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MOVIE REVIEWS: Film Fans say 'Moneyball' hits a dinger

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "Moneyball." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 and a half starsYou don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie, but it helps. There is a lot of baseball jargon and scenes of games with flashbacks including some real icons of the game. Ultimately, it's about one man's goal to accomplish something he has been working toward all of his life.

Based on Michael Lewis' real-life best-seller, the story is about Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) and his efforts to build a winning baseball team from what remains of an underbudgeted team whose best players have all been hired away by other teams with much deeper pockets. In the process, he bucks all of the traditional methods of relying on his scouts' feelings and experience, and instead adopts a completely unorthodox method designed and implemented by an Ivy League economics graduate (Jonah Hill) whose first job just happens to be in baseball as an advisor to the Cleveland Indians.

He hires the advisor and proceeds to build his roster based on the new design, bucking all of the "old school" members that criticize his every move. Of course the new system works, and the "undervalued" roster of players eventually become a winning team, and for less than half the salary of all the richer teams they compete with.

Good entertainment with some really funny exchanges and not without a moral. Much like "Major League," it's hard not to cheer for the new team and the GM, even if you're not a baseball fan.-- Steve Kalberg, Lawrenceville3 stars"Moneyball" is a decent baseball film based on real-life happenings of Billy Beane, general manager for the Oakland A's. Brad Pitt was very strong in his role as Billy. You could definitely see and feel his emotions as he had to take a low budget and try to build a winning team. Jonah Hill, playing Peter Brand, his hired assistant general manager, was also very well-cast. As he and Billy worked together thinking outside the box, you were definitely rooting for their idea to be successful. I also liked the occasional scenes with Billy's daughter, Casey, sweetly played by Kerris Dorsey.

The movie was not necessarily a home run, but interesting to hear the story.-- Cindy Evans, Duluth4 starsThe movie "Moneyball" is based on the book "Moneyball: The Art Of Winning an Unfair Game" by Michael Lewis. The book is an account of how in 2002 the new Oakland A's General Manager William Lamar "Billy " Beane III changed a losing team to one that won 20 games in a row, by using statistical analysis of baseball or sabremetrics to pick little-known or not-at-all-known players for the A's to replace some that were lost to higher-paying teams.

The movie stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane. Brad Pitt is reminiscent of Robert Redford -- just as handsome at any age. Pitt has said that he knew nothing about baseball but it was never apparent in his performance. He came across as believable and likeable both as a manager and as a father. His daughter Casey is played by Kerris Dorsey and the relationship portrayed between father and daughter is one of friendship as well. The other cast members include Jonah Hill as Peter Brand who helps Beane with the stats, Philip Seymore Hoffman as Art Howe and Robin Wright as Sharon.

This is a wholesome family movie and an enjoyment for the whole family whether you like baseball or not. I truly enjoyed this movie with my family.-- Gail Nunez-Blackshear, Lawrenceville