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Two for the Money (2005)

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

Director:

D.J. Caruso

Writer:

Dan Gilroy

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Walter
Matthew McConaughey ... Brandon
Rene Russo ... Toni
Armand Assante ... Novian
Jeremy Piven ... Jerry
Jaime King ... Alexandria
Kevin Chapman ... Southie
Ralph Garman ... Reggie
Gedde Watanabe ... Milton
Carly Pope ... Tammy
Charles Carroll ... Chuck
Gerard Plunkett ... Herbie (as Gerrard Plunkett)
Craig Veroni ... Amir
James Kirk ... Denny
Chrislyn Austin Chrislyn Austin ... Julia
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How much will you risk?

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

For the Money See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,703,240, 9 October 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,862,049, 13 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the true story of Brandon Lang. The real Lang is in a scene greeting Matthew McConaughey. See more »

Goofs

During the big game, Super Forty, the graphic on the screen says "1st and 15," but the sportscaster announces before the snap that it is 2nd and 15. See more »

Quotes

Walter Abrams: [Waking Brandon up, referring to their argument they had the night before] Its six in the morning, all is forgiven. I've got to go to Vegas, meet with some clients "a hand holding" thing, just keep it on board for the last game because you can do this thing. End of the season is the perfect time to turn the streak around. I'll be back tonight we'll go out and have a good meal and get you back in the groove again. Nine thirty at Nobu, we're turning it around.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Inspired by a true story See more »

Connections

References Network (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Not Unusual
Written by Gordon Mills and Les Reed
Performed by Tom Jones
Courtesy of Seconds Out Productions
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User Reviews

 
Worth betting on, for the most part.
2 April 2006 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

Two for the Money is a decent, diverting picture. The material at times seems a little beneath these fine actors, but the film ends up hitting enough of the right notes to make it worth seeing.

Matthew McConaughey would seem a little out of his league on the same screen with Al Pacino and Rene Russo. By the end of the film, you will most likely feel that he's more than held his own, however. McConaughey plays a former college football star who sees his chances of a professional career destroyed by a serious injury. He quickly finds himself picking college football games for a low-rent betting line. With all of his past experience as a player, he does quite well with it. Well enough to attract the attention of Al Pacino, who runs a more up-scale operation in New York. By the end of the first half hour, McConaughey is picking all kinds of football winners, and making Pacino a ton of money. As you would expect, this success does not last very long as various egos spiral out of control and the betting gods turn on our heroes as they eventually do to all of us. The film is more of a character study about the minds of gamblers and lost identity than it is about the workings of an actual betting organization. Overall, it works on a couple different levels.

Pacino is fine, but not as out of control as you might hope. His character has a bad heart, so any typical Pacino tantrums are not really in order for him. He brings as much dignity as one could to the role of an addicted gambler, though. Rene Russo is terrific as his long-suffering wife and a former junkie. Pacino at some points seems to be trying to lose her to McConaughey. He being one of those terribly afflicted gamblers who only feels alive when he's just lost everything he wagered. The supporting cast is pretty good, too. Jeremy Piven is always appreciated, and so is the appearance by Armand Assante.

The best scene in the film takes place at a betting support group meeting that Pacino and his new protégé walk in on. Pacino, being a hopeless gambler himself shows empathy toward these degenerates, then has the nerve to pass out his business card to them!!! The logic I guess being that if you people have to lose, you might as well do it through a fellow degenerate gambler.

The biggest flaw I noticed was too many shots of McConaughey without his shirt on. Yes, the guy has great abs, but we don't need to see so much of them!! Overall this is a good film with some interesting things to say about people who bet. Notice how in the end, the "experts" are really just like the guys they take calls from. During the big games, we're all just sitting there with a beer in our hand, hanging by every first down or dropped ball.

7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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