Moneyball Movie Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Moneyball' is a 2011 biographical movie by director Bennett Miller that stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the 2001 Oakland Athletics. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this film.


Bennett Miller's Moneyball follows Billy Beane's unconventional wisdom when recruiting players on a limited budget for the 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball team. The story has implications for making decisions and finding success in business and life. The questions in this asset will guide classroom discussions about this film.


The questions in this section will help students understand the background of the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane, and Peter Brand.

  • At the beginning of the story, Billy Beane is concerned about next year's team. Why are so many players leaving Oakland? What challenges does Beane face when searching for replacement players? Why is Beane willing to try such a radical new approach? What motivates you to try something new?
  • Peter Brand is not an athlete, but he feels confident that his method of assessing players is superior to the methods used by experts in Major League Baseball. What is Brand's background? What is the relationship between baseball and mathematics? Why does Beane hire Brand? Would you have made the same decision? Why?


The next set of questions review some of the major conflicts that the characters in this film face.

  • The team's scouts feel threatened by Brand's approach to selecting players. Why are the scouts so opposed to trying something new? Why do the scouts reject many of the players that Brand chooses? How does insecurity and fear contribute to hostility? When is it best to stick with traditional methods? When is it time to try something new?
  • The Athletics' manager, Art Howe, is also opposed to Beane and Brand's new methods. What does Howe want Beane to do? Why? How does Beane react to Howe's demands? Do you think Beane made the right decision? Why? What are some other ways to resolve conflict?

The Outcome

The questions in this section will help students understand the outcomes and implications of using this new method.

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