Moneyball (2011) – Review

4 Stars

Moneyball is an utterly absorbing baseball drama that features Brad Pitt’s most sensational performance in years. This unconventional sports film explores the financial woes of the Oakland A’s franchise. How does a team with a $39 million dollar payroll compete with top tier clubs like New York? General Manager Billy Beane (Pitt) adopts a new way of looking at the value of an individual player, along with his assistant Peter (Hill), the pair begins using a statistical equation to ‘manufacture’ wins. It was a wildly successful experiment that resulted in a MLB record setting 20 straight victories during the course of the 2002 season.

Director Bennett Miller’s sharp-edged drama deftly skewers the archaic structure of professional baseball. These slice-of-life sketches look closely at the individual players, and the home life of Beane. The top-notch cast does a splendid job of portraying the real life characters. Pitt and Hoffman are remarkable as the oft at odds GM and manager of the ball club. The 2002 baseball season comes into sharp focus and takes on a new dimension in this spellbinding adaption of Michael Lewis’ best-selling book.

Moneyball is engrossing from beginning to end and breathlessly entertaining. This compelling drama is greatly aided by atmospheric cinematography by Oscar winner Wally Pfister, who captures the haunting loneliness of an empty stadium on a losing night. Pitt is fantastic as the brash, intelligent, and sometimes volatile man that seems to be committing career suicide. The first rate script from writers Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin is among the best of their illustrious careers. Moneyball is one of the year’s best films.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill

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