Inspired by a true story, Two For The Money features the acting prowess of Al Pacino, and Matthew McCounaghey in a great dramatic film. Al Pacino plays the mentor with Matthew as his protege in the high stakes world of sports betting. Overall, it has the feel of similar movies such as Wall Street, Boiler Room, or even The Color of Money.
Matthew McCounaghey plays Brandon Lang, who starts as a 900 number voice man in Vegas while he desperately attempts to restart his college football career which is rapidly becoming a dim memory. Subconsciously, Matthew needs a father figure. Pacino discovers him when McCounaghey starts picking football games with amazing accuracy. In a whirlwind blink, McCounaghey is in the "big city" of NY and quickly moves up the ranks to Pacino's right hand man. Soon they are on the desperate edge, while millions of dollars change hands over the score picks that McCounaghey gives to his growing clientele.
The pace of this movie is just about right, with no sagging parts, or weak moments. A dramatic subplot also develops with Pacino's wife, Toni, played by the competent Rene Russo. The movie is also supported by dramatic views of the Manhattan skyline, and the Brooklyn Bridge. I also enjoyed such snappy dialogue as "We're selling certainty in an uncertain world."
Overall, it is a compelling drama, with strong performances by all. If you want a glimpse into the world of sports betting, and consulting, Two For The Money is just the ticket.
Overall Grade: A