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Friday Night Lights (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Sport  |  8 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 43,562 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 295 user | 120 critic | 35 from

Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.



(book) (as H.G. Bissinger) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
L.V. Miles
Mrs. Winchell
Kasey Stevens ...
Jennifer Gaines


Odessa, Texas, is a small, town in Texas. Racially divided and economically dying, there is one night that gives the town something to live for: Friday Night. The Permian Panthers have a big winning tradition in Texas high school football, led by QB Mike Winchell and superstar tailback Boobie Miles, but all is not well, as Boobie suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team, but Coach Gary Gaines, who believes that "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down", is somehow able to help the team rise up from the ashes and make a huge season comeback. Now on their way to state, the Panthers must go out and be perfect, because they may never matter this much for the rest of their lives. Written by Zac Abrams

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hope comes alive on Friday nights See more »


Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Friday Night Lights - Touchdown am Freitag  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,269,025 (USA) (8 October 2004)


$61,188,085 (USA) (24 December 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Billy Bob Thornton and Lucas Black worked together on All The Pretty Horses (2000) 4 years earlier, taking place in Texas and Mexico as well. Which was directed by Billy Bob Thornton. Both films are based on books See more »


At the first football game (against Marshall), the logo on the bass drum in the marching band is from the 2004 Rose Parade - you can make out the date and city on the bottom of the drum. See more »


Coach Gary Gaines: Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter again in your life as much as you do right now.
See more »


Featured in HBO First Look: Friday Night Lights (2004) See more »


First Breath after Coma
and "Have You Passed Through This Night?"
Written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith, Michael Aaron James
Performed by Explosions in the Sky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Friday Night Explosions in the Lights
5 February 2006 | by (Alabama) – See all my reviews

When I first heard of this movie, I immediately let it go under my radar because I am not a big fan of sports movies. However, I am a huge fan of the Texas band Explosions in the Sky and when I heard a few months ago that they scored most of the soundtrack for Friday Night Lights, it was compulsory that I check it out.

It turns out that I freaking love this movie. The cinematography is nicely done, comprising wide, sweeping shots of Texas plains, oil-rigs, and football fields. The colors come through nicely (the white and black of the jerseys is particularly nice). As I already mentioned, I am not a big sports fan, but from what I could tell, the football sequences were well done and quite intense.

The acting is superbly executed by most in the film. However, there are still one or two times when one of the players' lines is delivered with that all-too-well-known teen-acting cheesiness that almost makes me cringe a little. Those times aside, the acting works wonderfully.

As I already mentioned, the reason why I initially watched this movie, was because Explosions in the Sky did the score. In my opinion, every song that they wrote (or adapted from previously written songs) for this movie lends beautifully to the content. Their lush soundscapes play nicely alongside the beautiful fields of Texas (no surprise, since TX is their home). Their crescendo-laden rock happens also to fit perfectly with slow-motion sequences (which there are plenty of in Friday Night Lights).

I am sure that almost all of the other reviews here have touched on the fact that this football movie does not play like other football movies (with all of the regular sport movie clichés). Because of this, I won't go into that. My thoughts are, if you like football (and also enjoy genuinely good cinema) OR if you aren't really a big fan of football (and also enjoy genuinely good cinema), you will probably dig Friday Night Lights.

So go and buy the DVD; and while you are at the store, pick up an Explosions in the Sky CD.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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