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"TWO FOR THE MONEY"
(2005) (Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Extreme Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor *Minor Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Extreme Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An ex-college football QB becomes corrupted by his own fame and successful track record when he takes a job predicting the outcome of games for sports bettors.
PLOT:
Once upon a time, Brandon Lang (MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY) had a promising career in football, but a devastating leg injury in a bowl game ended that. Now, six years later, he records audio blurbs for 1-900 telephone number services. When he's asked to fill in doing the sports line, he and others soon learn that he has a knack for picking the winners. His impressive track record soon draws the attention of Walter Abrams (AL PACINO) who runs a lucrative sports prognosticating business out of New York City.

Since betting on sporting events is illegal in most jurisdictions, Walter doesn't actually take the bets, but rather wants a cut of the winnings should bettors decide they like the glossy TV show he puts on with fellow prognosticators Jerry Sykes (JEREMY PIVEN) and Chuck Adler (CHARLES CARROLL) and the expert tips they give out. With some audio and over the air coaching from Walter, Brandon soon joins them on the show, now going by the name of John Anthony.

His success brings fortune for the company in the form of high stakes gamblers such as Mr. Novian (ARMAND ASSANTE), but all of that money worries Walter's wife, Toni Morrow (RENEE RUSSO). That's not only because he's a workaholic with a bad heart, but also because he has a past gambling addiction and Toni knows his nature.

Yet, that doesn't stop him from turning Brandon into a star personality with a proven track record. Yet, as his fame goes to his head, Brandon risks taking his gift for granted, an act that could result in a losing streak that might put him, Walter and Toni in financial and personal straits from their angry clients.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids probably won't, but some teens might be interested in it, particularly if they're fans of someone in the cast or sports betting.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language, a scene of sexuality and a violent act.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AL PACINO plays a recovering booze and gambling addict who now runs a prosperous sports betting tips business that preys on similar addicts. He lures Brandon into his fold and turns him into a star, hoping to make lots of money off him. He drinks, smokes (despite seemingly having a bad heart), uses strong profanity and puts a strain on his marriage to Toni.
  • MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY plays a former college football QB turned unbelievably accurate sports prognosticator who joins Walter's firm and becomes wildly successful. Initially decent, he lets his fame go to his head and takes up drinking, smoking and using strong profanity, all while coming on to Toni (and earlier bedding a young woman he's just met).
  • RENEE RUSSO plays Walter's wife, a former junkie who now runs a salon and worries about Walter's health and the temptation for him of getting back into doing his own gambling. She uses some profanity and briefly kisses Brandon.
  • ARMAND ASSANTE plays a wealthy but dangerous, big stakes gambler who isn't happy when Brandon's streak turns cold.
  • JEREMY PIVEN plays Walter's previous protégé, a cocky prognosticator who relies on computers for his work and doesn't like Brandon's intrusion into his business. He uses profanity.
  • JAIME KING plays a young woman who's paid to have sex with Brandon.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated R. Profanity consists of at least 67 "f" words, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is present, as is a sex scene with movement, sounds and silhouetted nudity, while another sexual encounter is implied (but later denied) and a man admits to paying a hooker for another man. A trim and muscular man is seen shirtless several times, while a woman briefly straddles a man's crotch at work (both are clothed).

    Violence consists of a man roughing up another man before a third holds a gun to the second's head and then urinates on him, while a crushing tackle in a football game leaves a player with a badly broken leg. A man has a bad heart condition and collapses several times in pain, while a man is briefly heard vomiting.

