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Two for the Money (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Sport, Thriller  |  7 October 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 34,893 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 146 user | 113 critic | 29 from

After suffering a career-ending injury, a former college football star aligns himself with one of the most renowned touts in the sports-gambling business.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbie (as Gerrard Plunkett)
Chrislyn Austin ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sport | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, a scene of sexuality and a violent act | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

For the Money  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,703,240 (USA) (7 October 2005)


$12,183 (Chile) (16 June 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Much of the game footage shown during the trailer, and the ads for the DVD release of the film is real. They are clips from various USFL games. Several teams, The Tampa Bay Bandits, Boston/new Orleans/Portland Breakers, Houston Gamblers, among others can clearly be seen. The league existed from 1982-1987. See more »


In the scene where Walter, Brandon, and Toni are speaking and Walter is telling Brandon about there being a next season along with basketball and baseball betting, Walters cigarette is on his lip backwards. The lighting end is in his mouth and the filter is about to be lit. See more »


Walter Abrams: You know, the best part of the best drug in the world isn't the high. It's the moment just before you take it. The dice are dancing on the table. Between now and the time they stop, that's the greatest high in the world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Inspired by a true story See more »


References Network (1976) See more »


Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

For the Actors
18 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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

41 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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