"Betting on sports? Say it isn't so!" Such shock and outrage is the only reason I can think of for starting Two for the Money off with the dubious "inspired by a true story." The events are of little historical or cultural consequence, so perhaps it's intended to lend credence to an insider's look at the world of "sports consulting," directed by D.J. Caruso (2004's Taking Lives).

Matthew McConaughey stars as Brandon Lang, a college quarterback whose dreams of stardom are broken along with his leg on the football field. Years later, he's making a living in Vegas recording spots for 900 numbers. Turns out he also has a gift for predicting football games, and it isn't long before he attracts the attention of Walter Abrams (Al Pacino), the head of a sports consulting firm in New York City.

Wait, isn't betting on sports illegal? Absolutely—in 49 states including New York. Yet as Abrams points out, though the networks and the government both turn a blind eye, sports betting is still a $200 billion-a-year industry in America. What's key—and this is probably where the "true story" inspiration comes into play—is that organizations like the one run by Abrams don't place any bets. They're similar to stockbroker firms that offer free information; it's the clients who make the illegal bets. The motto around the office is, "I don't want your money, I want your bookie's money."

Clients who lose pay the firm nothing for bad information. But winners are expected to give a percentage of their winnings; the more they use the firm for information, the more they're expected to pay. In short, it amounts to the (technically) legal exploitation of gambling addicts, and success is based on the consultant's ability to "sell certainty ...

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Two for the Money
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
R (for pervasive language, a scene of sexuality, and a violent act)
Genre
Directed By
D.J. Caruso
Run Time
2 hours 2 minutes
Cast
Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Armand Assante
Theatre Release
October 07, 2005 by Universal Studios
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