    Various sorts of bad attitudes are present, as are some tense family moments between a married couple. Various characters drink and/or smoke, while some drug-related comments are made. Some behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate, including gambling on sports that leads to one of several thematic issues at play (most involving addictions of one sort or another).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Toni asks Brandon if he drinks (he says a beer every once in a while) or smokes (he says he doesn't).
  • Miscellaneous people have wine in a restaurant where Walter says he's going to order a $1,000 bottle of wine. We later see a bottle of wine on the table with them and Toni, but we don't know if that's the expensive bottle.
  • Walter says that he and Toni are reformed drunks, with her stating that she was many things, but not a drunk.
  • Brandon asks a client what his favorite drink is (a pina colada) as he attempts to manipulate him into betting (and he says they need to get the man a new drink).
  • While pitching his services on TV and referring to a certain game, Jerry says there's a bettor chance of God showing up at your door with nine hookers and bags of cocaine as well as Viagra.
  • About their success, Walter says that Chuck got so drunk he nearly punched a mounted animal head on a wall.
  • Miscellaneous staffers drink and then celebrate with champagne after a big game and betting win. Brandon and Jerry have drinks here as well.
  • Brandon mentions to a young woman that they go out and have some bottles of wine, but that never occurs.
  • Toni tells Brandon that she's a former junkie who's always waiting to fall off the wagon.
  • Brandon has a drink in a bar as do others.
  • The staff drinks beer while watching a game.
  • Talking about highs (meaning gambling, but extending that here), Walter says the best moment is not the actual drug use and resultant high, but the moment right before taking the drugs (meaning the anticipation and excitement of what's to come).
  • The staff has beer while watching the big game.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • During a college game, Brandon scrambles and dives for the end zone, only to be tackled hard, with the sound of a bone breaking. We then see him lying there with his leg broken and turned the wrong direction (no blood, but gross looking).
  • We see Novian's urine stream as he urinates on Brandon (as a means of intimidation).
  • We hear the sound of Brandon vomiting from nervousness.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We hear that most of the group's clients are in the hole in terms of gambling debts (yet they still go after them for money and Walter pushes that notion).
  • Jerry has a cocky and condescending attitude toward Brandon that only worsens when Brandon gets in tighter with Walter.
  • To improve his odds of winning a bet with Brandon (about whether the latter will leave a restaurant with her), Walter goes over to an attractive young lady and states that her hefty male companions don't look like they've missed a meal since Christ died.
  • Walter crashes a gamblers anonymous meeting to try to drum up business. When the others eventually figure out who he is, he gives his business card to one of them (after saying that he and the rest of them are just defective and that's why they're addicted to gambling).
  • Some viewers might not like the following reference. While pitching his services on TV and referring to a certain game, Jerry says there's a bettor chance of God showing up at your door with nine hookers and bags of cocaine as well as Viagra.
  • Brandon learns that Walter has been blocking some personal calls (including from Brandon's father) so that they don't distract him.
  • Walter collapses in the airport and Brandon rushes to save him, yelling for others to get help while trying to get Walter to swallow one of his pills. After a few tense moments, however, Walter lets on that he was just faking it, all to show Brandon that there's no such thing as going too far.
  • Brandon soon begins to believe in his own powers and fame, eventually becoming too cocky for his own good, thus risking the financial futures of his clients who are now betting big on him. He also gets greedy in regards to his pay from Walter, thus putting them at odds.
  • Jerry is upset with Walter over him sticking with Brandon despite his recent losing streak. In turn, Walter fires Jerry, with both then cussing at each other.
  • We learn that Walter is gambling again and has put his business and family future at risk by doing so.
  • Walter talks down to Toni while arguing with Brandon, thus evoking her wrath (he apologizes).
  • Thinking Walter is out of town on business, Brandon kisses Toni and the two go inside her place (all as Walter spies upon them from afar). Walter doesn't immediately let on that he knows (the next day), but both she and Brandon look uncomfortable. Later, Walter confronts Toni about this, saying the reason Brandon has left is because "you let him f*ck you." She then says that nothing happened between them and that he didn't even spend the night (adding that Brandon knew Walter's travel announcement was just a ploy to gamble with his marriage).
