Miracle: A Movie Review

Gabriella Dansereau '26, Contributing Writer

Miracle: A movie many have heard about but few may have watched, depicting the story of the 1980 US Olympic men’s hockey team overcoming all odds to beat the Soviet (now Russian) hockey team and win the gold medal at Lake Placid. What is the importance of a single hockey team’s run in a world-wide competition, you ask? The movie begins by showing a nation battered by inflation, the Vietnam War, and Watergate. A push for women’s liberation and heightening tensions in the Cold War made the American nation even more fragile and beaten. A need for uplift was aided by a morale booster when the nation was most desperate. The victory over a long time rival and a gold medal did the trick. 

The film follows the journey of the coach who led them: Herb Brooks, who brought a mix of Soviet and Canadian styles of play, which included more conditioning and creativity than the outdated American style. When he first introduced this idea to his fellow coaches at his job interview, many questioned his principles. However, he soon was chosen as the coach. The players that he wanted to be on his team weren’t always what other coaches around the country considered the best, and many questioned his actions. He simply responded: “I’m not looking for the best players…I’m looking for the right ones.” 

Beginning with a group of college hockey players from different backgrounds and even sometimes from rival schools, he united the players — although it wasn’t always easy. Brooks conditioned them and showed them the importance of hard work. For example, maybe the most famous scene from the movie is after a game before the Olympics, where the team tied with a very inexperienced team. The players were distracted, talking about things besides hockey. Brooks made them skate many rounds up and down the ice after the game as he shouted the famous words: “Again..again,” not only to condition them, but to make them realize they were all part of one team. 

Their journey continues with more training as they grow closer to each other as part of one team. Right before the Olympics started and to the surprise of many American coaches, Herb Brooks scheduled an exhibition game against the world renowned Soviet hockey team, who had even recently beat the NHL All-Star team. Despite their arduous preparations, the US team was beaten by a score of 10-3. This really showed the young US team how skilled the Soviets were. 

After advancing to the semifinal game and coming from behind in every game, the Americans were scheduled to play the team they have been waiting to play once again: the Soviets. After a famous speech by Herb Brooks in the locker room about how this was their time and that the Soviets’ time was done, the US emerged victorious after a close game and went on to win the gold medal. It still surprises people to this day how a group of college hockey players just learning a new style of play could beat an experienced team that dominated world hockey for over a decade with the same players.

Whether you are a hockey player or not, Miracle is a great movie telling the story of a fascinating and miraculous journey that will keep your attention. It never ceases to inspire and promotes the promising rewards of hard work. So, during Quo Vadis or April Break, get cozy and enjoy a miraculous journey packed with entertaining action. I’ve watched the movie many times, and it never gets old. 

Gabriella Dansereau ‘26, Contributing Writer

26gdansereau@montroseschool.org