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Miracle (2004)


Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 126
Rotten: 32

Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 30
Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Kurt Russell's performance guides this cliche-ridden tale into the realm of inspirational, nostalgic goodness.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 56,293


Movie Info

The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team's coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, … More

PG (for language and some rough sports action)
Directed By:
Written By:
Eric Guggenheim
In Theaters:
May 25, 2004
Box Office:
Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Miracle

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (32) | DVD (29)

If you can tolerate all this phony uplift you'll also get a pretty interesting story about a shrewd Minnesota college coach named Herb Brooks.

Full Review… | February 14, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

[T]humbs up for this uplifting and inspirational movie about one of the great upsets in sports history.

Full Review… | February 13, 2004
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Russell is terrific as coach Herb Brooks.

Full Review… | February 10, 2004
Village Voice
Top Critic

Big on slogans, but low on personality.

Full Review… | February 7, 2004
Top Critic

The movie effectively simulates the game's whirl, and should grab all but the most finicky hockey fans. But for moviegoers who think if you've seen one sports flick, you've seen 'em all -- well, you've definitely seen this one.

February 6, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

The movie brings the audience back to 1980 with bone-crunching verisimilitude.

Full Review… | February 6, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Moving story of the 1980 Olympic hockey team.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

A story about people rather than just one a team going for the win. In doing so, O'Connor makes Miracle one of the more thoughtful and enjoyable films revolving around sports.

Full Review… | August 15, 2009

Even if you don't know a "blue line from a clothes line," "Miracle" is a thoroughly enjoyable film that unspools like a Robert Altman movie where many characters' individual essences are revealed at once.

Full Review… | July 17, 2009

Miracle capitalizes on its understanding of team dynamics: the bonding of pain and gain alike, the ownership of integrity over ego, the satisfaction of communal accomplishment. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 19, 2009
Groucho Reviews

This isn't anyone's finest hour.

Full Review… | June 18, 2009
Cinema Signals

Russell is at his understated best in the film, which stands as a living tribute to Coach Herb Brooks.

Full Review… | June 16, 2009
Movie Metropolis

Writer Eric Guggenheim and director O'Connor master the two key elements: the team and Brooks.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

This inspirational, rough and tumble, profanity-free testament to ingenuity also touches on the conflicts between work ethics and domestic responsibility.

Full Review… | August 7, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

A complex portrait of a man, and Kurt Russell delivers a major performance as that man.

Full Review… | July 18, 2008

Kurt Russell is perfect as hockey coach Herb Brooks in a true story that still manages to be rousing and inspirational despite its inherent predictability.

Full Review… | December 20, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Esquemático em toda a narrativa, é apenas mais um exemplo inferior do gênero "azarão-com-espírito-de-vencedor".

November 30, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Believe in the greatness of Kurt Russell.

Full Review… | May 4, 2005
Lessons of Darkness

While I don't like the way it simplifies history, I have to admit that Miracle is a hugely effective crowd-pleaser.

Full Review… | March 5, 2005
NYC Film Critic

[It takes] a wonderful story and transforms it into by-the-numbers entertainment that doesn't show us anything new about hockey or this historic event.

December 31, 2004
Looking Closer

It's not too hokey, not politically correct, not a mass of chewy, Disney-fried steak, not even a miracle -- it's just good storytelling.

September 16, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

The best sports movie I've ever seen.

Full Review… | September 15, 2004

Captures all the excitement of U.S. hockey win.

June 4, 2004

Invaluable proof that nothing can save a hackneyed screenplay

Full Review… | May 7, 2004
Film Freak Central

You're glad that Brooks and his team have received the big-screen treatment that their story seems ideal for. But it's sad to see their excellence revisited in such a mediocre movie.

May 1, 2004
San Francisco Examiner

Everything about this movie is painfully stock.

Full Review… | April 9, 2004

Audience Reviews for Miracle


Kurt Russell delivers an astounding performance to shroud the patriotic, nostalgic and cliched feel of Miracle. The film consists of the typical sport-drama vices, but thanks to the leading role, provides inspiration and drama. 4.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

The movie that tells the story of the greatest moment in sports history. That moment would be the Miracle on Ice. The reason it's a miracle can't be fully explained unless you were alive in 1980 or you see this movie. (Or just look it up on Wikipedia.) Kurt Russell stars the interpretation of how everything with the 1980 US Olympics hockey team played out. Russell easily the performance of his career in Miracle. He plays Herb Brooks, the head coach of the hockey team and he fits the role perfectly. He could've easily been nominated for an Oscar for his performance but you know, a biased Academy since the beginning of the 21st century. I also have to give props for Gavin O'Connor for his style of directing. During the on ice hockey scenes the cameras are on the ice, right up in the actors faces and you get to feel the intensity of the game. O'Connor also does a great job of making you feel for the characters. When Herb Brooks is angry at the players, you can feel just how pissed he is. When the players feel dejected about a loss or injury, you feel dejected. When they want to jump Herb Brooks and rip his head off...well, you don't feel that because you're always on Brooks's side in this movie. I was also pleasantly surprised at the actors playing the hockey players. Not only were they really good actors, they looked just like the actual players. The director could've easily picked a bunch of bad acting, active NHL players but he chose the more appropriate route. Another thing I liked is they chose to have Al Michaels do the commentary for the games. He was the original commentator for the real games played in the 80's. Every US game he commentates except for the last twenty seconds of the final game. (If you've seen actual footage of the last twenty seconds of the game, you'll understand why. The emotion conveyed is a once in a lifetime kind of thing.) This film has everything a sports movie needs. It's inspiring, emotional, well acted, well directed and shows why people were inspired by the actual event.

Tyler Robertson
Tyler Robertson

Super Reviewer

"Do you believe in miracles?"

Miracle tells the true story of Herb Brooks (Russell), the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad.

With a professional and intense performance by Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks, Miracle, the story of the U.S. Olympic hockey team's miraculous win over the vaunted Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, is by far one of the best true-life sports movies ever made. Russell definitively captures the intensity of Brooks, who in real life just missed the cut on the 1960 Olympic hockey team at Squaw Valley (where the Soviets last lost) and has now been given the task of fielding what the U.S. Olympic Committee wants--the best team of hockey players. But Russell is after something more--like the right team of hockey players, the right combination that will ensure not only competitiveness but also give a winning edge to the squad once the Olympics start. Though he resorts to cajoling, temper outbursts that would nearly rival anything Bobby Knight ever did, and extremely strenuous skating exercises, the team gradually grows to respect him and, in one of the great moments in sports history, Brooks' team defeats the vaunted Soviets 4-3 in the Olympic semifinals, setting themselves up for the subsequent gold medal win against Finland.

Aside from Patricia Clarkson (as Brooks' wife) and Noah Emmerich (as Brooks' assistant coach), the main cast of Miracle consists of real-life hockey players, not actors. This adds a great measure of realism to the proceedings, as do the television news flashbacks to a turbulent post-Vietnam America and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan only two months before Lake Placid. The real-life Herb Brooks, sadly, didn't get to see this film; he passed away shortly after principal photography was completed, and Miracle is thus dedicated to him. He would no doubt have been as proud of what this film accomplished on the big screen as what he and his Olympic squad did on the ice all those years ago.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer



Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Miracle Quotes

Jack O'Calahan:
You know what Coxy let me ask you a question. Why'd you wanna play college hockey?
Ralph Cox:
Isn't it obvious? For the girls.
– Submitted by Robbie L (13 months ago)
Herb Brooks:
Great moments are born from great opportunity.
– Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
Herb Brooks:
– Submitted by Ryan K (3 years ago)

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