  • Mad about losing money, Novian has his thug rough up Brandon before he (Novian) urinates on him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • During a college game, Brandon scrambles and dives for the end zone, only to be tackled hard, with the sound of a bone breaking. We then see him lying there with his leg broken and turned the wrong direction (no blood, but gross looking).
  • We hear/see that Walter has some sort of serious heart condition. He collapses and must take a pill of some sort before it's too late.
  • Walter collapses in the airport and Brandon rushes to save him, yelling for others to get help while trying to get Walter to swallow one of his pills. After a few tense moments, however, Walter lets on that he was just faking it, all to show Brandon that there's no such thing as going too far.
  • Novian's thug knocks Brandon off his bike in the park, grabs and then manhandles him so that his boss can talk to him. Novian is mad about losing, orders that Brandon apologize, and then holds a handgun to his head. He then unzips his pants (making Brandon and the viewer think he's going to make him perform oral sex on him, but instead he urinates on him -- we see the stream hitting Brandon).
  • Walter makes a risky move by guaranteeing all of their clients to cover their losses on the big game.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Novian holds a gun to Brandon's head in a threatening fashion.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "I need a f*cking elephant," "F*ck-wad," "F*ck you," "We f*ck sh*t up all the time," "F*cked up," "What the f*ck was that?" "Life is f*cking good," "I'm John f*cking Anthony," "It was a f*cked weekend," "You lactose intolerant f*ck," "Nostra-f*cking-damus," "That's a scary f*cking thought," "You're all f*cked up," "I am f*cked up and I'm not going to take it anymore," "Holy f*cking sh*t," "Jesus F*cking Christ," "Cocky m*therf*cker," "F*ck that," "F*ck 'em," "You're out of your f*cking mind," "Who the f*ck are you?" "Shut your f*cking toilet" (or something close to that), "F*ck it," "What the f*ck is that?" "Can be bullsh*tted," "(That was) Bullsh*t," "Scared sh*tless," "Don't bullsh*t me," "Sh*t that happened," "The sh*t's over," "He had a c*ck like a Hebrew National" (hot dog), "World-class pr*ck," "The Marlboro man" (how Walter refers to Brandon upon first seeing him), "Your pitch sucks," "Loser," "Balls" (testicles), "Jerk," "Rip them a new asshole," "Hell yeah," "Friggin,'" "What the hell's going on?" "You son of a bitch," "I'm kicking ass and taking names," "What the hell does that mean?" "Hell of a swing," "We kicked ass," "You cut-rate parasite" and "Cover your ass."
  • It's possible the film could inspire kids to bet on sporting events.
  • Walter throws a demo CD of Brandon's audio recording out the window (littering).
  • Brandon drives fast and swerves through the city streets and traffic with Toni as his somewhat nervous passenger.
  • We see Novian's urine stream as he urinates on Brandon (as a means of intimidation).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has a lyric about "I'm your pusher man" (although the context was not noted).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 67 "f" words (1 used with "mother" and 1 used sexually as are the terms "bang" and "laid"), 34 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck" and "pr*ck"), 13 asses (6 used with "hole"), 12 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 4 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "Oh God," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "My God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Brandon shirtless and sweaty while working out.
  • Brandon, on a bike, tries to impress a pretty woman in a car by stating that the package isn't that great, but that "there's a surprise on the inside."
  • We see Brandon walking around wearing just a towel around his waist.
  • Walter tells Toni that she should check out Brandon, adding that he knows she wants to.
  • Brandon approaches a pretty, young woman, saying he wants to get to know her. She says he just wants to get in her pants. He replies that he wants to know her heart, mind and soul and that he doesn't see her wearing any pants in that equation. We then cut to a scene of them passionately making out in a cab, and then having sex in bed, with her on top. We see the silhouette of her bare breast, along with movement and hear related sounds. We also see a non-silhouette, but only head and shoulders shot of her as she sits up straight while still on top of him.
  • Jerry tells some guy to "bang a cheerleader" presumably if that's what it takes to get insider information on a game.
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage.
  • A female coworker gets on Brandon's desk and then slides down on top of him in his office chair, straddling his lap and passionately kissing him (both are clothed).
  • Toni shows a little cleavage.
  • When a car dealer asks Walter if he trusts Brandon, Walter says "With my wife...naked."
