This sobering gambling drama follows former college football star Brandon Lane (Matthew McConaughey) from a career-ending injury to his amazing success picking winners for a top-tier NYC sports-betting agency. ''This story deals with a $200 billion-a-year business around the globe,'' McConaughey says. ''It deals with addiction not with my character, but with a lot of the bettors. It's hardcore stuff that people are doing; winning means actually surviving.''
Though Dan Gilroy's unflinching script piqued McConaughey's interest four years ago, the project stalled until Al Pacino signed on last year as Lane's city-slick mentor. ''This is one of the most creative dances I've ever had,'' says McConaughey of going toe-to-toe with the Oscar winner. ''Every day was infectiously alive; there was never a dull spot. It was so much fun to as he would say fly together. It's very hard to explain, you work with somebody great like him, it improves your game.'' All that dancing and flying sounds lovely, but how did it feel to be on the receiving end of a trademark Pacino-busts-a-blood-vessel tirade? ''It's just beautiful,'' marvels McConaughey. ''No one says f--- better than Al Pacino.''