By Alynda Wheat Catherine Kast Lesley Messer
October 03, 2011 12:00 PM


Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill PG-13 |


As if more proof were needed that the geeks inherited the earth, here’s a story about how they took over baseball. Moneyball, starring Pitt as the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, scores by being authentic and smart. With richer teams luring his star players, Beane hires number-cruncher Peter Brand (Hill) to help him form a cheap, capable team. The new kid ticks off the old guys, including coach Art Howe (a venomous Philip Seymour Hoffman), forcing Billy to tangle with the team’s graybeard advisers in some of the film’s best scenes. But for all its brains, Moneyball works because it has a bona fide movie star in the lead. Pitt’s performance is funny and assured, energizing a film that has the hurry-up-and-wait pace of a real game. He pays due respect to a guy who changed the sport. After all, it’s not whether Billy won or lost, it’s how he gamed the play.