Nerds like me are usually turned off by movies like this, because they appear to be entirely sports based. I mean, I personally show little interest in basketball or football, so I always tend to avoid these sorts of films. I realized from watching this, however, that there are several quite important sports movies out there including Field of Dreams, Pride of the Yankees and Rocky.
Why? Because a lot of these movies have an inspirational story of determination, victory and defeat with highly powerful emotion that is quite often true to life. In fact, many sports movies don’t necessarily require more than a basic knowledge of the sport to enjoy.
Director Bennett Miller’s Moneyball is no different. It tells the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), General Manager for the 2001 Oakland Athletics, a failing Major League Baseball team on a low budget. In a last ditch attempt to regain status, he hires fresh-out-of-Yale graduate Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who uses a statistical formula to assess players instead of basing choice on popularity or other forms of bias.
Although Moneyball is a “sports movie,” the players themselves are considered minor, and the primary focus is on the general manager and the economics of the game. Speaking of which, I also considered this a learning opportunity as to the way the sports business is run.
I considered the acting to be an emotional masterpiece. Brad Pitt portrays Billy as a desperate man with a regretful past who tries to place his feelings last – a situation unhealthy both physically and socially. Jonah Hill plays a serious role as Peter Brand, a character who lacks confidence throughout the beginning of the film, but gains it over time and becomes a sort of advisor to Billy during tough times.
All in all, this movie was a worthwhile experience. It is essentially a baseball movie, but it is less about baseball than business. And for that, I give it a far more positive review.
Age Recommendation: 12+. There is some intense language, but I think the larger issue is whether or not a child will understand it.
Final Verdict: Drags on a little at parts, but kept me content throughout most of the film anyway. 8/10