By Adam Nayman and Eric Hynes
“It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.” That’s the main refrain of Moneyball, and don’t director Bennett Miller and writers Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin know it. This adaptation of Michael Lewis’s 2003 book about baseball’s statistical revolution makes a point of eschewing sports-flick clichés, but really, it’s only skillfully disguising them. We still get a troupe of loveable losers beating the odds, clubhouse hijinks, a big midseason turnaround (complete with Major League–style victory montage), and a climactic game filled with close-ups and slow-motion heroics. The fact that it’s all nicely scare-quoted doesn’t mean that the filmmakers aren’t leaning on this stuff for all it’s worth. Continue reading.