movie film review | chris tookey


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  Moneyball Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.72 /10
Brad Pitt , Jonah Hill , Philip Seymour Hoffman
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Directed by: Bennett Miller
Written by: Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian

Released: 2011
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 133

Superior sports film.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Moneyball is a baseball movie with two strikes against it. One is that much of its jargon will be incomprehensible to Britons. Another is that itís about the way sporting statistics were used to transform a bunch of misfits into one of the most successful teams in American baseball. Have you fallen asleep yet?

The good news is that Brad Pitt (pictured left) is at his charismatic best as Billy Beane, wheeler-dealer general manager of the Oakland Athletics, who stakes his reputation on a corpulent nerd whoís a whiz at sporting stats (Jonah Hill, also on top form, pictured right).

Itís genuinely interesting to see them go into battle with the old hands who expect to see them fail, including team coach Philip Seymour Hoffman, here given too little to do.

For good and ill, the script is by Steve Zaillian, who wrote Schindlerís List, and Aaron Sorkin, who made that ultimate triumph-of-the-nerds film The Social Network. Their work here sparkles with tense conflicts, treasurable one-liners and Ė that rarest of cinematic qualities Ė thoughtfulness.

Unfortunately, the two Oscar-winners have been treated with a little too much reverence by director Bennett Miller.

The first two thirds of the screenplay badly needed cutting by at least half-an-hour, and the ending is an anti-climax. A film that should run a sprightly 100 minutes stumbles to a lame conclusion at 133.

All the same, for those with stamina, or an indefatigable affection for sports movies about underdogs, itís the classiest baseball film since Bull Durham.

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