What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has brief strong language and some intense sports scenes. There is a discussion of a team member's loss of a parent. Some younger viewers may be uncomfortable with the pressure Brooks puts on the team and his dismissal of a loyal player.
What's the story?
Sportscaster Al Michaels unforgettably called out \"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!\" as the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team beat the Russians. They then went on to win the gold medal. And so the team, the last group of amateurs sent by the United States to play ice hockey, has been known ever after as the \"Miracle on Ice.\" MIRACLE is a meticulous recreation of the training, strategy, and the key moments of the team's path to Olympic gold.
Is it any good?
As this movie shows, miracle is the very last word to be used to describe this team. It's better than a miracle because it is the story of a team that succeeded through heart and hard work and commitment. If it is a miracle, it is in the "God helps those who help themselves" category. This is not an "up close and personal" saga. You're not going to get to find out all the quirky personal details of the members of the team. This is a movie first of all for hard-core hockey fans. The silver medal goes to Kurt Russell's fine performance as coach Herb Brooks. Russell is willing to be unattractive in appearance and behavior to convey Brooks' famously tough and withholding style.
The movie is less successful when it gives us the inevitable toll-on-the-family scenes, even with the magnificent Patricia Clarkson as Mrs. Brooks, explaining that just because Herb is coaching the Olympic team does not mean that he can shirk his responsibilities at home. And the movie's weakest point is its attempt to make the team's triumph too much of a symbol. It spends too much time trying to convey the sense of the era, with an opening credit sequence of clips showing lines at the gas station and Jimmy Carter's speech about how depressed everyone was. Yes, the miracle on ice was immensely satisfying at a moment when America needed some heroes. But trying to re-create that mood takes away from the genuine splendor of the team's achievement, which is more than enough on its own.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Brooks picked the team he wanted. He was not much of a team player himself when it came to the committee members. Families could also talk about the coaches and teachers and mentors who have inspired them to do their best -- probably not always the ones who were the nicest.
|Theatrical release date:||February 6, 2004|
|DVD release date:||May 18, 2004|
|Cast:||Kurt Russell, Noah Emmerich, Patricia Clarkson|
|Studio:||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Topics:||Sports and martial arts, History, Misfits and underdogs|
|Run time:||130 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||language and some rough sports action|