Movie Review

Miracle

MPAA Rating: PG for language and some rough sports action.

Reviewed by: Ben Cornish
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family Adults Teens
Genre:
Sports Drama
Length:
2 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
February 6, 2004
Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures
Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Buena Vista Pictures

marriage

Christmas

teamwork

perseverance

father son relationship

cold war

sportsmanship and competition

iran hostage crisis

grudge

regret

male bonding

Featuring: Kurt Russell … Herb Brooks
Patricia ClarksonPatti Brooks
Noah Emmerich … Craig Patrick
Sean McCann … Walter Bush
Kenneth Welsh … Doc Nagobads
Eddie Cahill … Jim Craig
Patrick O’Brien Demsey … Mike Eruzione
more »
Director: Gavin O’Connor—“Tumbleweeds
Producer: Pop Pop Productions
Determination Productions
Mayhem Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
more »
Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures

“The story of the greatest moment in sports history.”

“Miracle” tells the story of the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team. Those familiar with this true story, and those who aren’t, will be attracted to an emotional story that traces nine months of events that led up to one of the most historically recognized moments in Olympic history.

Kurt Russell stars as Herb Brooks, an ex-hockey player and university coach who is tapped to coach the underdog US team for the upcoming 1980 Olympics. Brooks’ strategy for success means reinventing the way his players approach the game of ice hockey. Brooks selects a rooster of 20 college-aged athletes whose passion, in some cases, out weigh talent. Miracle follows the team over several months as they prepare for the Olympic games, and the now famous game between the US and the Soviet Union (who were viewed as the best hockey team in the world). Viewers are treated to the untold story of what went on during practice, in the locker room, and in the homes of this incredible team.

“Miracle” is a refreshing film that families can feel safe viewing together. This film focuses on themes of teamwork, perseverance, and the family dynamics between players and coaches, while avoiding the foul language and lewd behavior that has become a popular theme in sports related films.

Coach Brooks selects his players for their passion and works hard to condition them to be up to the demands of play and defeating the top Soviet team, to the point of stressing conditioning over skill. As Christians this is a familiar message, for we are called to strengthen our hearts and minds in Christ in order to run the race with perseverance. In “Miracle,” the team does this and they are victorious.

The movie also focuses on teamwork and family. Interwoven between his relations with the team members, we catch a glimpse of Coach Brooks’ home life and his relationship with his wife (played by Patricia Clarkson). By shining a light on their healthy, but realistic, marriage, “Miracle” teaches that marriage is a true partnership and as Coach Brooks conditions his team for success, he remains true and faithful to tend to a marriage that may have suffered from lack of attention.

“Miracle” is an uplifting movie that demonstrates what great things ordinary people can accomplish when they “believe.”

Violence: Minor | Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—This is a great movie to see with family or friends! It focuses on teamwork and putting the needs of others before yourself. I honestly think any Christian will enjoy this one, even if you’re not into hockey or sports! This movie keeps your interest the entire time, and you will feel great afterwards!
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Brooke, age 27
Positive—As a Christian, I know that entering a movie theater these days is a gamble. “Miracle” confirms my hope that there are still a few movie-makers out there who can tell a great story. A great story… with no agenda! Enjoy!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Dee O., age 35
Positive—Walt Disney would be proud of this Disney production. I enjoyed every minute of this fascinating docu-drama about the USA hockey team that beat the previously unbeatable Soviet team in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. The center of the movie is the coach, played to perfection by Kurt Russell. Every moment of this period in sports history is clearly depicted—how he chose his team, the conditioning they went through, the actual game. Archival footage is sprinkled throughout the movie with sights and sounds of 1980, so I felt like I was really there, and I am old enough to remember this event, though never as involved as the opportunity the movie gives you. Solid entertainment for the whole family. Suspenseful and fun at the same time.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Halyna, age 58
Positive—My family and I really enjoyed this movie. The dramatization of the struggle to put together a competitive Olympic hockey team in 1980 was very well done. It was refreshing to see a movie that didn’t have bad language or immorality. Because it is a drama and because ice hockey is a rough, high-contact sport I would recommend it for older elementary children and above—unless you have an avid hockey player that is younger. It was exciting to relive the patriotism of the moment we beat the Russians and went on to Olympic gold!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Valerie Maie, age 47
Positive—My husband and I went on opening day to watch this movie. He was very excited and anxious to see what Disney had done with the film. He was not disappointed and really enjoyed it, and I did too! Great family movie—really stresses the importance of teamwork in a sport, not individualism (unlike today’s society). Well done. Remember, it is a movie about hockey so there is a certain amount of language.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Kayleen, MI, age 26
Positive—That game didn’t happen twenty four years ago did it? This movie shows that our filmmakers can still put together a decent clean family film. This is a true story of how hard work and persistence can and does pay off. I remember the game like it was yesterday but I had little knowledge of the story behind the TV “facts.” You will not be disappointed you spent the time and the money to see this movie.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Bob C., age 40
Positive—This was a wonderful movie! It was well acted, well written, moving, inspiring and real. It was not sentimental nor did it go for the cheap emotional response of the stereotypical sports movie. The human cost to the coach, played beautifully by Kurt Russell, and his family made the main character a complete and believable man. As a Christian, it was also nice to see some of the individual players praying quietly to themselves in an understated but clear reflection of their understanding that something greater than their own talent was necessary to achieve a victory. This movie deserves to be successful.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Dan, age 44
Positive—I saw this movie, pretty unsure of what it was about. This was probably THE most exciting movie I’ve ever seen. Strong language was rarely seen in this movie. The violence was very mild. I’m glad I had an opportunity to see this movie. This is one movie that Disney oughta be proud of.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Teresa, age 25
Positive—This is one of the best “feel good” movies ever made. Outstanding hockey sequences, and a very emotional ending even though we know the outcome. I lived through the real moment, and this film gave me chills. It is an excellent example of true sacrifice for the good of the team. If you don’t have a lump in your throat at the end, check your pulse. I highly recommend this film.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Jim Nealon, age 40
Positive—It is rare that I let my 10 year old see anything rated higher than PG. But I took him and 3 friends for his 10th birthday and had no regrets. This film sends such a fantastic message of courage, strength and determination. It is about team work and what it means to be “family.” There were so many areas where nudity and language could have been added. But the film makers choice to leave it out was an excellent example of keeping to the story line and putting out the intended message. Good, wholesome, clean, inspiring, uplifting. The fact that it is a true story just adds to the long list of “positives.” So encouraging, this film has given my 2 boys an example of what it means to “dream util your dreams come true”!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Karen C. English, age 36
Positive—I think that this is a phenomenal movie! for the past week, i’ve watched it everyday! The hockey players all were very talented both with their passion for playing the sport and their ability to begin acting! All of the actors in this movie impressed me very much! (Michael Mantenuto, I love u!)
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Makayla, age 21
Neutral
Neutral—A good family movie. I am not a huge hockey fan, however I enjoyed the movie. I actually sat down right before the movie thinking “Oh, great another silly sports movie” (nothing against sports or anything), but I was pleasantly surprised. There was nothing offensive in the movie that I can remember. There were a few things left unresolved in the movie that I would of liked to of seen resolved. Overall, a pretty good movie for the whole family to enjoy.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/3½]
—Rae, age 24
Negative

