Sports for Nerds: A Moneyball Review

Tonight I went to the theater, with nothing specific in mind to watch, and the only options that started in a timely fashion were Glee 3D, and Moneyball, staring Brad Pitt. I’ve been a long-time hater of most sports movies, because they’re all the same, regardless of whether they’re based on a true story, or fiction. From The Mighty Ducks to Cool Runnings to Remember the Titans, the story always follows: The underdog team overcomes all odds, through spirit and teamwork, to win in the end. Sometimes they don’t win the big game in the end, but they always win the moral battle.

Moneyball is different. I mean, sort of. It’s still a story of the under-dog team, the 2001 Oakland Athletics, overcoming great odds to win the (moral) victory in the end. But the difference this time is how they win.

Despite an overwhelming lack of teamwork, and the broken spirits of most key players, they are able to break a world record using, not sheer strength of spirit, but intelligence. This is why I think this movie is, as the title says, Sports for Nerds.

But this is still a sports movie. And all good (and bad) sports movies have an inspiring message, that we can all take home and feel warm and fuzzy about for a few days until we forget about the movie. The difference, this time, is that the inspiring message isn’t “work hard” but rather “think different” (hats off to Apple).

If you’re a computer programmer (like me), you will like this movie. If you enjoyed watching The Social Network, you will like this movie. If you are a big fan of Rocky… skip this movie.

It’s also not a special effects film, so there’s no need to rush out and watch it at the theater. You can wait for it to come out on DVD, or your favorite cable network. I especially don’t recommend this as a date movie at the theater, unless your girlfriend is also brainy. You’ll leave the theater all excited, at the superior brain power portrayed in the film, and she’ll leave confused and frustrated that she had to sit through such a boring 133 minutes.

One Comment

  1. I really liked this movie (not sure I’m so brainy, but I’ll take it :)) – your review made me decide to see it when it was playing at a 2-for-1 at the Warren with Ides of March (also interesting but less inspirational). Hope to see a few more of these as the Oscars approach, and looking forward to having you back in KS – you are very brave to come back from Mexico mid-winter!

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