matthew McConaughey and Rene Russo gave convincing performances, but Pacino makes you feel sorry for the miserable, empty shell of a man he is.
The plot was amazingly intricate and well carried, but (once again) without Pacino it would not have been delivered nearly as well. I think that they should have found a way to include a small explanation as to how sports betting works, so the fans who came in just to see Pacino would be able to understand how it works. Also, at times the movie just dragged on and on and on...
I still think that Al Pacino is that movie. Pacino really extends himself the way he always does to keep the movie alive and moving. His character was one of the most miserable men I have ever seen, and while i hated him, I still identified a small part of myself with him, and that is the sign of a truly great actor.
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