I went to see Miracles last Saturday night at a sneak preview and thought it was a great flick. Being a hockey fan I had to check it out and I wasn't disappointed. It was kind of weird seeing it because of course the outcome is well known but I found myself on the edge of my seat, nevertheless.
The only big name actor in it is Kurt Russell (as coach Herb Brooks, R.I.P) but it didn't matter. (General Hammond from Stargate SG-1 is also in it but briefly and Al Michaels recreates his play-by-play dialogue). The unknowns they got for the US team were good and were believable as hockey players. Kurt Russell did a great job and he nailed Brooks' personality to a T, right down to the hair helmet and funky 70's pants.
There wasn't a ton of hockey scenes until the last 45 minutes or so when they do the Olympic scenes. Even then they weren't shot like watching a normal sports movie so some people might get disappointed in that regard. The plot is more driven by the large number of obstacles Brooks has to go through (negative US Amateur Hockey Assn., family problems, Soviet team's superiority, conditioning the team, breaking down their mental barriers, etc.) to get the players to gel as a team and push their limits.
The final match between the US and USSR was done well. Everyone cheered in the theater when the US scored, like you would watching a like game with your buddies, and the end was tense watching the US team hang on to the lead.
What I found to be great about this movie is that it gave a positive message without being mushy or preachy. It came across saying that if you put your trust in other people to play as a team and push your limits you may not always be a champion but you will play like one. It's a movie you can take your kids to see and not worry about language, sex, and violence (OK, outside of regular hockey violence ). I can see it not being a big hit box office-wise because it is hockey themed, but even non-hockey fans should like it because of the message. I thought it was just great because I remember watching the Lake Placid games when I was 10 and thinking hockey was the greatest sport in the world because of those guys.