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
Texan experimental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky scored the movie. The producer used small pieces of older songs by Explosions in the Sky as placeholders, but eventually grew so fond of the pieces that he licensed them along with the original score produced by the band. See more »
On the final drive for Permian there is an incomplete pass, but the camera cuts to the game clock prior to the next play and the clock is running (0:54 left). See more »
This is the most human sports movie I've ever seen. Most sports movies follow a very basic formula of being either inspirational or comedic. Some try to be dramatic, but most fail because unless a person is playing a sport they often don't feel the tension, the struggle, the pain, or the elation. Where most others fail, Friday Night Lights soars.
Peter Berg does a wonderful job using the shaky-cam technique to create a documentary type of feel to the movie. We see the characters in their daily lives as if we are walking side by side with them. This is especially effective considering the plight many of those people feel. They all want to escape. Through football they can. Berg captures this.
The acting is extremely balanced. Even Tim McGraw surprises. Derek Luke is exceptional tackling(no pun intended) a tragic superstar. Everyone shines.
For anyone who loves sports and remembers when nothing else mattered when you played, this is a beautiful parallel.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?