Real-life story is based on Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who defied conventional wisdom and even his own scouts by fielding a baseball team of castoffs who went on to enjoy one of the most unlikely winning streaks in sports.
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Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: Although you don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy it, "Moneyball" is one of the best baseball movies imaginable.
- Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Thursday, September 22, 2011
It seems odd that a movie based on a non-fiction book that is very heavy on statistics and number crunching could be an enjoyable, engrossing, and wonderful piece of cinema, but this movie is the proof. Based on the aforementioned book of the same name, this is the true story of how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, with the help of an Ivy League educated economist defied conventional wisdom and the system by using stats and outside the box thinking to create a successful baseball team on a meager budget during their 2002 season. Despite having a very limited budget, Beane (Brad Pitt) and economist Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) discovered that they could theoretically have a winning team by focusing on players with records of high on base percentages. There's a but more to it, and the movie is great at making everything understandable, and yeah, this gamble did pay off, and for better or worse, did change the game of baseball. To help make such dry seeming material more accessible and entertaining, the film does focus on the human element a lot as well, mostly the relationship between Beane and his young daughter, and little bit on Beane and his ex-wife, as well as some flashbacks which flesh out why Beane is the type of manager and thinker he is. This is definitely a sports drama, but it's not really a baseball movie, at least not in the conventional sense. Most of the focus is on the behind the scenes stuff, with many, many, many scenes of talking, but there's some game footage too, although a lot of it is in the form of stock footage from various audio and video archives. How they are edited into the rest of the film is one of the areas where the movie really shines. There's creative editing, sound design, and some excellent cinematography that really make this world come alive. It's all very low key, yet quite striking, too. This is some really effective and groundbreaking direction, and it might have really been the best possible way to adapt the material. The performances are also quite nice too, with Pitt bringing a great sense of wisdom and experience to the role, and Jonah Hill (pre-weight loss) really shining in a superb dramatic turn. He's treaded dramatic territory before, but it's here where he really gets his feet wet, and he does so without a hint of drowning. Hoffman is also good as the field manager, but he could have been used a little more. Despite all this wonderful stuff, which also includes a high degree of realism and accuracy, the film isn't totally flawless. It is fairly long, and rather slow at times, and while this wasn't really a problem with me, it could be for others. Given that this is a period piece, it is to the film's credit that it remains gripping even if the ending is known, but the film does tend to play up the underdog aspect of things maybe a little too much a bit too often. Aside from that though, this unlikely adaptation, like the story it's about, proves to be quite a success.
- cosmo313, Thursday, November 1, 2012
Science, a great script and Brad Pitt come together for a great tale of the underdog changing a sport forever.
- fb7018436, Saturday, September 8, 2012
A crisp and sharp film that illustrates the hardships and triumphs in the world of professional baseball. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill team up to bring the true story of baseball galore to life and award-winning is an understatement to describe the emotion the film brings about. 4/5
- fb1442511448, Saturday, August 25, 2012