“Do you believe in miracles?!?” 23 years later that line is still one of the many heralded in sports, in the country and also in the world. Uttered (okay, lt’s face it – shouted through the can be fried exuberance and also enthusiasm) by long-time alphabet commentator Al Michaels in the sporting showdown the led the U.S. Hockey team come the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, those five little words tho live in the understanding of every American city hall the Olympics the night and also still have the capability to carry a chill come the spine and also swell of proud to the chest. Thanks to the folks in ~ Disney we deserve to all relive those magic moments and also the story behind castle come February 6 through “Miracle.”

While patriotic in an historical context, “Miracle” is an initial and foremost about hockey and in particular, about coach Herb Brooks, the man hosted responsible because that “The wonder on Ice”. The moment is 1979 and director Gavin O’Connor, in consort through film editor man Gilroy, exquisitely sets the phase with an opened montage of historic audio and video footage of the human being in those troubled time leading as much as Olympic training headquarters in ft Collins, Collins where Brooks is gift interviewed because that the head coach place for the 1980 Olympic Hockey team. The opened sequence is a history lesson in and also of itself.

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Intensive interviewing offers insight right into Brooks’ character and also beliefs. See a need to re-write the publication on playing hockey, he want to offer the americans style an ext like your fiercest adversary, the Russians, a team that had taken home the yellow in ‘64, ‘68, ‘72 and also ‘76. His goal – come the win the Russians and also bring house the gold. Thanks to his drive, desire and also forward thinking ambition, Brooks is named as coach and also starts the long process of assembling his “dream team.”

Disney veteran, kurt Russell steps in together Herb Brooks and gives a compelling performance together this calculating and also intensely propelled man, even assuming the complete physicality that Brooks best down come his poor hair and not fairly Canadian accent. He exudes an outward confidence that belies the inner insecurities and also doubts the Brooks however fills the display with a passion for the sport, his players and the goal. Russell is therefore convincing in the duty that at times you forget that it’s no Brooks himself on the screen.

By keeping the film focused on Brooks, but for a few exceptions, director O’Connor filling the team through a bunch the unknowns that successfully serve as vehicles for a character study of Brooks. Seemingly just “faces on the ice” through much of the movie however, the performances of this young males are such that one can’t help but feeling the emotion and also intensity that each and every player, each and every hit. As America go in embracing the genuine hockey team, the movie-goer will carry out here.

Untypical of many sports films, O’Connor intricately weaves the occasions of the human being in and also out of the story like a skilled seamstress, never ending up being too preachy or political, but giving the film part depth and character, all the while maintaining hockey and Brooks in ~ the forefront with a running time heat of the civilization as an unobtrusive backdrop. But you don’t have to be a hockey lover to evaluate the beauty and also skill that this movie. Never inundating the audience with stick drills, ice time, etc., O’Connor conserves the bulk of the skating because that the critical thirty minute of the film, informing a story and also building to the magnificent and miraculous crescendo. He additionally provides amazing camera angles that boost the emotionally intensity of certain scenes, and never moreso than in face-offs v the Russians. Oblivious to potential politics references, O’Connor has actually the ability to efficiently visualize the inner strength, drive, focus and desire that the individual player through a single frame. Cinematographer Dan Stoloff also does his part and expertly catches the feel of the period and does specifically does well v mirroring the essence and also look that the video and movie footage that the day.

This is a story around a man with a dream and also determination. A story of historical context v a triumphant message. A story that will make girlfriend laugh, cry, sit top top the sheet of her seat and also in the end, have you screaming v spine-tingling joy, “Do you think in miracles?” girlfriend betcha. And this is among them.

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Kurt Russell: Herb Brooks Jim Craig: Eddie Cahill Patrick O’Brien Demsey: Mike Eruzione Michel Mantenuto: Jack O’Callahan

Directed by Gavin O’Connor. Written by Eric Guggenheim. A Walt Disney Picture. Rated PG.