Both MONEYBALL and WARRIOR are set in the world of sports, but each of them is more than a sports movie.
MONEYBALL is based on the true story of baseball general manager, Billy Beane, who changed the way players are evaluated.
Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, the brash general manager of the Oakland Athletics whose team budget in 2002 is so low that he has to find good players who are undervalued by teams with money.
"There are rich teams and there are poor teams," Beane tells his staff. "Then there's 50 feet of crap and then there's us."
Billy completely rejects the standard wisdom of his scouts and instead relies on the unconventional theories shown to him by young Yale graduate, Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill.
"Your goal shouldn't be to buy players," Peter tells Billy. "Your goal should be to buy wins. In order to buy wins, you need to buy runs."
"The basic idea is to look for players whose best baseball skill is getting on base even if their other talents are only average."
That's why Scott Hatteberg becomes an Oakland A. The former catcher has a damaged elbow, but he gets on base a lot, so Billy wants him to learn how to play first base which doesn't require a strong arm.
Teammate David Justice asks Hatteberg: "What's your biggest fear?"
"A baseball hit in my general direction," Hatteberg replies and he isn't kidding.
Beane's strategy (it's called "sabermetrics" and was invented by Bill James) never did produce a world championship for Oakland, but his 2002 team put together the longest winning streak in baseball history (20 games), and his ideas are now widely accepted in the baseball world.
As a baseball fan, I enjoyed watching MONEYBALL. The casting and the acting are very good and the dialog is smart and realistic.
But I also think the film moves too slow and runs too long.
I'm not at all interested in mixed martial arts fighting. But WARRIOR surprised me because it's also a powerful family drama, so stunning that it left me trembling and near tears.
WARRIOR shows how love and hate are opposite sides of the same coin, how you cannot hate someone you don't really care about. (The main characters are brothers who must fight each other. Their father is played by Nick Nolte.)
WARRIOR is absolutely riveting.