Moneyball Hits the Sweet Spot

Moneyball now sits comfortably at 88 on Metacritic, with only two negative reviews. Funnily enough, though not quite to the same degree, its likability seems to mirror The King’s Speech, which ended at 88 but with more perfect scores of 100.  What The King’s Speech and Moneyball have in common is that both films essentially center around a male/male relationship and both are about overcoming fear to become a leader.  You can check out Moneyball’s reviews over there, and in the meantime, here are two clips.

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  1. phantom
    September 23, 2011

    That MC-score beats 78,3 % of the 60 best picture nominees of the last 10 years, only 13 out of 60 fared better.
    I made this chart for HP8, but I guess it could be useful in the next few months for other films and comparisons, as well : it has all critics scores (RT, RTT, MC, BFCA) of the 60 bp-nominees of the last 10 years.

    http://awardscorner.blogspot.com/2011/07/harry-potter-and-critics.html

    Bottom line : Based on precedent, Moneyball should be considered a lock for that crucial bp-nod by now.

  2. phantom
    September 23, 2011

    That MC-score beats 78,3 % of the 60 best picture nominees of the last 10 years, only 13 out of 60 fared better.
    I made this chart for HP8, but I guess it could be useful in the next few months for other films and comparisons, as well : it has all critics scores (RT, RTT, MC, BFCA) of the 60 bp-nominees of the last 10 years.

    http://awardscorner.blogspot.com/2011/07/harry-potter-and-critics.html

    Bottom line : Based on precedent, Moneyball should be considered a lock for that crucial bp-nod by now.

  3. September 23, 2011

    Moneyball now sits comfortably at 88 on Metacritic, with only two negative reviews.

    this is exciting news by any measure.

    I would only say that the two low scores of 50 received from Slate and San Francisco Chronicle are not strictly bad reviews. On a scale of 0-100 a 50 is average, and metacritic specifically counts a 50 as a C score.

    Those two reviews are color-coded ‘yellow’.

    Metacritic’s “negative review range” extends in the ‘red’ are from 0-39. So Moneyball really has no negative reviews at all. Just a couple that are lukewarm.

    (The King’s Speech had no negative reviews either. And had two 60′s in the yellow “mixed” range.)

  4. September 23, 2011

    Moneyball now sits comfortably at 88 on Metacritic, with only two negative reviews.

    this is exciting news by any measure.

    I would only say that the two low scores of 50 received from Slate and San Francisco Chronicle are not strictly bad reviews. On a scale of 0-100 a 50 is average, and metacritic specifically counts a 50 as a C score.

    Those two reviews are color-coded ‘yellow’.

    Metacritic’s “negative review range” extends in the ‘red’ are from 0-39. So Moneyball really has no negative reviews at all. Just a couple that are lukewarm.

    (The King’s Speech had no negative reviews either. And had two 60′s in the yellow “mixed” range.)

  5. Faux
    September 23, 2011

    Well, at least we have our Best Actor race frontrunner.

  6. Faux
    September 23, 2011

    Well, at least we have our Best Actor race frontrunner.

  7. drake
    September 23, 2011

    I very much liked the film and Pitt in the lead. Pitt’s performance is subtle though (except for perhaps the closing). I’d be cool if he won the oscar but from a prediction standpoint this isn’t the type of performance that usually wins the oscar.

  8. drake
    September 23, 2011

    I very much liked the film and Pitt in the lead. Pitt’s performance is subtle though (except for perhaps the closing). I’d be cool if he won the oscar but from a prediction standpoint this isn’t the type of performance that usually wins the oscar.

  9. Zach M.
    September 23, 2011

    Just got back from seeing Moneyball. Brad Pitt immediately goes on the Best Actor shortlist, and, barring any unforeseen turn of events in the next few months, I imagine that the film itself should have a BP nod within its sights.

    It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser, but a far more successful and ambitious one than The King’s Speech, I thought. Bennett Miller manages to open a portal into Beane’s mind in a way that I don’t think Tom Hooper did nearly as well with King George (In TKS, I felt like the film was expecting me to sympathize with him simply because he was the protagonist. With Moneyball, I felt a genuine emotional connection to Billy Beane). And while the film does have its triumphant moments (as an A’s fan, I did admittedly feel a swell of pride in a few key scenes), Miller also understands when to pull back and keep it grounded in reality so the film never falls into ‘overly-sentimental’ territory.

  10. Zach M.
    September 23, 2011

    Just got back from seeing Moneyball. Brad Pitt immediately goes on the Best Actor shortlist, and, barring any unforeseen turn of events in the next few months, I imagine that the film itself should have a BP nod within its sights.

