Arising like an underdog team who brushed off the shaky start of a season to come together just before the playoffs, Moneyball has seen a long and rocky road to the theaters, with departing directors (Steven Soderbergh) and several high-profile screenwriters (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin) taking a crack at adapting Michael Lewis’ book of the same name. But it seems to have paid off: The trailer suggests the completed film may have accomplished the near-impossible task of turning a subject as boring as sabermetrics into a genuinely human story, with touches of comedy and the usual sports-movie drama blended into an otherwise dry tale of how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) used statistics to overcome the odds of running an impoverished team. Jonah Hill co-stars as Peter Brand—a stand-in for real-life former assistant manager Paul DePodesta—in a solid supporting cast that also includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Parks And Recreation’s Chris Pratt, and Robin Wright. Be prepared to root for their team; just maybe don’t read up on the A’s season records beforehand.

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