We very rarely get sports movies coming to theaters these days. Moneyball is a treat that really everyone should see even if they’ve never gone to a baseball game. The plot which is based on the true story of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is important and very much a story of all under dogs just set in the world of baseball. Based on the award winning book with the same name, we open on the 2001 playoffs where the A’s are defeated by the New York Yankees. After the season they A’s loose three of their top players to free agency as big money spending teams like the Red Sox and Yanks sweep them up. Billy Beane(Brad Pitt) must put together a team for a fraction of the cost most other teams can. After meeting a financial whiz kid Peter Brand(Jonah Hill), who helps him put together a formula of using pure stats to pick up players most teams would look over.
The film flows very well, this is due to Brad Pitt’s fantastic performance. You become very connected with him because you get what he’s going through. Most Americans these days are pinching pennies, can’t exactly buy everything they want. That is what Billy had to do. Every team could outspend him so he had to innovate. The story of how he does this is easy to follow even though the film is filled with recent baseball history. What gives the film a little more pull is that we get Billy Beane’s back ground, as a young player, he was told by a scout to not go to college, to sign and go to the minors young. He took the pay check and went into the system. Things didn’t really pan out. This story helps Billy’s arc as we watch him change as General Manager.
The film never really gets bogged down, we flow through what is longest season in sports. A solid balance of baseball and comedy really made this movie fly by for me. Once it was over I really wanted to see it again, in a way I was so taken in by Brad Pitt’s performance I felt like I missed a lot. I can not stress enough that even though this film has a lot of baseball references, if you’re new to the game or don’t know the game at all, you won’t really be lost. Because the game of baseball is a minor player here, the real story is Beane and his arc from being a young ball player, to running a major league club. The film is good on multiple levels, it works as a drama, a comedy and as a sports movie. You’d really be losing out if you miss this one.