Guide to Baseball Films: The 2010s
- 42. (2013) Dir. Brian Helgeland. Jackie Robinson becomes the major league's first African-American player, and as a rookie leads the Dodgers to the pennant.
Extremely straightforward biopic, the cinematic equivalent of a belt-high changeup. But it's nice-looking and has some appealing performances (Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey).
- How Do You Know. (2010) Dir. James L. Brooks. Softball star at the end of her career fails to connect with cavalier baseball star in the middle of his, settles instead for lovable schnook.
The baseball in this picture is mere backdrop, and not very believably presented (in midsummer, ballplayers appear to have endless free time to socialize). But the title phrase is spoken by Owen Wilson in a major-league bullpen, prompting a nicely-delivered laugh line by Domenick Lombardozzi.
- Moneyball. (2011) Dir. Bennett Miller. Forced to rebuild on a slim budget, General Manager Billy Beane turns the A's into a powerhouse with the help of computers.
Basically a team-of-misfits movie, but an unsentimental one. An unusual picture for any genre, finding a dramatic arc in Michael Lewis's bestseller for the business-savvy. None of the action really rings true, but it's internally consistent, and consistently interesting.