Skating on Dreams
Review by Ross Anthony

What a wonderful way to spend an evening at the movies. Who doesn't like to be inspired to be their very best? If you like to inspire and be inspired -- to work hard for your dreams -- then you're likely to be charged up by this film. I woke up the next day and played basketball with more than my usual passion.

"Those are some lofty goals."
"Well, that's why I intend pursuing them."

Kurt Russell plays Herb Brooks, the hard-nosed, uncompromising coach of the 1980 Olympic US hockey team. After years of being embarrassed by the bigger stronger better Russian team, Herb sets out to push his young players to the top edge of their abilities, and take a powerful slapshot at the Gold.

With no surprise climax to help propel the suspense, the director, writers, editors and actors do a very impressive job of keeping the tension as high as the spirits.

Though there is plenty of hockey in the film and it's shot well -- the camera skating down the ice at times to give you the feel of being there -- this is more a film of training, preparation, believing, of commitment to a goal. Still, if you don't know hockey, you may feel lost at times, but only at times. As the director puts it, "I never intended MIRACLE to be a "sports" movie. I approached it as a character study, with Herb Brooks as a mad scientist and the team his lab experiment." The filmmakers also pay careful attention to the social political context of the world at the time.

Kurt Russell says, "I'm usually a pretty outgoing sort with whoever I'm working with, but for this role, like Herb, I felt it would be better if I maintained some sort of distance from the rest of the cast."

Also of note, the filmmakers cast (for the most part) real hockey players (even from the same geographic regions as the actual Olympians) to act in the film. In fact Buzz Schneider is played by Bill Schneider (Buzz's son).

"It's one thing to play for Boston University or to play in the NHL, but to play for your country is something different," Jimmy Craig.

  • Miracle. Copyright © 2004. Rated PG.
  • Starring Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Noah Emmerich.
  • Directed by Gavin O'Connor.
  • Screenplay by Eric Guggenheim.
  • Produced by Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray at Disney.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 2004 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has written and directed documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe Africa, and Asia. For more reviews visit: For Adult & Young Adult Novels written by Ross Anthony visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:03:35 PDT