Moneyball is a chronicle of how general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) of Oakland Athletics uses statistics in measuring in-game activities of baseball players in order to improve their team. Based on the book written by Michael Lewis; Beane and his assistant GM Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) are charged with the task of building a competitive team under a budget constraint while all of their star players are about to leave.
Brand, a computer geek and economics graduate of Yale calculates each player’s on base percentage (OBP) in order to determine how to play them. Beane’s new technological selection process is met with objection by the Athletics’ manager Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who refuses to use Brand’s new strategies and instead sticks to his traditional ways.
Later in the film – Beane is forced to let go of the only “traditional” star player (Carlos Peña) on the team, and Howe is then left with no other choice but to use the new players. It soon becomes evident that Beane’s approach has merit and the athletic results begin to soar to new heights, winning 20 consecutive games.
At first glance, this appears to be a typical sports film in the vein of Remember the Titans, For Love of The Game, and countless others. However, Moneyball is garnering a lot of positive feedback from both critics and audiences alike. Directed by Bennett Miller, the film is full of outstanding acting from both Hoffman, and Pitt and is an entertaining documentary of the history of modern baseball. Moneyball has, without question, one definable attribute that is common of many sports films – it is inspiring and teaches us to look beyond disappointment to see opportunity.