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The 14 Best Hockey Movies, Ranked

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In many ways, “Mystery, Alaska” is America’s answer to Canada’s “The Boys.” It is above all a portrait of small town America. Since it’s written by David E. Kelley and directed by Jay Roach, two talents who fundamentally love American drama and all of its hallmark tropes, this portrayal is harmless and loving. “Mystery, Alaska” lacks a wild side or “Les Boys” self-criticism, but its harmless tendencies have helped it age well, as has Kelly and Roach’s burgeoning obsession with American culture.

Roach would go on to do both “Recount” and “Game Changer,” and the film’s subplot of local politics, courtroom sequences, and themes of small business versus big retail foreshadow this filmography. Meanwhile, Kelley’s script engages in the kind of massive, small-town set-building that made “Big Litlle Lies” so good. The characters are all recognizable archetypes, but their portrayals land just left of center. It’s also due to the excellent cast, which includes everyone from Russell Crowe as Sherrif and former hockey star to Hank Azaria, Burt Reynolds and Mike Meyers.

You’ll notice I mentioned the plot of “Mystery, Alaska” again. It is by design. The movie may be about a ragtag hockey team the Boonies taking on the New York Rangers, but it’s a great hockey and sports movie because it’s a reminder that hockey and sports are all about people. The folks at “Mystery, Alaska” make this a movie worth watching.