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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 43,546 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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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. Which was directed by Billy Bob Thornton. See more »


The first round playoff game was against Dallas Jesuit, which was a TAPPS team until 2003 and would not be participating in a UIL tournament. In the 88/89 season Carter defeated Permian in the semi-finals and then went on to best Judson for the state title. See more »


Mike Winchell: Hey Boobie, you didn't lift.
Boobie Miles: C'mon man. This is god given. The only thing I gotta do is show up.
See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


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Written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith, Michael Aaron James
Performed by Explosions in the Sky
Courtesy of Explosions in the Sky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Over the Top" Directing Detracts Strongly
24 May 2005 | by (Olathe, KS, USA) – See all my reviews

I rented this movie primarily on the strengths of Billy Bob Thornton. I think he takes on consistently good roles. This movie had a lot to offer in terms of plot. Rural Texas is big on football, often more so than on academics. The plot point came out in the movie, but seemed to be glossed over to a large degree.

One of the subplots also deals with the relationship between a father, a past high school football champ, and his son who has the opportunity to become a state champ. It is a contentious relationship, but the movie failed to explore that relationship beyond a superficial level.

Perhaps the greatest distraction in this film is the awful directing by Peter Berg of the football action sequences. They were very unrealistic and "over the top" so that they seemed more like a John Madden video game than a high school football game.

The acting was good and the plot was sufficient to prevent this from being a truly horrible film. If you are a sports movie fan, there is a likelihood that you will like this movie much better than I did. However, I was expecting a little more realism and a little more character depth than I saw in this movie.

10 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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