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Moneyball (2011)Moneyball (2011)

           At the end of the 2001 baseball season, the Oakland Athletics lost the division title and three marquee players to free agency. They couldn't replace the players that demanded those stratospheric salaries — that season their team payroll was $40 million, compared to the $125 million of the New York Yankees. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise and changed the way all teams evaluate players and do business. The A's manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) hired a young quant straight out of Harvard who sliced and diced complex statistics (sabermetrics) to identify undervalued players. Amidst much internal dissension, they rebuilt the team. Two years later the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918 using the same model, even though Beane turned down their offer to make him the highest paid manager in sports. This film dramatizes the 2003 best-seller book of the same title by Michael Lewis. It's a slam dunk for sports fans, but should also enjoy a wider appeal.

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