Fred’s No Clue Movie Review

Directed by Gavin O'Connor

This movie dramatizes the upset victory of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team vs. Russia.  It was called the “Miracle on Ice”.  It came at a time, when Americans were looking for some hope in their lives and they used this scrappy young team to lift their spirits when they needed the most.  This film does a fantastic job of showing why and how they managed to capture the hearts of millions. 

Kurt Russell delivers a spectacular performance as coach Herb Brooks.  He shows a group of young hockey players the meaning of leadership and teamwork, giving them the will to win.  I really thought this was one of Russell’s most riveting performances.  He commands presence on screen in this role and seems to have embodied the spirit of Brooks.  He is tough, capable and takes no prisoners when dealing with the young hockey players.  All the actors deliver fine performances.  Notably, Patricia Clarkson who plays Brooks’ wife is wonderful in a small yet pivotal role.  All the young hockey players acquit themselves well both on and off the ice, many of them doing this for the first time. 

Director O’Connor has filmed some of the best hockey sequences I’ve ever seen on film.  As a fan of the game, many times movies don’t shoot good action sequences, because their stars don’t play the game.  But this group is made up of hockey players that also act.  What you get is real live big screen game play, which is both exciting and makes you feel like you’re watching a real sporting event.  The director delivers on an emotional level as well, correctly playing the time of turmoil that 1980 was.  The energy crisis, hostage crisis, and a USA looking for a uniting moment.  He tells a compelling story that grabs at your heart strings and uplifts your spirits. 

While watching, I found myself thinking about how difficult it must have been to shoot something that many people watched unfold before their eyes on live television.  The filmmakers stayed true to their vision and intercut real news footage with their filmed sequences seamlessly.  The actors deliver a performance and not caricatures of the real people depicted in the film.  Yet, many times they must mimic exact movements that are seen in the news footage.  I really liked that and was in awe of that aspect.  Lots of planning must have been involved in that. 

If you’re looking for a heart warming good film for the whole family to enjoy, then seek out “Miracle”.  You won’t be disappointed. 

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