H.G. Bissinger's best-selling true-life account of a few months in the life of a high-school football team comes to the screen in this adaptation written and directed by Peter Berg. Odessa, TX, is an oil town in the western part of the state that's home to the Permian High School Panthers, the football team with the best winning record in the state. Odessa is a town with more than its share of problems; the decline of the oil business in Texas has set the city's economy into a tailspin, and racial tensions still erupt into violence on occasion. But football is the one thing that brings all the people of Odessa together, and on Friday nights every fall, as many as 20,000 people fill Permian's football stadium to watch Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton) and his boys try to lead the team to victory. As Gaines works to build a winning team in a town where victory is prized above all else, however, his players struggle through the emotional trials common to any teenager and ponder the fact that there is little future in their hometown...and that a championship season can be as much a burden as a triumph. Friday Night Lights also stars Lucas Black, Derek Luke, Jay Hernandez, and country singer-turned-actor Tim McGraw.~Mark Deming
Action-packed deleted scenes
Peter Berg discusses a scene in the movie
Tim McGraw: off the stage
The story of the 1988 Permian Panthers
Behind the lights
Feature commentary with director Peter Berg and author Buzz Bissinger
This movie is not so much about football as it is a small, economically depressed town in west Texas and its relationship with a high school football team.
The team is all the town has and knows. The kids walk around emulating the players and wearing their jerseys, and talk radio revolves around high school football. Life is good when the team wins, and not so good when it loses. Everyone in the town is effected by it.
Billy Bob Thornton is a solid performance as Coach Gaines but Tim McGraw was the performance stealer!
Highly recommended and not just solely for sports fans.
Growing up in Texas and playing football, I knew all about Permian and their tradition. The movie doesn't follow exactly what happened (they played Carter in the semi-finals, in Austin. Carter won on the last play, in a rain storm) but the movie tells a great story of how vitally important high school football is in Texas. The actors were outstanding and the movie was enjoyable from start to finish.
Overall, it was a great movie. I'm not a huge football fan, but you don't have to be to enjoy this movie. It has a great cast and a really down to earth, small town vibe, and it was really good. Billy Bob Thornton was great in this role, probably one of his best.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
I don't usually watch football movies or sports movies. But, my son wanted to watch it for a school report. It was an exciting and interesting movie. I have now watch 3 more sports/football movie. Awesome!!!