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Common Sense says

Where Brandon is susceptible, however, is in his deep need for affirmation—something his own father never offered and a void Walt promises to fill. Brandon is swept deep into Walt's addictive cycles, yet eventually he disentangles himself from his tragically flawed employer's destructive influence. Walt asks Brandon if he believes in God, to which he replies affirmatively.

After that, Walt refers several times to Brandon's spiritual beliefs with mockery—and perhaps envy. Walt says sarcastically that Brandon has a "direct line to God" regarding the scores of upcoming games. Toni is afraid for her husband's health, but Walt brushes off her concerns, saying, "In biblical times, you'd just move in with my brother, Mortie, if I died. Brandon takes the bet—successfully. An explicit sex scene includes breast nudity the setting is dark and shadowy. Another time, Walt pays a prostitute to attend to Brandon, though he refuses her "services.


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Strippers, Viagra and male anatomy are referenced. A co-worker jumps on Brandon's lap and kisses him to "encourage" him following a promotion from Walt. Toni usually wears cleavage-revealing shirts.

Two for the Money Movie Review

And the camera makes sure to highlight Brandon's ripped upper torso. Toni and Brandon share an illicit kiss—and possibly more. Brandon's last game as a college football star ends with his leg badly broken at an unnatural angle think Joe Theisman. Novian and his large henchman ambush Brandon as he rides his bike through Central Park.


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The henchman violently hoists Brandon off his moving bike, and holds him as Mr. Novian also threatens to harm Brandon's mother and brother, telling the terrified bookie, "I know where you live. Screenwriter and director D. Caruso takes full advantage of the film's R-rating to unleash a torrent of obscenity. The film's characters, Walt in particular, are especially fond of the f-word, using it at least 65 times, including a couple of foul instances where it's paired with God's and Jesus' names.

Walt is so fond of the f-word that he actually notices that Brandon won't use it—and comments on it. Walt tells his team of phone salesmen that Brandon is averse to using the word, to which they say, predictably, "F you. S-word variants crop up plus times. Characters take God's or Jesus' name in vain about a dozen times, including a handful of uses of "g--d--n. Numerous scenes show people drinking beer or wine.

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Everyone in the office watches NFL playoff games and the Super Bowl together, resulting in lots of empty beer bottles on tables the next day. Walt smokes continuously, and he tries to hide his habit from his wife. Brandon doesn't smoke at first, but takes to puffing regularly on cigars as an indication of his superstar status. Drinking and smoking are rarely the main focus of any given scene, though. Rather, the film implies that these are simply normal, everyday activities in the lives its characters. Walt is a manipulator par excellence. Brandon and Toni are continually discovering the shocking lengths to which Walt will go in order to get them to do what he wants.

In an airport, Walt fakes having a heart attack and repeatedly asks Brandon, "Do you love me? Several times, Walt implies that his wife should have an affair with Brandon, yet watches the pair like a jealous hawk whenever they interact. When the maniacal manipulator then confronts his wife, Toni realizes that her husband has been waiting for her to fail all along—something akin to betting on which choices she will make amid a tempting setup.

As part of that setup, Walt lets Toni believe he has begun gambling again. As a former drug addict, she is crushed by the thought that her husband has given in.

Two for the Money Review

One of Brandon's jobs is to convince bettors to up the ante as far as possible—and then some. When he accuses Walt of pushing too far, Walt retorts, "No such thing as too far"—an ethic that informs his life and slowly desensitizes Brandon's approach to customers as well. In a moment of anger and frustration, Brandon gives Toni a harrowing ride to work in his Mercedes, weaving recklessly in and out of traffic.

From a content-oriented perspective, the spread on Two for the Money is far too wide. But it's too bad the filmmakers decided to go to such extremes, because they've done a forceful job in other ways of showing the injurious power of addiction. Al Pacino's performance is riveting—and horrifying as you slowly realize just how damaged his character truly is.

His insatiable longing for something to fill his emptiness brings him—and those close to him—to the brink of destruction. Screenwriter Dan Gilroy commented on what he was trying to accomplish, saying, "You'd think degenerate gamblers would be addicted to the high of winning. But the more you talk with them, you find that many feel more alive when they're losing. What they remember are the losses, not the wins. For him, losing is the only experience left that generates any feeling at all.

Again, Gilroy: "Walter's got to feel that loss because that's how he knows where he stands, who he is. It's tied up in his identity. There are entire decades that didn't produce as many sports-themed or -related movies as has released--and the year isn't even over yet! In addition to films about the usual suspects: baseball, football, basketball, soccer, boxing, golf and horse racing, we've gotten or There are entire decades that didn't produce as many sports-themed or -related movies as has released--and the year isn't even over yet!

In addition to films about the usual suspects: baseball, football, basketball, soccer, boxing, golf and horse racing, we've gotten or will soon get fictional or factual screen treatments of such off-the-beaten-track athletic and competitive endeavors as high school ice skating, junior high competitive ballroom dancing, wheelchair rugby and the Special Olympics! So what's next? Two for the Money terrible, genetic title, by the way: it could just as easily have been attached to a Busby Berkeley musical or a Dead End Kids comedy is the latest variation on the venerable, all-purpose seasoned-expert-teaches-green-but-eager-kid-the-ropes subgenre, in which injured, woulda-been pro footballer Matthew McConaughey learns all about becoming a guru of gridiron gambling from tycoon Al Pacino This joins A Sound of Thunder and Waiting It's bombastic and way over the top, but let's be honest: isn't that what you WANT more than half the time from an Al Pacino movie?

He can be a wonderfully subtle, understated actor, but the Godfather trilogy notwithstanding, don't most of us go to Scent of a Woman or And Justice for all or Devil's Advocate to hear loud, grandstanding speechifying, which Pacino provides here in abundance? I mean, you don't see a whole generation and culture sporting T-shirts depicting his characters in Donnie Brasco and The Merchant of Venice, do you?

The likable McConaughey manages the daunting task of keeping up with Pacino most of the time, but even better and a smashing counterpoint is Rene Russo, who as Pacino's conflicted wife repeats what she did so well in the Pierce Brosnan remake of The Thomas Crown Affair: strikes a blow for fortysomething actresses as incredibly attractive, alluring, sexual beings in an industry that too often pushes actresses that reach a certain point of no return into unflattering supporting roles, repeatedly unsuccessful TV sitcoms and, eventually gasp!

Then again, since Russo apparently had to executive produce this movie in order to guarantee herself this role, I guess it's not as much a cause for celebration as I originally thought!

Top 10 Matthew McConaughey Performances (REDUX)

Jan 22, Definetely not as bad as these negative reviews. I personally I found it entertaining but I was not expecting a great movie. Feb 3, This is a foul movie. Why doesn't this has-been branch out a little bit instead of playing the same old dispeptic psycho in every movie, again and again, time after time And Matthew Mc-whatever-it-is?

Don't get me started! What a log!


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  4. This guy's the Patrick Swayze of his This is a foul movie. This guy's the Patrick Swayze of his generation: dull, non-threatening, over-exercised and dumb. I guess I should say "What a dog! Johnston Oct 8, Lelt me preface remarks by stating I love to gamble. After watching two hours of this garbage, you finally realize this movie is so inept.

    It is about scamdicappers and nothing else. It is just dumb and puts you to sleep. There is no plot, and is without purpose unless you count the actors Lelt me preface remarks by stating I love to gamble.