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If you have ever visited my Twitter page you will see that I am a fan of baseball and more specifically the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are one of the baseball teams that uses a strategy called moneyball as much of their team building philosophy. While they use a good deal of this tactic, they didn’t invent it or make it popular. Bill James is primarily responsible for this philosophy of baseball, and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane helped put it on the map. The movie “Moneyball” is about Beane and how he implemented this approach on his own team.

After being eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, a trio of star players become free agents and leave the Oakland A’s for greener pastures. Johnny Damon signed with the Red Sox, Jason Giambi went to the Yankees, and Jason Isringhausen joined the St. Louis Cardinals. Realizing that these moves could severely damage his team, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) asks the team’s front office for more money and is turned down. After meeting Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane decides to resort to an unorthodox way of building a team using what’s called moneyball or sabermetrics.

“Moneyball” is a solid movie. It really requires an in-depth look at Billy Beane’s career. It also shows a bit about his baseball experience as a former prospect. Despite being a sports movie, it didn’t always feel that way. The movie lacked the energy of the usual sports movie. I hesitate to even call it a sports movie because the core of “Moneyball” is more about the behind-the-scenes activity in baseball than the sport itself.

Both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill offer what I would consider to be more laid back characters than we would normally see in them. Although both were good and fit their roles well, Pitt seemed to stand out more. The chemistry between these two seemed believable, fluid, and effortless. They played very well with each other. On the other hand, Pitt worked well with everyone on screen. I should also point out that this movie featured quality performances from others like Philip Seymour Hoffman in the smaller roles they played.

Despite their successes, Billy Beane and his Oakland A’s have yet to win a World Series. With that being said, Beane changed the way many front offices view team building. It can be said without argument that Beane has earned the respect of baseball minds everywhere and is considered one of the best General Managers in the game. This movie tries to show that and puts a lot of emphasis on how things got to be the way they are now in the world of baseball. It’s something that baseball fans could probably enjoy and really appreciate.

Score: 7/10

Rating: PG-13

Director: Bennett Miller

Brad Pitt
jonah hill
Philip Seymour Hoffman
chris pratt
casey link
Stephen bishop
kathryn morris

Movie length: 133 minutes

Release date: September 23, 2011

Distributor: Sony Pictures

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