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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Two for the Money (review)

It’s just like Devil’s Advocate except this time it’s Matthew McConaughey (Sahara) getting seduced by Satan, except Pacino ain’t Satan this time around, he’s just Pacino (William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice) doing his Al Pacino imitation, yelling a lot and chewing up the scenery, and if you’ve seen that once, you’ve seen it enough. And it’s not law, it’s sports betting, except it’s not even sports betting, because that’s illegal in most states… it’s advising people on how to bet on sports, which may be part of why the movie feels one step removed from the action — if you’re gonna make a movie about a small-town rube getting taken in by big-city slick, why hold back? Since when does a hair-splitting nicety about legality get in the way of overblown Hollywood drama? The other part may be that McConaughey just isn’t actor enough to take us convincingly from genuine, cheerfully naive rube to all-fake city slickster — a creation of not-Satan sports-betting-advice magnate Pacino — and then back again as he wises up to Pacino’s Pacino-ness. What, has he never seen Devil’s Advocate?


MPAA: rated R for pervasive language, a scene of sexuality and a violent act

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
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