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Two for the Money
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Reviews & Ratings for
Two for the Money More at IMDbPro »

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OK movie

Author: sassangel27 from United States
23 January 2006

I thought this was a pretty good movie and I love Matthew and Al but I'm pretty tired of AL playing parts that make him seem like a raving alcoholic. He is my fav actor of all time and I just saw the original Carlito' Way this weekend and I love it and can't figure why AL keeps acting this way. Scarface is my fav movie of all time and Al has come a long way from that movie. Matthew is really playing on that sexiest man title by showing his body in every movie he does even though it does look really good :) I saw Sahara and was really disappointed, the person who made it funny was his sidekick who's name I can't remember. Two for the Money helped me understand sports betting but Al could have had a better performance.

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Excellent, edgey, and well worth seeing

Author: ( from Austin
23 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Two for the Money" stars Al Pacino in a textbook Pacino performance as Walter Abrams, a mid-level New York City sports book "tout" and gambling maven with a gambling addiction. Married to Toni Morrow Abrams (played with finesse and depth by Rene Russo), Walter finds an amazing picker of winners of sports games (specifically football) in Brandon Lang, played by Matthew McConaughey, a former college football star injured in his final college game. Lang's ability to pick winners is based on his deep, nearly mystical understanding of football and its players. Offered a job in NYC, Lang moves into Abrams sprawling townhouse and quickly establishes himself as a superstar picker, and Abrams, quick to see the profit, builds an empire around Lang. What happens after that should be left unwritten, as this 2005 film is well worth seeing for its edgey, yet touching portrayal of characters caught up in gambling, greed, but with a family dynamic that can only be called love.

Abrams views Lang as more that just his best employee. We get a sense that Abrams honestly takes Lang under his wing, grooming him to become "John Anthony", superstar sports picker. In this sense, a little like "Pretty Woman", Abrams changes Lang into Anthony. Along the way, we find out that Abrams has a bad heart, an ailing "ticker" that causes him to worry that he'll live another year even as he lights up another cigarette behind the caring, and disapproving eye of Toni. This fear, for his wife and his family's future, leads him to introduce Lang/Anthony to Toni, and we get a very real sense that Lang falls in love with Toni even as he accepts Walter's tutelage. We are left to wonder, "if Walter dies, does Brandon marry the much-older Toni?" And yet, like a real father-son relationship, there is overt and subtle competition between the wiley, cunning, yet fatherly (if being crazy can be considered "fatherly") Walter and Brandon. Is Brandon conning Walter? Walter certainly decides to test Brandon, with Toni as part of this extremely complicated love triangle.

The film isn't specifically sexual, but it deals with polyamorous themes where the "amorous" aspect is more important, perhaps, then simple sexual escapades. Along the way, we learn the true meaning of these individual's lives, where they come from, and most importantly - where they are going. Highly recommended for outstanding performances by Oscar winners (and likely candidates for this film) Al Pacino and Rene Russo, and McConaughey, in one of his best roles yet, delivers his laconic Austin-tinged acting with a new, harder edge. This film is not appropriate for children or teenagers, not because it is violent or too sexual (its not), but because the complicated story and in-depth character studies are likely to go over the heads of most, but certainly not all, teenagers. This film is about addictions, love, a man's drive to provide for his family, a woman's unconditional love for her man, a father-son relationship (albeit off-beat and at times dysfunctional), and much more. With themes as old as Shakespeare and, at times, as basic as Pygmalion, "Two for the Money" is one of the year's best commercial films.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Two for the Money — High stake sport betting for an intense ride

Author: Avid Climber from Montreal, Canada
28 February 2013

Two for the Money presents us the improbable concoction of a movie about offering advice to sport betters as a high rolling career. It won its bet, this is fine entertainment. It has some sport, lots of competitive male hormones, a bit of touching romance, and drama.

Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey play the intense roles of a sport gambling businessman and his protégé. Rene Russo bring in a touch of the feminine flair and sensibility to try to balance things out, even though, this could never be presented as a chick flick. None of the cast lets us down, so it's an overall solid performance.

The score, the script, and the editing are all wound tight to give a ride that comes close to a suspense, especially near the end. The sets are lush, as is the wardrobe, and the story is very interesting, bordering on the complex.

