6.7/10
24,974
131 user 48 critic

Mystery, Alaska (1999)

This comedy is about the residents of a small town who get over-excited when their hockey team gets chosen to host a televised event

Director:

Jay Roach
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... John Biebe
Hank Azaria ... Charles Danner
Mary McCormack ... Donna Biebe
Burt Reynolds ... Judge Walter Burns
Colm Meaney ... Mayor Scott Pitcher
Lolita Davidovich ... Mary Jane Pitcher
Maury Chaykin ... Bailey Pruitt
Ron Eldard ... 'Skank' Marden
Ryan Northcott ... Stevie Weeks
Michael Buie ... Connor Banks
Kevin Durand ... 'Tree' Lane
Scott Grimes ... 'Birdie' Burns
Jason Gray-Stanford ... Bobby Michan
Brent Stait ... Kevin Holt
Leroy Peltier Leroy Peltier ... Ben Winetka
Learn more

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Storyline

When Mystery, Alaska's (amateur) hockey team accepts a challenge to play the New York Rangers, the entire population must put their petty differences aside, and band together, as their small town becomes the centre of a nationally televised event. Written by Ranger Mode

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Small Town on the Outskirts of Greatness.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The New York Rangers had an actual player named Steve Weeks in the early 1980s. See more »

Goofs

When the Rangers first arrive in Mystery and are passing by the Mystery players, they appear to be much taller and larger than the Mystery players, which several of the Mystery players note. When the teams shake hands at the game's end, the players on both teams appear to be roughly the same height and build. See more »

Quotes

Donnie Shulzhoffer: Hey, you know where a guy can get a rub and a tug around here?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ben Affleck/Fiona Apple (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Spangled Banner
Performed by Little Richard
See more »

User Reviews

 
Seldom have I come across a script so good for a premise so slight...
23 October 2004 | by Howlin WolfSee all my reviews

... That a film so seemingly inconsequential pays such care and attention to its characters is to its utmost credit. Before viewing I mistakenly assumed this was a gig Crowe took only because he needed the career-boost. How wrong I was!

We've all essentially seen this before in one form or another; underdogs band together to reaffirm pride for their history and heritage, all thanks to the great leveller we've come to know as 'sports'. Sure, all the expected clichés are present, and I did get a little annoyed at just how MUCH hockey was in the last segment, considering I'd previously been enjoying the character details too much to really care about the event that unifies them - but it's the rich characterisation that prompts many a smile, delighted laugh and one or two moments of poignancy. It's 'fuzzy' - and I guess perhaps manipulative - without being sickening, and that must come down to Kelley's background in the world of populist TV. There are enough sharp lines to offset the sentiment, so you don't tend to bristle when it's there!

Jay Roach really impressed me with this one, as it proves that he's more than 'adept' enough to handle a little pathos, too; a branch of comedy I somehow don't see the Austin Powers franchise extending toward... ! Although the final game is a bit 'dull' from my perspective, the hockey training scenes are inventively shot; keeping the speed and fluency of a viscerally exciting spectacle. Burt Reynolds again excels after "Boogie Nights", with a completely different performance this time - 'quiet dignity' instead of brash smarm.

Really it's unfair to single out, though, from such a fantastic ensemble. It's the sense of togetherness and perfect encapsulation of small-town spirit that makes this work, and if you're searching for a movie to lift your gloom then it's no 'Mystery' where you should look: Alaska... ! 9/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Game See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,102,191, 3 October 1999

Gross USA:

$8,891,623

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,891,623
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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