A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Gamblers, addicts, cheaters: the boys here learn lessons, but at some costs.
Violence & Scariness
A disturbing broken leg in a football game early on, a few fights, and a beatdown by a brutal rich man, accompanied by his hired thug.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Women in revealing clothing, men showing their chests, a soft-focus sex scene.
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Much rough language, used by angry men and sports fans. 50+ uses of the f-word.
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Products & Purchases
Discussions of car brands, liquor brands, and designer clothing.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Frequent drinking and smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is focused on not very grown up boys behaving badly. That is, they smoke and drink frequently; they also pursue and have sex with beautiful women (including prostitutes), and compete ferociously with one another. The movie includes strong language (over 50 uses of the f-word, in addition to sexual slang), and occasional nudity (including frequent shots of the young protagonist's muscled torso). The film's focus is gambling, treated here as an addiction (the soundtrack includes the theme for "Superfly," with lyrics about pushers), but also made thrilling in the visual images of sports events and viewers of those events excited by winning bets. An unhappy client beats Brandon and then urinates on him, in a public park. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though Toni believes that "Walter's held together by meetings," the film reveals otherwise, in part by making its smartest point -- not gambling on gambling is still gambling. That is, while Walter and Brandon and their fellow handicappers all talk big about not actually gambling, only picking winners for clients and drawing money from their winnings, in fact, it's all gambling. While Toni's untold story hints at intriguing complications (how did she meet Walter and why is she devoted to him?), Brandon's saga is as boring as can be. He gets cocky, he overreaches, he falls (during one especially yucky punishment scene, a client [Armand Assante] finds him in Central Park and has a thug hold him down so the client can urinate all over him). Eventually, Brandon finds his way back to himself, that is, Brandon rather than "John Anthony" (again, his faith in a real self that might be lost and found is rather quaint). Walter's story is much more compelling, because he does, at some level, get what gambling is about.
At one point during his lessons for Brandon, he drags the student and Toni into a Gamblers' Anonymous meeting and begins, by way of a speech about his long-term sobriety and his earnest understanding of the group members' complaints, explains that they're addicted to losing, then invites them to use his service, in order to be winners. "Gambling's not the problem. We're the problem," he rasps, "We're lemons. We're addicted to losing." It's something of an ingenious speech, ebbing and flowing, and Pacino chews it up as you might expect. It's a lie, too, which is the underlying point of Two for the Money. Losing or winning is not what's at issue in gambling. Rather, it's the potential that can be experienced only in the pre-conclusion moments. And here it becomes clear that Toni is the major stake for the two boys.
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Our Editors Recommend
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