none

Comments from young people
Positive—Very great movie with like a little, little, little, bit of objectional content. Great family film.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Ileana Ortiz, age 12
Positive—It was a good movie, there seemed to be a lot of swearing and a lot of funny parts. I think kids that that you think will understand what is going on should see it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Jason, age 14
Positive—I really think that this movie is worth seeing. It shows people that if you follow your dreams and work hard it you can work a miracle. One fight scene between two of the hockey players, but that wasn’t bloody or gruesome in anyway…
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—B. Dover, age 13
Positive—This movie was good, clean, and very attention holding. When my dad got it I thought, “Oh boy, this is gonna be boring.” I was pleasantly surprised. Now I’m not a hockey lover, but I still liked it and would watch it again.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Hannah, age 13
Positive—This was awesome! I would recommend this movie to everyone.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/4]
—Elings, Mardi, age 12
Positive—This movie is great. It does deserve a PG rating, only for some objections, but it is a good movie. I was surprised by some of the words used in it, and I was with my class(7th grade)when I saw it, but it was an overall good movie, and it was cool to see the behind the scenes look of what my parents have told me about since I was little.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Katie Orlando, age 13
Negative—I saw this in the theatre with my family for my dads b-day . I thought it was good for those who like hockey, But I’m not a hockey fan so I found myself pretty bored. There wasn’t much language. I recommend this movie for Hockey lovers only, not for people who don’t like hockey.
My Ratings: [Good/2½]
—Brittany Marie Jensen, age 12
Positive—This movie was fantastic. It was touching and showed how with team work and hard work you can do anything. There is next to nothing offensive, mild language and that’s it… it’s a must see.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jordan, age 12
Positive—I liked this movie there was a part where you saw the tops of the men in the shower. But, I really liked the movie and would tell my friends it is one they should see. I really under stand what went on at that point in time now. All in all it was an excellent movie!
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Abigail, age 13
Positive—LOVED this movie. Personally I didn’t think I would like it… thought it would be BORING (cause I’m not a hockey fan)… but no! Actually it kept me on the end of my seat the entire time… interesting and entertaining!! I’d recommend for ages 9 and up, or anyone who likes hockey!!!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Ashley, age 11
Movie Critics
…captures, with remarkable accuracy, the energetic triumph of underdogs… A heartfelt, straightforward slice of history, the movie puts the players and their one-of-a-kind coach front and center, without embellishment or soap-opera shenanigans.
—Margaret A. McGurk, The Cincinnati Enquirer
…Disney gets it right… succeeds in making its off-ice time as important and correct in its details as the fun-to-watch games…
—Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
…what will make the film compelling even for audiences who never heard of the miracle on ice is Kurt Russell’s taut, nuanced portrait of Herb Brooks, the coach who gave “tough love” a whole new meaning…
—Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
…This is undeniable material. Even to this non-hockey fan…
—Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
…more than 30 mild profanities …mostly “h--.” …a few uses of “crap,” “screw,” “ass” and “bastards.” God’s name is misused a half-dozen times. Jesus’ once…
—Bob Waliszewski, Plugged In