The Rocket is best when it tells the story of Maurice Richard on the ice. There are some fantastically realistic recreations of great Rocket moments, complete with period lighting and historic snap shots. You could not have picked a better actor for the Richard role; Roy Dupuis is simply perfection, both on the ice and off. Stephen McHattie, as the hard nosed coach Dick Irvin, is also a joy to watch act (and boy oh boy, did Irvin ride Richard!) Not so for Rémy Girard, the otherwise always memorable actor, who's barber character is nothing more than a platitudinous plot device.
You see, the problem with this movie is that its sort of half of a movie. Or half of an interesting one. Why? Well, like another famous and contemporary athlete, Joe Louis, off the ice Maurice Richard isn't all that interesting or compelling. There is simply no fudging this.
What the movie tries to do, and you can't blame the writers given the oft retold popular cultural history, is link Richard's life with the "Quiet Revolution" and nationalism (and separatism) in Québec. This really doesn't wash, is explored in some pretty hammy vignettes, and is not true anyways. Actually, Québécois historians have argued that Richard's role in this movement has been grossly exaggerated over time, and while certainly news worthy (and entertaining in the "rear view mirror" of history) it just ain't what happened.
Which means that about half of this movie is a dud. And you can't watch the other half without it.