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Addiction Level Rating: 4 CCs

It's about time this movie got made! Ok, I must admit that I am a huge hockey fan. As a fledgling fan, I cut my teeth on the likes of USA Amateur Hockey. This not only inspired me to play ice hockey, but to coach as well.

From that point of view, I must say I really enjoyed this movie. The story of the 1980 USA Hockey Men's team winning the gold medal in the Olympics is one of the most dramatic and fascinating in all of sports.

At the time, the USSR team made up of pro players (They were called the Red Army, because they served in the hockey players). For over two decades they were the elite force in the hockey world. Not only did these teams dominate Olympic hockey they also beat up on NHL All-Star teams.

To say that college age hockey players had an up hill climb in defeating the Russians is a dramatic understatement. To borrow a phrase from the movie- If we played them 10 times they would win 9 of those games


In the vein of Remember the Titans, this film serves as a semi-documentary of the events that took place.

Kurt Russell did a fantastic job of portraying Herb Brooks (God rest his soul). He captured the spirit of a man that was trying to fulfill his own missed chance at winning a hockey gold medal.

The only thing this film lacked was some wide shots of the skaters-disappointing since real hockey players were used. The other is the original Al Michaels broadcast voice-over. Michaels did, in fact, announce the game for the movie-it was just a recast instead of the original.

I was pleased that the movie brought up two relevant facts:

#1: The US did not win the gold medal by beating Russia. They had to play one more game after the famous win.

#2: The fact that pro players are currently tainting Olympic Hockey. Dont get me on my soap box, but I agree- get the NHLers out of the damn game and give the amateurs a chance again!

The movie is a must see even if you are not a hockey fan. The audience (yourself included) will be clapping with victory!

-Jayson Floyd

Second Opinion
I was so looking forward to this movie as I thought back to how exciting the event was when our Olympic Hockey Team beat the USSR's professional team and the pride we as Americans felt and the look of unbelief and hopelessness the Soviet team members showed after the defeat.  I think all Americans will love this movie.  This was a moment Sports Illustrated listed as the single greatest sports moment of the 20th century.
Seeing this movie will help you relive this great event and it also reminds you of the events going on in l980 and America's mindset during the last decade of the Cold War, to wit; the long gas lines, inflation hitting the roof, the Iranian hostage crisis, no summer olympic games and President Carter's time in office.  America was looking for something to buoy us up and this talented college team handpicked by a determined coach, Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), was the tool to help re-establish our country's pride.
The film focuses on Brooks and the sacrifices he makes, especially with his family, to fulfill a dream to make America competitive in a sport where for years they haven't even been in contention.  Brooks stresses to the team members that he will be their coach but not their friend and he works them to the bone until they emerge at Lake Placid as a lean, mean fighting machine with spirit, possibly not the most talented, to take on the world's most formidable hockey organization and win.
Watching this at the time, we felt that beating the USSR was the gold medal but we still had to defeat Finland in a later game for the gold.  The movie fulfills the emotion as the USA team jumps on the podium with the playing of our National Anthem.  We all know what happened but watching the movie with all the action sequences you still feel like you need to pull for them to win.
Don't miss the credits at the end as this team is made up of actual hockey players, not actors, and they picture each one and tell what he actually does for a living.
I loved this movie.  Pride, pride, pride, that's what you will feel.  I thought Kurt Russell did an excellent job of recreating the roll of Herb Brooks.
It made me think of the great acting job he did in Tombstone as Wyatt Earp.  I don't remember anyone wearing that much plaid but I guess they did. 
-Barbara Higdon