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A 2011 movie directed by Bennett Miller.

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A third base hit

  • Sep 23, 2011


Written by Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin

Directed by Bennett Miller

Starring Brad Pitt, Johan Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman


Billy Beane: There are rich teams; there are poor teams; then there’s fifty feet of crap; and then there’s us.


These days, it seems that when it comes to conversations about the American economy, the focus is on the increasing divide between the rich and the poor. In MONEYBALL, that same gap is affecting America’s favourite pass time, baseball. How can a team that only has $40 million to pay its players possibly compete with teams that have three times that amount at their disposal? The answer is simple. Input everything you know about the players into a computer and let it do all the thinking for you. And once you have all your algorithms in place, you can apply them to the sport and rob it of all spontaneity and excitement.


Unfortunately, some of the fun and excitement that usually spills over from the sport itself into the baseball movie genre, has also disappeared from MONEYBALL. Bennett Miller’s second film after his incredible debut, CAPOTE, is a succinct account of how former Oakland Athletics general manager, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), changed the way major league baseball teams were formed in 2002. Inspired by a concept that was brought to him by his new assistant (Jonah Hill), Beane began adding players to his roster who were notorious for getting on base. The logic was that these players cost way less and produced more consistent, if not necessarily showy, results. MONEYBALL then becomes a waiting game to see if his theory pays off and less about the actual success of the players themselves.


Pitt gives a fine performance as the frustrated Beane, choosing to play most of his struggle internally while presenting with great confidence to all who doubt him. As strong as his performance is, it is not as impressively nuanced as the turn given by Philip Seymour Hoffman as the unfortunate coach who has to play with Beane’s team of mismatched baseball rejects. Even Hill shines as a young actor who is showing more and more promise in dramatic parts. No, the trouble with MONEYBALL is not the acting but rather the thin subtext of the script. Having gone through three hands before going into production, it comes across as self-important but doesn’t have the gravitas to back it up. As a result, MONEYBALL is solid entertainment, but it never manages to crack it out of the park. 

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November 22, 2011
I still need to see this
September 23, 2011
hm. Now I am curious. This is really getting a bunch of mixed reviews so now I have to see it. Btw, thanks for the rec on DRIVE...I liked that movie!
September 29, 2011
Yeah, response to this film has been pretty strong. I didn't love it but it was definitely solid entertainment. It's the kind of movie that I'm debating seeing again considering how much everyone else seems to be enjoying it. I've also now seen Drive a second time! Love it.
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   Moneyball was one of my most anticipated movies of this year. The simple combination between Miller, Sorkin, Pitt, Hoffman, and Pfister projected the prospect of a bomb movie. The clock was ticking faster and faster and as soon as I hit the comfortable seat in my theater I decided to let myself caught in this movie's bliss. Did I get caught in that web? Ehh... not really. Sadly, I was too hyped over this project that I left in a way disappointed even though I thought the movie was …
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About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #8
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie


Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (ISBN 0-393-05765-8) is a book by Michael Lewis, published in 2003, about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. Its focus is the team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation. A film based on the book starring Brad Pitt was released in 2011.
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