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Moneyball (2011)

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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.

Director:

Bennett Miller

Writers:

Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Aaron Sorkin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1,821 ( 1)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 29 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Billy Beane
Jonah Hill ... Peter Brand
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Art Howe
Robin Wright ... Sharon
Chris Pratt ... Scott Hatteberg
Stephen Bishop ... David Justice
Reed Diamond ... Mark Shapiro
Brent Jennings ... Ron Washington
Ken Medlock ... Grady Fuson
Tammy Blanchard ... Elizabeth Hatteberg
Jack McGee ... John Poloni
Vyto Ruginis ... Pittaro
Nick Searcy ... Matt Keough
Glenn Morshower ... Ron Hopkins
Casey Bond ... Chad Bradford
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Storyline

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)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What are you really worth?

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moneyball See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,501,302, 25 September 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$75,605,492, 29 January 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$110,206,216, 2 February 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill James, noted as the statistical influence for the main characters' analysis, is regarded by many to be the father of sabermetrics. This study of advanced baseball statistics is named after the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), an organization to which James and other sabermetrics pioneers belong. The film puts a heavy emphasis upon on-base percentage (OBP), though concepts like wOBA, FIP, and BABIP are not mentioned. See more »

Goofs

Two McFarlane action figures, one of Dennis Eckersley and one of Rollie Fingers, are visible on Art Howe's desk. These figures were not produced until 2008 and 2009, respectively. See more »

Quotes

Billy Beane: [Suggesting a player for first base] Scott Hatteberg.
Scout Barry: Who?
Billy Beane: Exactly. The guy sounds like an Oakland A already.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 22 October 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Mony Mony
Written by Bobby Bloom, Tommy James, Ritchie Cordell and Bo Gentry
Performed by Billy Idol
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film and Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Art vs science
14 November 2011 | by dfle3See all my reviews

As an Australian, the thought of seeing a movie like this a few years ago would have been inconceivable...watching a movie about baseball would be on my "things not to do" list...but watching a movie about statistics and baseball? Even more inconceivable! What changed? In the wake of Sri Lanka beating Australia (I think) in the one day cricket World Cup final many years ago (a form of the game that cricket 'purists' would no doubt deride as 'baseball' and not the 'real form' of the game...heaven knows what they now make of of the Twenty20 form of the game!), I did happen upon an article which argued that Sri Lanka had revolutionised this shortened form of the game with their batting tactics. That story intrigued me...I doubt if Sri Lanka's batting strategy was created from statistics or maths, but it was persuasively argued in the article that it had mathematical or statistical logic to it (no doubt with a big helping of common sense too).

Furthermore, I had dabbled with free, customisable N.B.A. fantasy basketball leagues, where I had created two leagues with opposing philosophies...in one league, unsporting conduct was astronomically punished, whilst in the other league it was nicely rewarded. This created drafting conundrums...someone like Kobe Bryant could be a star in the fair play league...but would be a star in the foul play league. He was definitely a gamble in the fair play league though...in one year he could crush the coach's hopes, and in another year he would be a surprising star. I did get the distinct impression that coaches' who did well did so with the help of spreadsheets...to crunch the statistics...which is what this movie is all about. Before I start the review proper, I'll just mention that I may have been roped into joining someone's fantasy baseball league as a quid pro quo for them joining my league...just found the whole language of baseball gobbledygook...and never really hung around that sport for long. It's a good thing that this movie was not geared to those fans who love the gobbledygook (be it something called ERAs or whatever it's called).

Based on a true story, this movie outlines the revolutionary approach to selecting a baseball team for the major league in the wake of having your star players bought for large sums of money by cashed up teams. That's a major theme of the movie...the underdog against an unfair system. The approach taken contrasts that taken in Australia for the game of Australian rules football (AFL), where a form of 'socialism' was instituted over a decade ago, I think, with 'equalised' drafting, priority picks and salary caps. This 'socialism' has seen a diversity of teams win the sport's major trophy. Perhaps the main character in this movie, Billy Beane, might have been content with such a system.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, and it is striking how much Brad seems to be growing into Robert Redford's face as he ages. Billy is the general manager of an underfunded (by cashed up teams' standards) baseball team, the Oakland Athletics. As in many sports where distorted markets rule (e.g. European soccer, where American multi-billionaires borrow huge sums of money and buy famous teams and load them up with debt...which is fine...until the bubble burst and the teams might face bankruptcy...or, where Russian oil billionaires buy teams and eat into their own cash reserves, paying insane salaries for stars. In both cases, there really is no business model, apart from paying crazy money which you either do or do not have for purpose of winning trophies), Oakland has developed some players into stars...only to see them picked off by cashed up teams.

Pitt plays Beane in the charismatic/brash way that Orson Welles played the youthful and exuberant 'Citizen' Kane, and he does a nice line in sizing people up and yet biting his tongue or taking sly amusement from their ways. This is interesting due to the history of Beane...he was seen as a potential star of the game and he does carry around some of that baggage with him at times. His experience illustrates the art vs science approach to baseball...he was drafted due to the former and he has to butt heads with his recruitment department in his new role as the team's general manager in order to bring a more scientific approach to recruiting.

Peter Brand plays Jonah Hill, a smart draft by Beane, who recognises in this geek a man capable of revolutionising the thinking of his recruitment department. Peter/Jonah is the most unathletic man you could imagine...short of someone who would require a crane to take them out of their bedroom by a hole in the roof in order to be taken to a hospital. He's like me playing fantasy N.B.A...or that man in the Matrix who sees everything in terms of binary digits...even that beautiful woman in a red dress.

For people who enjoy watching the game of baseball on the big screen, the last half hour has some nice moments for them. What makes this film more interesting for a general audience though is the intriguing insight into the backroom discussions of an elite sporting team. How players are valued and reasons why they may not be valued more highly are discussed.

In some ways this story is like those horse racing stories where someone buys a horse for under a $1,000 which was destined for the knacker's yard, but it goes on to win a fortune. You do get the equivalent of horses bound for the knacker's yard in this movie, as far as the baseball players who are recruited by Beane.

There was a scene I liked in this movie, where reporters discussed who was responsible for the team's turnaround...it was all attributed to the coach...which was in contrast to the tale that the movie tells.

A well told story which did make me laugh on occasion.


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