Brad Pitt stars in the real-life tale of Major League Baseball general manager Billy Beane, who built up a winning team despite a decreased budget thanks to his sly use of statistical data to calculate the best -- and cheapest -- players for his roster. Aaron Sorkin updates Steve Zaillian's adaptation of Michael Lewis' fly-on-the-wall novel for Columbia Pictures, with Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-starring. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt
Release Date: Sep 23, 2011
Rated: Some strong language
Runtime: 2 hr. 6 min.
To call Moneyball a baseball movie is kind of a disservice. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of sports films mainly because they follow such a predictable pattern and are filled with genre required benchmarks. Moneyball forgoes most of that and explores the business of the sport but doing so in a manner that people who are well versed in sports and those who barely know the difference between and out and a touchdown can enjoy it. It’s engaging from the start and the character piece pops in a way few films can. It’s a slow and organic film that allows scenes to gestate long enough to achieve their desired effect. Bennett Miller provides a strong guiding hand making his film feel like jock version of The Social Network. Miller does such a strong job of giving his film an air of authenticity, the scenes all ring true, even to a sports fanatic like myself, but never spilling over into parody. Brad Pitt is spot on as Beane. Pitt masterfully and subtly displays Beane cocksure bravado and private self doubts that drive the man. It’s the type of performance that brings his character to life especially in character scenes that showcase the man’s mind at work. Jonah Hill playing against type provides an excellent counterpoint to Beane. Hill’s quiet and measured performance is perfect for the character’s persona. Phillip Seymour Hoffman rounds out the cast with an impressive turn as A’s Manager Art Howe, his interaction with Pitt’s Beane is the kind of stuff most sports fans know all too well. The film might overstay it’s welcome near the end but just barely.