Honestly going into Moneyball I had no idea what to expect, I am not the biggest sports fan so I didn't have any real hype in this movie from a concept standpoint but the hype that built around this movie was incredible. So many people were claiming that this movie was on an entirely other level and calling it one of the best films of the decade that I knew I needed to check it out. Moneyball follows the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who in 2002 was the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. He desperately wants to find success hurt by not only some close calls in past seasons but also from his drive from when he used to be a player. Sadly though the Oakland Athletics is a smaller team and their budget is extremely constricting, their best players which brought them success last season were bought by other teams and it seems like there is no chance for the team until Billy meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who changes how Billy looks at the game. He has created a system to find players, not on the traditional radar which can not only fit into their limited budget but also could bring them wins. Everyone calls Billy crazy but he goes with this system and is willing to put everything on the line for it.
The main thing I heard about people rave about the movie for was the acting in it. Specifically, the pairing of Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill left many speechless and was the main thing I was looking forward to seeing in the film, but also was where I was left a bit cold. There is no denying Brad Pitt's performance in this film, he is emotional and charismatic playing into the strength Pitt has as an actor. Due to how good Pitt has proven himself to be I think this is a role that is easy to overlook as it comes as no shock that Pitt is great but when you really focus on what he is giving it does feel noteworthy. But in overlooking Pitt most tend to focus on Jonah Hill. I will say that it is a bit unfair for me to view this performance as I know the talent that Jonah Hill is in dramatic works so it comes as no shock that he is competent in this film as really it isn't anything that special. He is fine, he has good delivery and the chemistry with Brad Pitt is there but without the shock value that so many had with this character, it doesn't really hit me in the same way that it hit most back in 2011.
Yet the story is where I found the film to be most engaging and captivating, as I said I don't follow sports so I didn't know how this story ended. I really got sucked into this plot as you fully believe that this system will work but also see the troubles that it has as the season starts very rough for the team. Slowly you see them get better and better and have no choice but get behind the underdog story it is telling. With it being a true story you also can't really fault the film for being so poetic at times, the situations presented as far as wins and losses come out so cinematic and well developed which I guess is one of the reasons people love sports so much. The strong narrative that naturally forms is only heightened by the film and its smart editing to create a film that had me on the edge of my seat at times. Obviously Moneyball is a film that is going to work best if you like baseball, this is an incredible story that sure has false elements in it but has a real foundation. The performances are good with some solid emotion from Brad Pitt adding a deeper level to the film and the actual baseball plot is fully engaging. I had a great time watching Moneyball and think no matter your history with the sport or the story you will also.