    It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser, but a far more successful and ambitious one than The King’s Speech, I thought. Bennett Miller manages to open a portal into Beane’s mind in a way that I don’t think Tom Hooper did nearly as well with King George (In TKS, I felt like the film was expecting me to sympathize with him simply because he was the protagonist. With Moneyball, I felt a genuine emotional connection to Billy Beane). And while the film does have its triumphant moments (as an A’s fan, I did admittedly feel a swell of pride in a few key scenes), Miller also understands when to pull back and keep it grounded in reality so the film never falls into ‘overly-sentimental’ territory.

  11. Bob Burns
    September 24, 2011

    Overperformed Friday night. Sports fans are geeks… and they get a bromance with Brad at his most charming

  12. Bob Burns
    September 24, 2011

    Overperformed Friday night. Sports fans are geeks… and they get a bromance with Brad at his most charming

  13. James
    September 24, 2011

    I think I loved it.

  14. James
    September 24, 2011

    I think I loved it.

  15. Pajak
    September 24, 2011

    Watched the first clip just now, which looks great, but did anyone else notice the prominently dangling boom mike in the latter half over Pitt’s head? … hm

  16. Pajak
    September 24, 2011

    Watched the first clip just now, which looks great, but did anyone else notice the prominently dangling boom mike in the latter half over Pitt’s head? … hm

  17. DaneM
    September 25, 2011

    I thought it was very, very good. Not “The Social Network” good but very good. Pitt was money in the bank. The final scenes were expertly-crafted. Great baseball movie. I don’t think it’s gonna have the steam it would take to win Best Picture or anything like that but I wouldn’t be terribly shocked to see it nominated. And if Pitt doesn’t get a nomination, it’s a crime. I wonder if Steve Zaillion will be double-nominated in Adapted Screenplay this year…

  18. DaneM
    September 25, 2011

    I thought it was very, very good. Not “The Social Network” good but very good. Pitt was money in the bank. The final scenes were expertly-crafted. Great baseball movie. I don’t think it’s gonna have the steam it would take to win Best Picture or anything like that but I wouldn’t be terribly shocked to see it nominated. And if Pitt doesn’t get a nomination, it’s a crime. I wonder if Steve Zaillion will be double-nominated in Adapted Screenplay this year…

  19. Undocorkscrew
    September 25, 2011

    I absolutely love how awards sites are treating this movie. There are so many baseball fans who rely on odds and advanced statistics to compare how a player or team will perform, and movie fans are doing the same with this movie, relying on rating scores from various sources.

    It’s completely awesome.

  20. Undocorkscrew
    September 25, 2011

    I absolutely love how awards sites are treating this movie. There are so many baseball fans who rely on odds and advanced statistics to compare how a player or team will perform, and movie fans are doing the same with this movie, relying on rating scores from various sources.

    It’s completely awesome.

  21. Pajak
    September 25, 2011

    Love that insight, Undocorkscrew :) Very cool, and spot on

  22. Pajak
    September 25, 2011

    Love that insight, Undocorkscrew :) Very cool, and spot on

  23. Allie
    September 25, 2011

    I’m not usually that fond of sports movies, but I geared myself up by thinking of the movie The Damned United, which was about English soccer managers, and yet turned out to be really interesting and more about character than soccer. (I think Tom Hooper directed that one). I liked Moneyball,, and I thought Pitt turned in an excellent well-rounded performance, with lots of spot-on moments. I agree that he’ll probably be nominated and deserve it.

  24. Allie
    September 25, 2011

    I’m not usually that fond of sports movies, but I geared myself up by thinking of the movie The Damned United, which was about English soccer managers, and yet turned out to be really interesting and more about character than soccer. (I think Tom Hooper directed that one). I liked Moneyball,, and I thought Pitt turned in an excellent well-rounded performance, with lots of spot-on moments. I agree that he’ll probably be nominated and deserve it.

  25. chrisw
    September 25, 2011

    Read the book when it first came out, I wanted to groom myself as a GM if film didn’t work out, and it’s a fantastic read. The film was very good, as it should be they brought the A-team for this, but it chopped a lot from the book. The book really isn’t about Billy Beane, and they made it seem like Billy didn’t know about OBP when in reality he molded his whole philosophy under the guidance of Sandy Alderson. This wasn’t some oh let’s try this type of thing, it was very conscience and he was out on the forefront of it. They made it a character study, and the film really wasn’t that either, and a man against the system type of film. The best part of the book was Billy choosing prospects, I wish they kept that. It’s hilarious and awesome. As a whole I think it’s just shy of excellent, but it’s a great film. I just wished they focused on other things, they made a film basically about a man when the book is about the inner workings of an organization as a whole and how they work as a team.

