Skating to New York: The Canadian Stand by Me [Review]

skating new york hockey review

Coming-of-age stories are a staple in film and literature. They show the growth that every human goes through at one point in their life, just on a much grander scale. Often many go by the wayside as they are pale imitations of far better iterations ( Stand by Me, Goonies, Dazed and Confused), but every now and then someone pulls through and puts their mark on the genre.

Skating to New York is the story of five Canadian boys who decide to skate across Lake Ontario on one of the coldest days of the year. The boys are not just friends, but also the local hockey team and in Canada hockey isn't just a game; it's a way of life.

The hockey aspect of the movie is what separates it from the others and provides the overall narrative that drives the story. Hockey has placed one of the kids in a situation where he must perform or get beat on by his father, another sees his family torn apart. Add to this that the kids really do enjoy the sport and hope to get scouted, then you have another level of pressure. It is this pressure from all sides that causes the kids to bust out and do something solely for themselves; skate to NY state.

like its American counterpart, the gang is thrown into all types of situation: from jumping breaks in the ice, to dealing with cigarette smugglers the kids face many trials on their trip. Most amusingly though is a nod to Stand by Me with a pair of pants frozen in the ice, which could possibly be a dead body.

The movie has a great cast and each role is played perfectly, but the highest marks go to Wesley Morgan as Rudy, the mastermind behind the adventure. Young actors who deliver believable performances are hard to come by, but this group knocks it out of the park.

After the cast, the second best thing about Skate to New York is the cinematography with its beautiful landscape shots. Director Charles Minsky is a veteran cinematographer with a lengthy list of credits including Pretty Woman, Dutch and You, Me and Dupree. Minsky uses his honed set of skills to deliver a very vibrant movie, even though its set on a frozen tundra.

If you are a fan of hockey, ice skating or movies that tell a genuinely good story then there is no reason to not check out Skating to New York.

Rating: 7/10 Stars

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