KSL Movie Show review: ‘Hard Miles’ is a a little movie gem

Apr 19, 2024, 10:20 AM

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to hard miles poster...

In this KSL Movie Show review, host Steve Salles says 'Hard Miles' might be one of his favorite movies of the week.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been a while since a little movie gem like this has crossed my path. It’s always easy to laud or trash a major motion picture, but it’s a whole different animal when it’s something nobody sees coming and then is most grateful when they do.

“Hard Miles” is based on a true story, set at Ridge View Academy in Colorado. It’s a medium security correctional school for troubled young men, who are one step away from slipping through the cracks and into the main prison system.

Related: ‘The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ is pure gung-ho

An upbeat social worker, Greg Townsend (Matthew Modine) has been planning a getaway vacation cycling trip from Colorado to the Grand Canyon for nearly a year.

It’s a 750-mile journey he’s been looking forward to, but an injury sustained by co-worker Haddie (Cynthia Kaye McWilliams) means he’ll have to cancel his trip and babysit these bad boys on a lame campout known as “hoods in the woods.”

It’s more of a public relations stunt to bring out new, interested donors, but nobody likes doing it, including the boys and the faculty. So Greg comes up with the brilliant idea to have a handful of these young troublemakers make their own bikes in shop class, train them how to work as a team and do the cycling trip as he had hoped.

Everyone thinks he’s nuts, especially the young men who want absolutely nothing to do with any of it.

Build bikes, ride 750 miles through desert heat, work together long, difficult hours getting ready for a ride they couldn’t care less about.

More from the KSL Movie Show: ‘Sting’ is the right blend of camp, terror

While all this is going on, Greg is getting guilt calls from his brother to visit their dying father in a rest home in Cedar City. They haven’t spoken in years. He is avoiding any contact, suggesting he’s too busy at work.

Well, as inspirational sports movies go, this one feels fairly genuine as it takes forever for most of these boys to come around. There’s some language involved, but each time a word comes flying out, Greg or Haddie are on them immediately with – “Hey, language!”

I thought all the tactical cycle training was well-crafted. It didn’t hurt that Matthew Modine is an avid cyclist and fit perfectly into the role, as did the Haddie character who took no guff from anyone, including her co-worker Greg.

So “Hard Miles” might be one of my favorite movies of the week, one you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a seat for. Once you do see it, you’ll want to tell your family and friends about it.

That’s all we can ask from a movie that no one has heard about, until now.

HARD MILES (B+) Rated PG-13 for strong language, thematic content, suggestive references and some teen drinking. Starring Matthew Modine, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, Sean Astin, Jackson Kelly and Leslie David Baker. Co-written and directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna (“Miss Virginia” “The Boys in the Woods”) – filmed in Los Angeles and Lone Pine, CA. Running time: 109 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

KSL Movie Show

For what’s supposed to be one of the laziest comic strip cats on Earth, this particular Garfield ...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show Review: Nothing can save ‘The Garfield Movie’

An uncharacteristically active Garfield begs the question - who is this feline? He certainly doesn’t resemble the Garfield created by Jim Davis.

5 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ is powerful, painful, magnificent and exhausting

In this KSL Movie Show review, we dive into the world of "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga," a prequel to "Mad Max: Fury Road."

5 days ago

KSL movie show host steve salles next to The Strangers movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: “The Strangers” is basically the same as the other movies

In this KSL Movie Show review, host Steve Salles explores "The Strangers," a horror movie with decent suspense and repetitiveness.

12 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to IF movie poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘IF’ has a solid message and a sense of melancholy

In this KSL Movie Show review, host Steve Salles explores "IF," a movie with imaginary friends and an odd sense of melancholy.

12 days ago

ksl movie show host next to nowhere special poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Nowhere Special’ is amazingly inspirational

In this KSL Movie Show review, "Nowhere Special" explores the bond between a terminally ill dad and his son.

19 days ago

ksl movie show host steve salles next to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes poster...

Steve Salles

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes’ has great action and a few minor setbacks

In this KSL Movie Show Review, 'Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes' shows us a world 300 years after Caesar.

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Hard Miles’ is a a little movie gem