Brad Pitt plays a baseball coach tasked with saving a struggling team in Moneyball. The issue is that Pitt’s team does not have the resources to acquire world-class players. Enter Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a recent Ivy League grad with a breakthrough algorithm that could help predict the next generation of baseball stars. Moneyball, a gripping sports drama based on Michael Lewis’s best-selling novel, features a stellar cast led by Brad Pitt. Fans of sports movies will enjoy these films that are comparable to Moneyball.
1. ‘Field of Dreams’ (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989)
Field of Dreams is a film about the legacy of a baseball game and how it can bring people together, rather than about sports per se.
The film stars Kevin Costner as a farmer who decides to build a baseball diamond on his property despite the opposition (and the threat of bankruptcy).
Despite the fact that Field of Dreams is a tearjerker, it stays true to its principles and avoids being labeled as ‘cheesy.’
Costner also gives an outstanding performance.
2. ‘Friday Night Lights’ (Peter Berg, 2004)
Friday Night Lights tells the story of a Texas high school football team and the town’s love affair with American football.
Intensely dramatic, and one of the best sports movies I’ve ever seen, Friday Night Lights doesn’t shy away from delving into the psychology of the game.
3. ‘Raging Bull’ (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
For this Scorsese film about boxing from the 1980s, Robert De Niro famously gained a substantial amount of weight. As Scorsese places the camera in the ring, the action in Raging Bull comes to life on screen with immediate and visceral camera work. There are realistic sound effects, and Raging Bull is a realistic depiction of ring fighting as there is.
Black-and-white but not lacking in color, Raging Bull outperforms its own weight class thanks to stunning cinematography and a powerful performance by Robert De Niro in the prime of his career.
4. ‘Dodgeball’ (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2004)
The tone of Dodgeball is very different from that of Moneyball, but both films succeed admirably in exploring the same sports/underdog genre. When it was released in 2000, Dodgeball, starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, became a classic example of noughties slapstick comedy.
Although it knows exactly what it is, as a narrative piece of cinema, this is a surreal, weird, and utterly insane experience.
5. ‘Ali’ (Michael Mann, 2000)
A very detailed Michael Mann movie that showcases his usual skilful direction and stars Will Smith in a strong and convincing performance as the titular boxing legend, Ali is a truthful account of one of sports most famous characters.
6. ‘The Damned United’ (Tom Hopper, 2009)
This true story about a football manager’s egotism and quest for glory stars Michael Sheen as Brian Clough. In many ways, it’s a lot like Moneyball in that it tells the story of a sports team from the inside.
7. ‘Warrior’ (Gavin O’Conner, 2011)
Warrior tells the story of two brothers who become expert cage fighters after watching their father train them. An emotional film, it manages to be heartbreaking without being cheesy in the end.
Warrior is an engrossing film that illustrates how sports can mirror the lives of those who take part in them.