Picks and Pans Review: Two for the Money

updated 10/17/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/2005 01:00AM

Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jeremy Piven

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When it comes to football, betting adviser Brandon Lang (McConaughey) can pick winners. His boss and mentor, Walter Abrams (Pacino), who runs a high-end tout business in New York City, tells Lang they'll go far, explaining, "We're selling certainty in an uncertain world."

While certainly no masterpiece, Two wins more than it loses. This pungent tale of good ol' boy Brandon's professional seduction by the polished Walter develops many of its characters better than most mainstream movies bother to these days. And much of the dialogue, especially that given to Pacino, who's in top form, has a rough-and-tumble charm. Walter is Two's most complicated character, followed by his protective wife (Russo, also solid). The film's chief flaw is that its hero, at least as played by McConaughey, is a bland cipher, and one cares less about his fate than Walter's. (R)

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