Very good entertainment.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Definitely worth-seeing!

Author: JKlivin88 from Athens
16 February 2010

There are two types of very good movies: The masterpieces, the ones that going to claim for the academy awards, and the others, that do not deserve major honors, but they are extremely entertaining. This film, belongs to the second category.

First of all, Al Pacino gives a commanding performance. Some people say that he "saves the lot" for this movie, and although I don't agree with them cause i really enjoyed the film, one way or another, Pacino's acting is spectacular. McConaughey, on the other hand, follοws up closely being, to me, better than ever in this movie. He really fits in the role, is very confident and shows excellent chemistry with Pacino, who is his on-screen mentor. The dialogues between them are entertaining as hell, they share the same passion, the same winning spirit. Furthermore, Rene Russo does not go off the scene, having a soundless but very important backstage-role, influencing a lot Walther (Pacino) in his decisions, and being the only person who tries to keep up with the normal reality.

The script is good and inspired in part by a true story, the directing also did not have serious matters. Definitely there are some questionable parts in the movie, such as the meaningless ending and the non-sense concluding conversation between Rene Russo and Al Pacino, but in the end of the day, you will not regret watching this movie.In my opinion 7,5 out of 10 would be the case for this one.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

In search of inspiration

Author: jpschapira from Argentina
1 October 2006

"Two for the money" is a film with a plot line with seen lots of times: a hot shot gets a big chance for doing what he does best; he meets a mentor that could play him or not; things could go incredibly right or terribly wrong...However, it's set in a different environment; and one we're not used to be around: the sports gambling business.

Mathew McConaughey gets inside the skin of a man who, in real life, got the opportunity of a lifetime and then had to deal with a world he didn't rule. Brandon Link is the name of the real man and the last name was changed to Lang for the movie. McConaughey seems very comfortable with his role as he goes from one place and one accent to another and controls the various emotions the film presents with confidence.

The picture has its ups and downs; its heavy and full of adrenaline moments, its quiet and well constructed parts and its dramatic instants where everything appears to be falling apart. I'm talking about the story anyway, which, for a movie of this type, exceeds the expectations. Screenwriter Dan Gilroy met McConaughey's character in real life and heard his tale and decided to write a screenplay about it. With a lot of knowledge of the business and the language, Gilroy's script is an element in favor of the film's consistency.

An entertainment picture like "Two for the money" can loose its rhythm inevitably, but for more than two hours it keeps up, mostly because of the screenplay and the performances of the main cast (Renne Russo is formidable in her best portrayal since "The Thomas Crown Affair"), but also because D.J. Carusso's intelligence in the decision of not showing a lot of groove with his camera and keeping it neat (editor Glen Scantlebury deserves credit for the latter one).

Whoever brought Al Pacino for the ride also has to be congratulated. I have a thing with Pacino I can't quite explain. The man is a theater actor; he comes from the stage. I've seen a lot of his work: some of it has left me speechless ("Carlito's Way", "Scent of a Woman", "The Insider", "Heat"), some of it has been just fine ("The Devil's Advocate", "Frankie and Johnny"); but during this decade it has appeared to me as very similar.

With a bit of screaming, long beards and a position of experience, Pacino's characters seem to express a desire of his to portray people at the top of their game but at the bottom of their life. His detective in "Insomnia", his press agent in "People I Know", his director in "Sim0ne"; they are all the best at what they do but show some important weakness as persons and look tired and, even more noticeable, near the end of their existence.

Although, as I watched "Two for the money", I found (during specific frames) some unique expressions coming from Pacino: challenging looks and glimpses that are inspiring and make me wonder…How inspired must have Mathew McConaughey felt having Pacino by his side as his mentor during this film, or Colin Farrell for that matter, having him in the same position during "The Recruit"?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

OK movie but....

