22. Moneyball

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt

There’s no getting around the fact that Moneyball is a sports movie, and a damn good one, at that. Detailing the Oakland Athletics’ 2002 rise from an MLB whipping boys’ squad to a formidable contender, director Bennett Miller (Capote) covers all of the genre’s familiar territory: There are scenes covering the team’s practices, as well as the prerequisite “big game” climax.

But Moneyball, based on Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game, is deeper than baseball. Beneath its bat-and-ball-covered surface lies a wonderfully inspiring tale of an underdog’s refusal to back down against stronger opposition. Playing A’s general manager Billy Beane, Brad Pitt hits countless dramatic homers, providing the sufficient touches of humor when needed and evoking the pathos necessary to elevate Beane’s ultimate triumphs to motivational gold status.