  • While pitching his services on TV and referring to a certain game, Jerry says there's a bettor chance of God showing up at your door with nine hookers and bags of cocaine as well as Viagra.
  • Toni discovers Walter coming out of his office with a woman who's obviously a hooker. He pays her as she leaves and is then astonished that Toni thinks he slept with her. Walter then says she was for Brandon and then realizes Toni is jealous. When she asks of what, Walter says of Brandon "getting laid." She replies that the thought didn't enter her mind, with Walter sarcastically saying that's not where they enter. He then says he paid the hooker "for coming...pardon the pun."
  • When describing his father, Walter says he had "a c*ck like a Hebrew National" (hot dog).
  • The woman who Brandon had sex with earlier is mad that he shows up where she lives and informs him that she was paid to have sex with him.
  • Novian's thug knocks Brandon off his bike in the park, grabs and then manhandles him so that his boss can talk to him. Novian is mad about losing, orders that Brandon apologize, and then holds a handgun to his head. He then unzips his pants (making Brandon and the viewer think he's going to make him perform oral sex on him, but instead he urinates on him -- we see the stream hitting Brandon).
  • We see Brandon working out while shirtless.
  • Toni shows a little cleavage.
  • Thinking Walter is out of town on business, Brandon kisses Toni and the two go inside her place (all as Walter spies upon them from afar). Walter doesn't immediately let on that he knows (the next day), but both she and Brandon look uncomfortable. Later, Walter confronts Toni about this, saying the reason Brandon has left is because "you let him f*ck you." She then says that nothing happened between them and that he didn't even spend the night (adding that Brandon knew Walter's travel announcement was just a ploy to gamble with his marriage).
  • SMOKING
  • Walter smokes at least 8 times, Brandon smokes a cigar at least 2 times, Novian smokes a cigar once and various miscellaneous people smoke in several scenes.
  • Upon first meeting Brandon, Walter calls him the "Marlboro Man."
  • Toni asks Brandon if he drinks (he says a beer every once in a while) or smokes (he says he doesn't - at least until later).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Brandon says in voice-over narration that his father left before Brandon's 10th birthday.
  • Toni tells Walter (referring to his risky behavior and health) that she's not raising a daughter alone (they have a 6-year-old).
  • Brandon gets a call from his brother that their father is out of money (but nothing more comes of this).
  • When it's mentioned that Brandon had an alcoholic, absentee father, Walter says his beat him while Toni was abused by everyone in the family but the pet dog.
  • Walter talks down to Toni while arguing with Brandon, thus evoking her wrath (he apologizes).
  • Walter and Toni have some heated tense marriage moments over him gambling again as well as his belief that she had sex with Brandon.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Gambling, its addictive nature and the perils of both winning and losing.
  • We hear that most of the group's clients are in the hole in terms of gambling debts (yet the staffers still go after them for money).
  • Walter tells Brandon that he's selling certainty in an uncertain world.
  • Walter smokes despite having a serious heart condition.
  • When it's mentioned that Brandon had an alcoholic, absentee father, Walter says his beat him while Toni was abused by everyone in the family but the pet dog.
  • Walter's comment that there's no such thing as going too far.
  • The comment that the gambling gods are a fickle bunch who are easily offended (meaning a winning streak can easily come to an end at any moment).
  • Toni tells Brandon that she's a former junkie who's always waiting to fall off the wagon.
  • One of Brandon's clients calls him, nearly in tears, over losing everything to bad gambling decisions.
  • Talking about highs (meaning gambling, but extending that here), Walter says the best moment is not the actual drug use and resultant high, but the moment right before taking the drugs (meaning the anticipation and excitement of what's to come).
  • VIOLENCE
  • During a college game, Brandon scrambles and dives for the end zone, only to be tackled hard, with the sound of a bone breaking. We then see him lying there with his leg broken and turned the wrong direction (no blood, but gross looking).
  • After Brandon demands more money from him, Walter grabs him around the neck and holds him like that to get his point across to him.
  • Novian's thug knocks Brandon off his bike in the park, grabs and then manhandles him so that his boss can talk to him. Novian is mad about losing, orders that Brandon apologize, and then holds a handgun to his head. He then unzips his pants (making Brandon and the viewer think he's going to make him perform oral sex on him, but instead he urinates on him -- we see the stream hitting Brandon).



  • Reviewed October 4, 2005 / Posted October 7, 2005

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