Parents' Guide to

Two for the Money

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Movie about gambling in sports is for adults only.

Movie R 2005 122 minutes
Two for the Money Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Find another line of work.

Garbage pure garbage, waste of flim..

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

Movie Details

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