Brian’s Review – “Moneyball” (2011)

Moneyball
Moneyball

What’s it About?

Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.

Moneyball

Directed by Bennett Miller

10 out of 10

By Brian

I was not expecting this. A movie about baseball’s business side directed by a guy who hadn’t made a film in 6 years (Also, only his 3rd directing effort) and co-starring Jonah Hill from “Superbad” being the best film I’ve seen from 2011? You bet! “Moneyball” is a smart, sophisticated, and purely enjoyable trip through the life of an MLB general manager who’s desire to win is only matched by his financial limitations within baseball’s monetary system.

We’ve all seen it year after year. The big money clubs like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Cardinals make it to the postseason year after year because their budgets are 3 times or more than the poorer teams. But, every once in a while a team like the A’s or the Twins make it in.

Well, how does that happen in a sport without a salary cap to keep the teams matched competitively Ala the NFL? You have to break apart what makes a winning ball club and see if there’s a way to make your team better by finding undervalued and cheaper alternative players. This film is so brilliant at breaking this down in a way where those who are MLB fanatics as well as those who could care less for baseball will find it interesting and easy to understand. At this point if you’re thinking this is a boring trip down sport’s financial system, think again.

The entire movie is populated with fantastic acting across the board that bring their characters to life. All of the interpersonal relationships within the DNA of a professional sports team are explored in interesting and thought provoking ways. It also explores what makes Brad Pitt’s character tick. We learn about his relationship with his daughter, his own playing career experiences and how they relate to how he handles his job, and how he relates to the the coaches and ball players.

I mentioned the performances before but I have to single out Brad Pitt who is growing one of the great movie resumes of all time. He is absolutely note perfect as Billy Beane. He conveys all of his thoughts without even saying a word at times and when he does speak, he brings the business side of baseball to life. I mentioned before that this film is my favorite pick from 2011.  I’ll take it one step further. It’s one of the greatest sports films ever made.

MLU - Moneyball

17 comments

  1. Good review Brian. Not a huge baseball guy, but I felt like that’s exactly what this movie was going for. It was for those who didn’t really love the sport, yet, still knew enough of it to where they could understand just exactly why all of this matters.

    • Hey Dan! Thanks for checking in. Glad you liked Brian’s review.

      I just watched this movie for the very first time last week and being a baseball fan, I really connected with it but even to those who watch baseball just casually, it still had much to appreciate in the story, acting and film-making.

      I appreciate you stopping by. Thanks!

  2. Someone once said the only thing more boring thanwatching a baseball game is a movie about baseball. This one is definitely an exception. Pitt really is at his best in this film.

    • Isn’t he? His gestures, his delivery and interaction with his co-stars was amazing to watch. Indeed that exception, Maurice, totally agree.

      Thanks for stopping in, man. Always great to hear from you!

    • I was so impressed by this movie and by Pitt especially. He nailed it and the story, pace and style was refreshing for a sports related film.

      Thanks for checking in!

  3. Not a baseball fan in anyway, but I have been hearing so many good things about this film that I think I should give it a shot. I’m really interested in seeing Jonah Hill in a serious role.

    • Hill was great and even though, overall, this role was indeed serious he did have some light moments that weren’t too zany or over the top. Thanks to the direction the performances were amazing here.

      I think you’ll enjoy it. Don’t need to be a sports or baseball fan. Let me know your thoughts afterwards! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

  4. I have not seen this one, because I assumed it was overhyped and not as good as most said it was. You suggest I’m wrong on that front.

    Maybe I’ll give it a shot.

    • I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this one. I shared the same sentiment you have and after viewing it, I was glad to have enjoyed it as much as I did.

      Thanks for stopping in and checking out Brian’s review. Much appreciated!

  5. A Few Good Men, The American President, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network and this. If Aaron Sorkin is involved with the script, you know it’s going to be good.:-)

  6. Freaking awesome Review. You actually articulate my reactions to this movie. I didn’t think the movie was that great initially, but mostly due to my prejudices against it. I was expecting a full on Baseball movie. But the lack of scenes of actual playing replaced by Pitt in the gym, aggravated me.

    However, in hindsight, if I take away that expectation, it’s a damn good movie. LOVED that numbers game and the intellectual aspect of the game in a sports movie once that not just sports fans can love, but even the general Business major.

    Brilliant review Brian.

    • I was blown away by this movie. It actually has very little actual game play, other than the clips and game footage added for dramatic affect.

      It is indeed a well done and well written sports story centered more on the behind the scenes intricacies of running a ball club.

      And I feel it is from this angle that the movie, along with the performances, excels since it isn’t a typical baseball movie about some random underdog ball club that we have all seen plenty of times.

      Glad you enjoyed Brian’s review, Shah! Thanks for stopping by. Always great to hear from you, man!

  7. I’m a big baseball fan and know all about Moneyball and Billy Beane, but I didn’t love this when I first saw it. I think I should give it another go!

    Thanks

      • actually dont have one. I’m a very avid fantasy baseball manager so I love the players, and not the teams themselves. I grew up near Detroit so most of the games I saw as a kid were the Tigers, but since I’m originally from Jersey, I have always had a soft spot for the Yanks.

        what about you?

      • The New York Yankees. My wife (who is also a big fan) and I are originally from the NYC and I became a big fan in the late 80’s and have been ever since. We try to get down to The Bronx when we can to see some games. I live pretty far upstate now, so it’s quite a long ride.

        My Dad loved the NY Mets though, so we were always ribbing on each other when one team or the other would lose. It was all in good fun, though. But yeah, it’s the Yanks for me all the way. Love the team and love the history.

Sound off in The Den!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s