1979-1980 were not good years for the United States. Militant Iranians took US citizens hostage in our embassy in Teheran, the USSR invaded Afghanistan, the Cold War was at below zero temperatures, and at home gas prices were sky high, as were interest rates. The film is set in the context of this period, which makes it even more exciting. Americans really needed something to cheer about.
In the summer of 1980, newly hired US Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks took a group of boys, average age 21, worked them 'til they dropped for seven months, taught them new strategies, made them into a cohesive team, and miraculously led them to unbelievable victory. They beat the pants off the unbeatable champion Soviet hockey team in what has been called the "Miracle on Ice." In a super surprise win, the underdog US team, which had played poorly against the much older Russian veterans a few weeks before at Madison Square Garden, made all the right moves to score success, 4 to 3. The team then went on to win Olympic Gold! The Cold War may be long over, but remembering the moment still feels sweet. The look on the Soviet coach's face alone is worth the price of the rental. And now the "moment" and more can be relived - seen on the big screen, with accurate details and superb characterizations, in director Gavin O'Connor's and screenwriter Eric Guggenheim's "Miracle."
Kurt Russell is superb as coach Brooks. He has the Minnesota accent down pat, chews gum like Brooks - 500 chews per minute...Read more ›
Kurt Russell is brilliant in this movie in such an understated way. He has the accent and mannerisms of Brooks down pat!
The truth was that the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team was so bad (in comparison to the Soviets who were so good because they had professional players) - that none of the other coaches really wanted to take the job. Brooks had something to prove at the Olympics, however.
And yes, this is a "feel-good" movie. It shows our country during a time when everyone banded together to pull for a team that seemingly didn't have a chance. Our country had been enemies with the Soviet Union for 30+ years at that time and we were very angry that the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan. This was MORE than about a hockey game! It was about national pride.
What I liked so much was that it wasn't some story that shows superhuman odds. Rather, it showed incredibly hard work and the adage that Brooks stated to his team, that basically the Soviets were a better team; they could play the Soviets 10 games and the Soviets would certainly win 9 out of the 10 games; but the USA only needed to win ONE GAME against them. This is the story of that one game and the immense dedicatation that led them there.
I would have rated this a 4.5 if possible.Read more ›
Knowing what is going to happen in "Miracle" is important because if we did not know that this team is going to win the gold medal then we might suspect the means that coach Herb Brooks (Kirk Russell) is using to achieve that end. Brooks is haunted by the 1960 Winter Olympics, when he was cut from the U.S. team a week before it won the gold medal. It was also the last year the Americans beat the Soviets on the ice and Brooks knows how to pull off the upset against the best hockey team on the planet. All it will take is a team that he handpicks playing the way he wants them to play.
The best part of this film is watching how Brooks does exactly that and then becomes basically a spectator and cheerleader when his team goes out and wins the gold medal. Director Gavin O'Connor hits a bulls eye with the casting of Russell, who should get serious Oscar consideration for his performance.Read more ›