Kurt Russell, Eddie Cahill, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich, Nathan West

Directed by Gavin O'Connor
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
February 6, 2004

Rah-rah is in the DNA of this rousing film version of how the U.S. hockey team beat the world-champion Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympics. When the movie tugs too shamelessly and too long (the running time is 135 minutes) at the heartstrings, there's always Kurt Russell to provide the needed edge. Russell plays Minnesota hockey coach Herb Brooks and nails the guy from his accent to his helmet hair and tacky pants. Russell is one of the most underrated actors in the business — his work as the corrupt cop in Dark Blue deserved Oscar attention — and he's at his best here showing the hidden agenda of a coach who wants his team to hate him. Patricia Clarkson does wonders — not in Eric Guggenheim's script — with the role of the coach's wife. We are a long way from the easy manipulation of The Mighty Ducks. Miracle gives audiences something to cheer for — you won't get that at The Butterfly Effect. You keep rooting for the team, mostly because director Gavin O'Connor (the terrific Tumbleweeds) cast real athletes instead of actors, a canny decision that pays major dividends when the big game is re-created. If you feel like shouting "Yes!" when TV announcer Al Michaels asks: "Do you believe in miracles?" — go for it.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories


    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »