Two for the Money

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Laid back Brandon Lang (Matthew McConaughey) cant pursue his dream of playing pro football after suffering a serious knee injury. Living in Las Vegas, he works for a sports bookie and has an uncanny ability to pick winners. His reputation catches the attention of Walter Abrams (Al Pacino), owner of the largest sports-betting agency in the world, who lures Brandon to work for him in New York. Soon Brandon gets caught up in a fast-moving, intense competition of making millions for his boss while living a life of luxury. Walter becomes a father figure with a dark side who manipulates everyone close to him except Toni (Rene Russo), his wife. Brandon begins to lose his touch, and with millions on the line, the games become deadly. The only questions are when and who will be destroyed. Two for the Money keeps viewers guessing with surprises and twists. Both lead actors give Oscar-caliber performances.

Just when you think Walter is a decent fellow, he does something cruel. Toni understands him and loves him through it all. She knows he is trying to manipulate her into having an affair with Brandon but skillfully outsmarts him. He pays a call girl $5,000 to participate in a charade that makes Brandon think he is the seducer of a beautiful, young girl. That incident culminates in a sex scene with graphic motions and obscured side nudity. Walter even fakes what looks like a fatal heart attack in an airport to elicit feelings of caring from Brandon. Disgusting foul language plays a big role in the script, with more than 75 strong obscenities. On Brandons first day on his new job, he is told he must use the f-word during his sales pitch to prospective customers. After some horrific losses, a multi-millionaire customer sends his goons to beat up Brandon and threaten him. Two for the Money is a case of how good acting and a suspenseful plot dont always add up to quality entertainment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times mild (hell 2); moderate (other 2); strong (-ss 6, SOB 2)

Obscene Language: Many (79) times moderate (suck 1); strong (f-word 45, s-word 31, other 2)

Profanity: Many (10) times moderate (MG 3); strong (GD 4, J 1, C 1, JC 1)

Violence: Few times moderate (man attacked and beaten in park)

Sex: Few times strong (graphic motions with unmarried couple with side nudity obscured)

Nudity: Once moderate (side view of breasts in sex scene)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Several times mild (social drinking)

Other: Man attends Gamblers Anonymous meeting to convince them that they are defective in other ways and that gambling isnt their problem; goons urinate on mans beaten face; manipulation used many times to control employees and for financial gain; dark side and consequences of gambling shown)

Running Time: 122 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.