Oakland A's GM Billy Beane is handicapped with the lowest salary constraint in baseball. If he ever wants to win the World Series, Billy must find a competitive advantage. Billy is about to turn baseball on its ear when he uses statistical data to analyze and place value on the players he picks for the team. Written by
Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)
The Oakland A's set the new American League record for consecutive wins, with 20. The all-time Major League record is 26, set by the New York Giants in 1916, including one tie. Without ties, the record belongs to the 1935 Chicago Cubs (21 straight wins). See more »
Although the movie gets the trade of Jeremy Giambi correct (it happened early in the season and he was dealt for John Mabry), Carlos Peña was not traded until two months later, and not for a relief pitcher and cash. Pena was traded as part of a three-team deal with the Tigers and Yankees, which brought starting pitcher Ted Lilly to the A's. See more »
[Billy's scouts are dismissive of Scott Hatteberg because he walks a lot]
He gets on base a lot. Do I care if it's a walk or a hit?
See more »
Well, when purchasing my ticket I expected to see a good movie about
baseball. I was rewarded with just that. Overall I thought the film
excellent, both as a finely crafted film and as a representative of
baseball. To demonstrate that I had no preconceived prejudices, I can
say that I'm not really a fan of professional sports any longer. My
fond memories of baseball are mostly from playing the game when I was a
kid. We lived in a neighborhood with a lot of boys, all of whom were
involved in sports and we played baseball a lot. But, that was the
1950's and times have changed. No one now days can hold a candle to The
The film centers around the Oakland A's in the early 2000's and it's
controversial General Manager, Billy Beane, skillfully played by Brad
Pitt. The premise is the real story of how, with an extremely small
budget for a professional sports team, he managed to win a surprising
number of games, including setting an all-time major league record of
20 consecutive wins. The method used by Beane was not of his invention,
having already been around in theory and known as "sabermetrics". The
crafting of the team into that form is credited to have been begun by
Beane's predecessor, Sandy Alderson. Beane himself was thrust to the
forefront as the focus of a successful 2003 best-selling book
"Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game"; which ultimately led to
The film was very well done, really succeeding in sucking in the
audience to it's ebb and flow. The audience I was in clearly enjoyed
the film, there was a lot of laughter in the right places and applause
at the end, which is rare enough. The setting had the look and feel of
realism and the same with regard to the actors portraying the players.
There was a fairly long list of good character actors peppered
throughout the film, all of whom added considerably to the film's
But the lion's share of the film, and the credit for it's quality, goes
primarily to it's major stars, Brad Pitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman
playing Team Manger Art Howe, and Jonah Hill, as the fictional
character Peter Brand who is said to have been based on Paul DePodesta
who was Beane's assistant during the period covered by the film.
Hoffman is great as usual but played his character a bit understated.
Jonah Hill nearly ran off with the attention altogether while he was on
screen. But Pitt clearly controlled the central attention and did so
with ease and excellence. He managed to make the character look smart,
fair and quite human.
Pitt's humanity was helped by the presence of tidbits of his family
life, mainly focused on his relationship with his 12 year old daughter,
well represented on screen by the young Kerris Dorsey as Casey Beane.
The interplay between them added a lot of humanity to the film that
would have otherwise been lacking. There was a small part played by
Robin Wright as Beane's ex-wife Sharon. It was the closest anything in
the film came to a romantic involvement.
Many of the character actors made important contributions, such as
Stephen Bishop as David Justice, Chris Pratt as Scott Hatteberg and
Brent Jennings as Ron Washington. There was even a cameo by Joe
Satriani playing his guitar as superbly as usual.
Leaving the theater I thought that one would have to have at least a
working knowledge of the game of baseball to get the most out of the
film. I wondered how it would play to someone without that knowledge
and I think a lot would be lost, but it would still be enjoyable for
it's basic story of struggling to overcome long odds to achieve
something good and the exploration of the people and personalities
involved. That's a pretty good accomplishment for any film to make and
this one does it with a lot of fun and class.
61 of 88 people found this review helpful.
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