Moneyball (2011)

Movie Title: Moneyball

Year Released: 2011

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 2h 13min

Genre: Sports, Drama

Director: Bennett Miller

Writer: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt

Review: Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manager of the Oakland A's, one day has an epiphany: Baseball's conventional wisdom is all wrong. Faced with a tight budget, Beane must reinvent his team by outsmarting the richer ball clubs. Joining forces with Ivy League graduate Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane prepares to challenge old-school traditions. He recruits bargain-bin players whom the scouts have labeled as flawed, but have game-winning potential. Based on the book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, this movie takes a deep dive into the analytics and sabermetrics involved in baseball. These relatively new concepts were applied by the 2002 Oakland A's, and while this movie is about baseball on its surface, you'll quickly find that Moneyball is about so much more than that. It's about reinventing the business of baseball, overcoming odds on and off the field, all while romanticizing a sport that you've lived your whole life trying to understand. The Oakland A's present a true underdog story, and who doesn't love to root for the underdog, right? The movie is incredibly well-written, and Brad Pitt dominates every scene he's in as the enigmatic Beane. While not following the true events verbatim, this movie provides great insight into the events leading into the 2002 baseball season that helped shape the game as we now know it. Baseball fan or not, this is one of the best sports movies of all time!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Bennett Miller told a screening audience that A's assistant GM Paul DePodesta did not wish to have his real name used in the movie, but was very generously helpful during its making. While the filmmakers had no obligation to change his character's name (to Peter Brand), they did so willingly.


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