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's hard for me to be objective with this film as 1) I'm a baseball fan, and 2) I remember that wacky season like it was yesterday (well, maybe the day before yesterday). After viewing this I pondered what someone who was not into baseball might think of this film - was there enough of the human element and the underdog effect to catch and hold the interest of a non sports fan? But then I realized... if you were NOT a sports fan, you probably wouldn't be interested in seeing Moneyball in the first place; so the question remains rather moot. From a filmmaker's point of view, the film is first rate all the way - from the pace and direction (which only occasionally fails to *ahem* keep its eye on the ball), to the seamless interspersion of archival film with the actors on the field as well as voiceovers from the guys actually announcing some of the contests (local Oakland broadcasters Greg Pappa and Glenn Kuiper). The film also has three terrific performances at its core as well as several wonderful bits of natural acting in small bit parts which make so many scenes seem as if you are really in the room as these career baseball scouts discuss the makeup of next season's team. The story, in case you are interested in such things, is simple and yet full of backstory which mirrors the great game itself. The small budget Oakland A's just took the mighty NY Yankees to the point of elimination in the playoffs. So of course the Yankees offer insane amounts of money to Oakland's best players, knowing that Oakland can't match their offer. Then the other bully in the league, Boston, gets into the act and so the carefully crafted team of A's general manager Billy Beane has been effectively gutted by the large payroll east coast teams. Rather than give up, Beane decides upon a radical plan that defies conventional baseball logic. It is this plan and its underdog aspects that are really what this film is about - how a new and different perspective can be met with skepticism by the established order, and how those shrewd enough to understand and accept it are therefore a leg up on the dinosaurs who don't. The beautiful script, co penned by Steve Zallian and Aaron Sorkin, ably explores these deeper undercurrents while at the same time ratcheting up the tension of a real baseball season, subtly reminding us why this particular one is so important to the players involved. Brad Pitt portrays Billy Beane, and he absolutely owns the role. Totally in the moment throughout the film, this is a masterful Oscar worthy work. The totally natural way he and co-star Jonah Hill work off of each other makes you totally forget that you are watching actors portraying characters. The same can be said for the understated performance of Seymore-Hoffman as the A's manager - the script does a beautiful job of shorthand in the verbal jousting between he and Beane; a terrific example of less often being more. In a way you can call this a biopic, as it is based on a non fiction book. I know the sequence of events is certainly true, and can even tell you where I was when Hatteberg hit that dramatic home run that put Oakland in the record books (I was gigging at a sports bar that had the game going on a big screen tv). Many have said that this film belongs in the Parthenon of great sports films - but really, while it is about sports on the surface, it is the undercurrent story of human will and heart that make this film a winner.
- paulsandberg, Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Moneyball was a huge snooze fest for me. I knew it would be. But against my better judgment, I watched it anyways. Why? Well because of the cast. It's been a few days since I watched this and I honestly can't remember much about it. I think I actually started reading sometime during watching it. I just couldn't get into the film to save my life. I think I was under the assumption that there would actually be more ball playing in the film then there was. I am no fan of baseball. I usually can watch the movies though. But usually they have a lot of play time and less about what it's like behind the scenes of the teams. I am more of a football gal (Go Cowboys!). Still, the acting is solid and the cast is really great in this.
- LWOODS04, Monday, May 20, 2013