I’m gonna be in the minority on this, but “Moneyball” is one of the most uninteresting true stories ever committed to film.
Brad Pitt steps into the shoes of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, a former player who had the all-around skills, but the never the confidence to become one of the greats. With his team gutted of all-star players and held back by money constraints, he turns to economist Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who has a new strategy for picking up players by looking at on-base percentages and crunching the stats, in turn getting affordable guys at rock bottom prices.
The new guys have their defects, but somehow manage a late-season rally. If you like Baseball, maybe this is for you. If you also like people talking about numbers, who knows, maybe this is your “Citizen Kane.”
Basically, I couldn’t understand the method (three sub-par players replace one Jason Giambi, still not sure how though), there is more behind the scenes action than on the field.
Brand crunches numbers, Beane throws things in frustration, occasionally Beane butts heads with manager Art Howe, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who doesn’t really understand what’s happening to his team. Not much to see here.
The late-season rally seems more like a lucky break, and there isn’t much to root for.
Maybe if Beane had managed to win a championship or if his strategy had more of an effect on the rest of sports, this would mean more, but managing a bit of a win-streak on a conservative budget doesn’t scream out “make this movie” to me.
I’m sure people will call this feel-good and there is some funny stuff in it (like one scout calling a player’s confidence into question because he has an ugly girlfriend). Pitt gives a determined and understated performance and Hill steps into the role of number-crunching nerd well and provides a few laughs with his nervous guy routine.
There is also a final baseball game that finally provides some excitement, but up until that point, I just couldn’t figure out what the fuss is about here.