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Overall Rating
4.1

Awesome: 31.43%
Worth A Look51.43%
Average: 13.33%
Pretty Bad: 2.86%
Total Crap: 0.95%

9 reviews, 51 user ratings


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Friday Night Lights
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by Cochise

"This is one great sports film."
4 stars

If you like American football and/or a good dramatic film, you’ll like this one. After all, it has a bit of drama and is about football. As Medge in Australia says, “Any film about sport will usually be successful because of the drama inherent in sport itself.”

WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.

Friday Night Lights is about the 1988 high school football season in Odessa, and the problems the team has preparing for the state championship. It shows the preparation for the season, the trials and tribulations of the players, and how they deal with losing.

The film shows the harshness of the townspeople and coaches in Odessa in placing the pressure and responsibility of winning the state championship on the young high school football players. It is as if the town can not imagine or even deal with the idea of losing the championship. For the Odessa fans, losing is something that just must not happen. All the prestige of the town and school are placed on the players and the film shows the kids feel this pressure. As one of the players says to his team mates, “I don’t feel seventeen.”

The film also shows the pressure put on the coach to win. The coach loses one game and the town puts “For Sale”signs on his lawn. The pressure is also exemplified by his daughter saying, “Do we have to move again?”

An example of the pressure being out of hand is the treatment Don Billingsey receives at the hands of his father, played by Tim McGraw. The father actually grabs Don’s hands and puts them around a football and then wraps the boy’s hands and the ball in duct tape.

The town and the school act as if the kids were in the NFL. Some of the players even have their names posted on a sign in front of their houses.

The movie shows us, I think without taking a stance, the hard realities of the college recruitment system. Boys play in high school – get recruited by a college to play football and are given a scholarship to that college. Of course, the players who want to play in the NFL hope to be recruited from college ball. The fate of Boobie Miles shows how callus the system is – a serious enough injury and you are out.

Tim McGraw’s performance was brilliant. I did not realize who the actor was until well into the film. – Tim Mcgraw doesn‘t play himself at all.

The football was understandable and realistic. However, I think fans would like to see a bit more of some of the individual plays.

The story was not 100% true, but fortunately the commentaries point out the truth from fiction.

I recommend this film, based on the equally brilliant book.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=10978&reviewer=228
originally posted: 03/06/06 21:42:12
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell very good u should read the book as well both recommened 4 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Very Interesting 4 stars
5/03/07 David Pollastrini pretty dull 2 stars
10/19/06 alexzander duke it was a great movie one of my best 5 stars
7/04/06 William Goss Mercifully unsentimental, but exhausting in its town pressure and teen angst. 3 stars
3/18/06 Elizabeth Pretty good - worth a rent 4 stars
3/18/06 MP Bartley I detest American Football - yet, this is a great film. Thumpingly heartfelt. 4 stars
3/08/06 Carolyn Rathburn A good hometown movie 4 stars
3/08/06 myzzy Teen flick, not much more.. rent it vs movie theater to save some money 3 stars
3/07/06 Annie G This was ok, but I was sorry I had bought the DVD instead of renting it! 3 stars
1/04/06 Piz Just another "sports meets teenage angst" movies. Seen one, seen em all. 3 stars
12/13/05 joe mieres this movie was very heart felt and i could fell myself in there position. 5 stars
12/09/05 Frank Rountree A movie with a true and good story, can't go wrong here. 4 stars
11/16/05 Jodie GREAT!!!! LOVED IT 5 stars
11/15/05 Taylor Fladgate The only football movie better than "All the right moves" 5 stars
10/27/05 millersxing Failed to connect on a Hoosiers level with either the football or the personal lives 3 stars
10/21/05 Brandon Hudspeth this film was one of the greatest sports films ever made 5 stars
10/06/05 ed garza good 5 stars
8/09/05 Doremimi If watching people cry over football makes you roll your eyes, you'll wanna skip this one. 3 stars
7/10/05 Charlie The plot is pretty good, but Billy Bob is even better. 4 stars
6/09/05 R.W. Welch Engrossing fact-based gridiron yarn. No doubt hyped a bit but effectively done. 4 stars
5/04/05 Romes Best film of 2004 5 stars
3/30/05 Fred An average movie, constant camera angle changes make it seem like a home-made movie 3 stars
2/20/05 HL Nothing Deep Here..A Formula Movie...Bit Overdone...Visual Though 4 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Typical football movie but if you love Tim McGraw or Billy Bob Thornton it is a must see! 4 stars
2/14/05 Jeanine Price Loved this movie 4 stars
2/05/05 Susan Chamberlain Pretty intense. Not a cheer you up movie. 4 stars
2/05/05 Colleen Goldrick good movie 4 stars
2/01/05 Robert Pfeifer A great football movie. Great acting and a nice storyline. 4 stars
1/31/05 Michael Lisanti Fantastic Movie, up there with the orginial Rocky in terms of sports movies. 5 stars
1/30/05 Carl Gorney Has the feel of a documentary-great job by alll 5 stars
1/30/05 Pete H Just because the film doesn't end in the cliche manner, doesn't make it an awesome movie!!! 3 stars
1/29/05 DONNA LONGWORTH REAL GOOD FOOTBALL MOVIE! 5 stars
12/12/04 rich cliched, no character developed, lame 2 stars
11/16/04 Mike V One of the darkest and best sports movies ever made 5 stars
11/04/04 Attorneychick Perfect depiction of Texas High School Football! Had no clue Tim McGraw can act?! 5 stars
10/26/04 Cindy It was a geat movie. I really connected with the characters and got involved in the movie. 5 stars
10/24/04 moviedude shows football as the all end all in the texas town, but does nothing else for this viewer. 2 stars
10/23/04 cristi definetly an accurate portrayal of Texas High School football 5 stars
10/19/04 Jake The movie was great, I felt like crying at the end, The music was very well done 5 stars
10/17/04 MR Damn this movie was tight. I'm a big football fan and it was the shit, it delivered. See it 5 stars
10/17/04 Vinnie B It takes guts to make a movie like this that avoids cliches and a feel good ending. 5 stars
10/16/04 mactheknight very good. Did not like all the close-ups 4 stars
10/16/04 Jeremy Burroughs its the best football ive ever seen 5 stars
10/13/04 Elizabeth The agony & ecstacy of football as a microcosm of smalltown life. Poignant and enjoyable. 4 stars
10/13/04 Desperado Great movie, based on a even greater book, Thorton and McGraw (?!) are great 5 stars
10/12/04 JW movie is more "faction" than anything--based on true story but significantly softened 5 stars
10/09/04 Kris Bad Santa teaches football. Who can resist? 5 stars
10/09/04 malcolm distracting camera work. also see "All The Right Moves" and documentary "Go Tigers." 4 stars
10/06/04 Jessica Hedrick more factual than the book it is based on, if you lived in w. texasd you'll love it 4 stars
10/04/04 Josh Standlee The ONLY good football movie is "Waterboy". Don't see this shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Oct-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 18-Jan-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  10-Mar-2005




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