Al Pacino, Jeremy Piven, ...

In Two for the Money, the latest of Al Pacino’s dark-suited-dad-figure-who-can’t-stop-shouting extravaganzas, Matthew McConaughey plays a sports betting consultant so wholesome, he has to be taught how to say the word f—. I never bought it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy listening to Pacino wrap his joyful singsong rasp around some good old for-f—‘s-sake obscenity. By now, no one of sane mind would go to a Loud Voice Al movie — a genre unto itself — expecting art. You go to watch Pacino entertain himself with his hyperbolic cheeseball mastery. This time, he’s a goateed guru of football odds, a TV host who reels in suckers with a 1-900 number that allows them to get betting tips from his team of ace consultants. McConaughey, as a star quarterback retired by injury, is Pacino’s hot new ace of aces: He knows so much about the players, coaches, and hidden fine points of the game that he can predict, as if by crystal ball, the winner of virtually every pigskin contest. Sports betting is a great subject for a movie, but Two for the Money is short on the number-crunching nitty-gritty. It’s a series of semi-lame ”arcs” — McConaughey’s go-nowhere rivalry with a fellow consultant (Jeremy Piven, having fun in an underwritten role), his sudden, inexplicable cold streak, the fact that Pacino is cast as a recovering gambling addict who ”hates himself” deep down. I didn’t buy that one, either. At a Loud Voice Al movie, the self-love should be deafening.

Two for the Money
  • Movie