Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., July 25
A rare sports movie with a brain. Brad Pitt does perhaps his best star acting as Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics general manager who, sick of being looted of talent by big-money teams like the Yankees, opted for a “sabermetrics” approach using computers ands the adviee of a smart, chubby nerd (Jonah Hill, very good as this composite figure). The script went through much overhaul (Robin Wright’s tiny role may be a symptom of that), and Steven Soderbergh left as director, but Bennett Miller came in as more than a relief hitter. Full of nuances, always sharp about the frictions of change, finely acted, fascinated by the game but not pious, the movie has the rich adulthood of Miller’s previous work (The Cruise, Capote). Even sweet stuff with Pitt’s daughter is layered in without corn, and baseball is seen as a ruthless business with some magical moments and many male egos. 2011.
- Rated PG-13 | 2 hours, 6 minutes
- Official website
- Full Review • September 21, 2011