Having just lost his three best players, and being without the means to replace them like for like, Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, embraces the statistic-based approach to player recruitment espoused by Peter Brand, a young Yale graduate that he poaches from a rival team. With others, particularly team manager Art Howe, slow to embrace their methods, things initially go quite badly. However, before long, their controversial methodology begins to show startling results. Well-crafted with fine performances, Moneyball starts well, but becomes ever more esoteric and rushed-feeling as it progresses, with the first half’s abundance of affectingly intimate moments gradually giving way to a breathless series of less engaging, more technical ones in the second. Generally amiable and diverting, though.