Author: MLDinTN from TN
22 August 2006

seemed more of a TNT type of film rather than something released in theaters. There are A list movie stars. Only problem is the subject matter isn't that exciting. The film is about sports betting, which is not that thrilling. Walter is a "king" in sports betting and recruits Brandon to New York to make football picks. At first Brandon, goes on a long winning streak and makes a lot of money. He starts picking losers and the pressure gets to him. He even is threatened by a mobster type of guy who has lost a lot of money with his picks. And to top things off, Brandon gets a little too chummy with Walter's wife. Also Walter confesses he's back to betting with Brandon's picks and is in the red also. Brandon comes to a realization and must decide what type of life he wants to lead.

There was nothing great about the acting. And the film at 2 hours was too long. I agree with other reviews that the last hour was to slow. The first hour was much better with Brandon getting to the top.

FINAL VERDICT: I would not pay to see this. But if you like Matt Mcconaughey it's worth checking out. There are several shirtless scenes by him.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: finam622 from United Kingdom
8 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Your wrong re the Ferrari. It is in fact a F430 Spider F1 (as used in the new Miami Vice movie) So calling it an F1 is allowed. Ferrari have done this before with their F40. They delivered a road going F1 model.

More obvious goof is at the very beginning of the film where a young Brandon is playing baseball with his dad. He is very obviously LEFT HANDED. Yet if you watch the older Brandon he is very obviously right handed.

Re the film itself its stance in terms of the problems gambling has on the lives of those who both gamble or are affected by gambling is glossed over. The ending banal. Pacino walks through the movie and is redeemed only because we like Pacino for the gems of acting (sadly becoming less an less) he is capable of showing. Best scene is at the airport when he has a heart attack!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

after an hour or so, i'm left speechless... of the flaws of this movie

Author: johnjacos from United States
22 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Though based on a true story, the director made it seem like this movie was purely fiction.

Brandon Lang a sports betting adviser has got the golden mind to predict the winner, and he goes on an amazing streak. So amazing that he lures top of the line sports betters. but then all of a sudden, inexplicably, Lang goes into a crazy slump. now, sure, they say all streaks must come to an end, but this one was just too hard to believe. can you really go 80% plus winning streak and then all of a sudden turn to an abysmal below 10% win streak? maybe the 80% to 10% did actually happen, and i'm just a harsh critic, but the fact is, the director does a horrible job in depicting the situation. the fact is, the movie lacked the reconstruction of sports betting and it seemed as though sports betting was just two dimensional, winning a whole lot, and losing a buck load, and clearly, that's not the case.

the acting i thought was great, except for the guy who played Brandon, whose real name i have trouble spelling, maybe because he's not an actor to start with and i have never heard of him? nonetheless, it felt as if the movie was more about lifting weights than gambling itself.

the end seemed all too fairy. miraculously, Lang's bad slump comes to an end, just when he decides to quit his job, and Abraham amends and betters his relationship with Toni, and everybody lives happily ever after. COME ON! even my two year old son can come up with a better ending... he should've been a director by now.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Pacino Deserved Better

Author: JoshtheGiant from United States
19 May 2006

Al Pacino is one of those few actors who you willing to by an admission ticket to watch just sit in one place for two hours. He can be in a horrible movie and make it worth watching. He has done this before in Gigli and The Godfather part 3, and he does it again in Two For the Money. The rest of the film around Pacino is horrible, the other performances particularly in Rene Russo as his wife are just cringe inducing. The script is heavy handed with completely flat characters and dialogue, and completely pointless scenes and characters. The direction is also heavy handed. Every scene is marked, scared with this young directors steal hand. Even with all the wreckage mentioned above Pacino almost saves it. He gives his character life even if the one's around him are lacking there of. He makes the movie almost worth watching. See it for free if you can.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

one word MEDIOCRE

Author: werewolf966 from Turkey
5 May 2006

When I entered to the cinema,I didn't have a slightest clue about this movie.I haven't knew its plot , I haven't watched its trailer and I haven't heard its name.Right before the start I said to myself "How bad can it be? at least there is Al Pacino" and after the movie I said to myself "Yeah it is a waste of time but at least I watched Al Pacino". The presence of Al Pacino is the only thing this movie can offer. Everything else is mediocre.Plot is mediocre,directing is mediocre,rest of the cast is mediocre and list goes on.About 15 minutes after the start you are able to fill the blanks and the remaining 105 minutes is just a waste of time.

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