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Movie Info

RATING:

PG

RELEASE:

February 6, 2004

TIME:

111 minutes

GENRE:

Sports Drama

STARRING:

Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich, Sean McCann, Eddie Cahill, Patrick OBrien Demsey, Michael Mantenuto, and Nathan West

DIRECTOR:

Gavin OConnor

WRITER:

Eric Guggenheim

PRODUCERS:

Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:

Justis Greene and Ross Greenburg

DISTRIBUTOR:

Walt Disney Pictures/Buena Vista/Walt Disney Company

 

Remembering the Miracle on Ice
CBN.com Producer Chris Carpenter remembers the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team; a band of ragtag misfit hockey players from the college and minor league ranks who restored Ameican pride to a nation that had seemingly lost it.

More movies on CBN.com

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

'Miracle'

By Ted Baehr
Publisher, MovieGuide Magazine

CBN.com Miracle is a splendid, inspirational re-telling of the U.S. hockey team’s victorious play at the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York. Kurt Russell gives perhaps his best performance as Coach Herb Brooks, who led the team to victory.

Miracle opens with historical footage from the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s to the Watergate scandal in 1974 to the hostage crisis in Iran during 1979-1980. This footage sets the stage for the lack of confidence and hope that Americans began to feel for their future after a decade of heart-rending social and political problems. Herb Brooks is not thinking about these things, however, when he takes the reins of the U.S. Ice Hockey team in the summer of 1979. He wants to make amends for the terrible losses the team faced in 1976. He also wants to make up for being cut 20 years ago from the 1960 U.S. Olympic team that went on to win the gold medal. Coach Brooks figures that the only to make a good showing is by learning a fusion of the Canadian brand of hockey and the style played by the Soviet team, which was back then considered the fastest, most formidable hockey team to ever play the game.

After choosing 26 young men to compete for 20 spots on the team, Coach Brooks puts them through a grueling seven months of conditioning and training. It looks like all has gone for naught when, in an exhibition game just before the Olympics, the Soviet team beats the U.S. team 10-3. Later, however, with the whole world watching, the American team rises to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels to exclaim, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

The exciting victory over the invincible Soviet team, products of a Communist program, inspired a renewed spirit of confidence and hope in Americans in 1980. One could argue, in fact, that it helped set the stage for the Reagan/Bush administration’s ultimate political victory over the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1989-1991 and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. The brilliant policies of President Ronald Reagan and pressure from Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians living in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union also fired the way to Liberty. Of course, God was the ultimate cause and it is telling that the culmination of the Collapse of Soviet-style Communism came during the Christmas season of 1991 as the world celebrated the birth of its lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Vital to the success of Miracle is Kurt Russell’s impressive performance as Coach Brooks. Russell makes viewers identify with Coach Brooks’ determination to mold his team, even when Coach Brooks seems to go too far or the inevitable bumps in the road occur.

Director Gavin O’Connor and his crew also do a masterful job of re-creating. It’s like watching instant replays of the original games themselves.

Best of all, Miracle shows that the success of the 1980 hockey team was not just some fluke or happy coincidence, but was the result of hard work, persistence, and detailed preparation. Hard work builds confidence and breeds its own success. Or, to put it another way, no pain, no gain.

In a similar fashion, there is no gain of eternal life in Heaven with God without the painful sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross. Every man and woman can have hope when they place their trust and confidence in that.

Note: Regrettable, Coach Brooks died in a tragic car accident last year. As the epilogue to the movie says, “He never saw it. He lived it.


NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine: For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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