  26. chrisw
    September 25, 2011

    Read the book when it first came out, I wanted to groom myself as a GM if film didn’t work out, and it’s a fantastic read. The film was very good, as it should be they brought the A-team for this, but it chopped a lot from the book. The book really isn’t about Billy Beane, and they made it seem like Billy didn’t know about OBP when in reality he molded his whole philosophy under the guidance of Sandy Alderson. This wasn’t some oh let’s try this type of thing, it was very conscience and he was out on the forefront of it. They made it a character study, and the film really wasn’t that either, and a man against the system type of film. The best part of the book was Billy choosing prospects, I wish they kept that. It’s hilarious and awesome. As a whole I think it’s just shy of excellent, but it’s a great film. I just wished they focused on other things, they made a film basically about a man when the book is about the inner workings of an organization as a whole and how they work as a team.

  27. September 25, 2011

    @chrisw (TOTAL SPOILER QUESTION) In the book, did they have what happened with the rest of that season after that streak? Because I thought the movie was slow then started to get going during the streak, then just came to a complete halt. I couldn’t understand telling us what happened in the post-season with a few sentences instead of showing us. At that point it seemed like it changed it’s mind and decided to be a biopic instead of a sports movie.

  28. September 25, 2011

    @chrisw (TOTAL SPOILER QUESTION) In the book, did they have what happened with the rest of that season after that streak? Because I thought the movie was slow then started to get going during the streak, then just came to a complete halt. I couldn’t understand telling us what happened in the post-season with a few sentences instead of showing us. At that point it seemed like it changed it’s mind and decided to be a biopic instead of a sports movie.

  29. j
    September 25, 2011

    Moneyball ties Rango and is just ahead of Tree of Life/Meek’s Cutoff when it comes to the 8 critics I pay attention to (10 vs. 9 w/2 points for 100 & 1 for 88+). Last year Social Network had 15.

  30. j
    September 25, 2011

    Moneyball ties Rango and is just ahead of Tree of Life/Meek’s Cutoff when it comes to the 8 critics I pay attention to (10 vs. 9 w/2 points for 100 & 1 for 88+). Last year Social Network had 15.

  31. Nic V
    September 26, 2011

    Well the critics may love it but obviously the public didn’t respond. With as much hype as this film had it should have opened to a much better box office. A reissue of Disney’s The Lion King, of course in 3D; topped the Box Office with Moneyball coming in 2nd. Moneyball also was on more screens than The Lion King. Looks to me like the petals on the bloom got a little frosty. Not only that but Drive took a nearly 50% box office hit in their numbers on as many screens as Money Ball and more than the Lion King, second week on the box office charts and you loose half your box office says a lot. And Moneyball with such a weak opening now has to contend with The Ides of March, Footloose, Dream House and 50/50 being released right on it’s butt. Will be interesting to see how it fares in the next few weeks.

  32. Nic V
    September 26, 2011

    Well the critics may love it but obviously the public didn’t respond. With as much hype as this film had it should have opened to a much better box office. A reissue of Disney’s The Lion King, of course in 3D; topped the Box Office with Moneyball coming in 2nd. Moneyball also was on more screens than The Lion King. Looks to me like the petals on the bloom got a little frosty. Not only that but Drive took a nearly 50% box office hit in their numbers on as many screens as Money Ball and more than the Lion King, second week on the box office charts and you loose half your box office says a lot. And Moneyball with such a weak opening now has to contend with The Ides of March, Footloose, Dream House and 50/50 being released right on it’s butt. Will be interesting to see how it fares in the next few weeks.

  33. September 26, 2011

    Well the critics may love it but obviously the public didn’t respond. With as much hype as this film had it should have opened to a much better box office.

    I’m afraid that’s wrong, Nic V.

    This isn’t a superhero movie meant to attract hoards of teenage boys. It was projected to open at $18-20 and it did just that. It will easily come close to $90 mil before its theatrical run is complete. It’s the biggest opening for a baseball-themed film of all time. Word of mouth is going to be great for its target demo.

    Moneyball has a exit-poll cinemascore of A across all quadrants. Men and Women of every age who bought a ticket are glad they did.

    Moneyball opened at $20.5mil
    Sorkin’s last movie opened at $22mil. It won some Oscars.

    Drive on the other hand is a European art-house film when ticket-buyers were expecting another Fast & Furious. So the furious fickle flock are fleeing fast. But Drive has quality that surpasses any need for box-office clout.

    Neither one of these movies need worry about their year-end status. They’re both still in the game.

    You cannot seriously be comparing Lion King 3D to Moneyball. Parents are not buying 5 tickets per family to take their kids to see Moneyball, and the kids who saw Lion King this weekend were not even sperms when the original was first released.

  34. September 26, 2011

    Well the critics may love it but obviously the public didn’t respond. With as much hype as this film had it should have opened to a much better box office.

    I’m afraid that’s wrong, Nic V.

    This isn’t a superhero movie meant to attract hoards of teenage boys. It was projected to open at $18-20 and it did just that. It will easily come close to $90 mil before its theatrical run is complete. It’s the biggest opening for a baseball-themed film of all time. Word of mouth is going to be great for its target demo.

    Moneyball has a exit-poll cinemascore of A across all quadrants. Men and Women of every age who bought a ticket are glad they did.

    Moneyball opened at $20.5mil
    Sorkin’s last movie opened at $22mil. It won some Oscars.

    Drive on the other hand is a European art-house film when ticket-buyers were expecting another Fast & Furious. So the furious fickle flock are fleeing fast. But Drive has quality that surpasses any need for box-office clout.

    Neither one of these movies need worry about their year-end status. They’re both still in the game.

    You cannot seriously be comparing Lion King 3D to Moneyball. Parents are not buying 5 tickets per family to take their kids to see Moneyball, and the kids who saw Lion King this weekend were not even sperms when the original was first released.

  35. Nic V
    September 26, 2011

    I wasn’t comparing Lion King to Moneyball at all was just stating box office. Nothing more.

  36. Nic V
    September 26, 2011

    I wasn’t comparing Lion King to Moneyball at all was just stating box office. Nothing more.

  37. September 26, 2011

    I think people with children are making a choice for financial reasons to only go to the movies when they take their children. I think date nights are taking a hit. At least that’s my reasoning for why good “grown up” films aren’t doing as well as they should.

  38. September 26, 2011

    I think people with children are making a choice for financial reasons to only go to the movies when they take their children. I think date nights are taking a hit. At least that’s my reasoning for why good “grown up” films aren’t doing as well as they should.

  39. AS
    September 26, 2011

    Saw it on Saturday. Very engaged (mostly older) crowd, a lot of them didn’t seem to be big baseball fans (given that they seemed surprised at some of the outcomes of the games). Spontaneous applause at the end, a la The King Speech.

  40. AS
    September 26, 2011

    Saw it on Saturday. Very engaged (mostly older) crowd, a lot of them didn’t seem to be big baseball fans (given that they seemed surprised at some of the outcomes of the games). Spontaneous applause at the end, a la The King Speech.

  41. chrisw
    September 26, 2011

    @Antoinette

    The book talks about the trade deadline at length, greatest part of the book, then the streak, and then the aftermath heading toward the postseason. The problem is that they lost in the divisional round again so there isn’t much there. Beane was also very big on defense, save for Hatteberg but that’s because he needed a guy to get on base for Chavez and Tejada to knock in, and pitching. Pitching was the real reason they were so good. When you have great pitching, according to Beane’s philosophy, and just enough hitting you’ll win. The book dealt with that season so when it ends in such a underwhelming fashion they expanded the epilogue which was Beane meeting the Sox, but turning them down. The film didn’t say that Beane is now part owner of A’s so that they could keep him though.

  42. chrisw
    September 26, 2011

    @Antoinette

    The book talks about the trade deadline at length, greatest part of the book, then the streak, and then the aftermath heading toward the postseason. The problem is that they lost in the divisional round again so there isn’t much there. Beane was also very big on defense, save for Hatteberg but that’s because he needed a guy to get on base for Chavez and Tejada to knock in, and pitching. Pitching was the real reason they were so good. When you have great pitching, according to Beane’s philosophy, and just enough hitting you’ll win. The book dealt with that season so when it ends in such a underwhelming fashion they expanded the epilogue which was Beane meeting the Sox, but turning them down. The film didn’t say that Beane is now part owner of A’s so that they could keep him though.

  43. September 26, 2011

    Oh that’s really interesting, thanks chrisw. Yeah, I had a feeling the reason why I was bored by the film was because I used to watch baseball when I was a kid so I know how it works. I haven’t watched in a decade or more, that’s why I don’t know about this story. But I felt like the people who like it, not understanding baseball already, had enough to do to understand some of what was going on so they didn’t have time to get bored. They really made the movie about winning the last game so to not show the outcome of the season even if it was underwhelming didn’t make sense to me. Because it started with him being all bummed about not winning the previous season, so you would think the bookend would be winning this season, or at least the playoffs again. I actually suspected the whole ending bit was just because they wanted to shoot in Fenway. lol

  44. September 26, 2011

    Oh that’s really interesting, thanks chrisw. Yeah, I had a feeling the reason why I was bored by the film was because I used to watch baseball when I was a kid so I know how it works. I haven’t watched in a decade or more, that’s why I don’t know about this story. But I felt like the people who like it, not understanding baseball already, had enough to do to understand some of what was going on so they didn’t have time to get bored. They really made the movie about winning the last game so to not show the outcome of the season even if it was underwhelming didn’t make sense to me. Because it started with him being all bummed about not winning the previous season, so you would think the bookend would be winning this season, or at least the playoffs again. I actually suspected the whole ending bit was just because they wanted to shoot in Fenway. lol

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