In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the... See full summary »
James Van Der Beek,
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
Roy Williams, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, has a cameo as assistant coach to Odessa's rival team. He played for Permian in high school. See more »
During one of the games, the scoreboard features a Bank of America sign. At the end of the same game, the sign is for a different bank. See more »
Coach Gary Gaines:
Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didnt let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasnt one more thing you could've done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart...
See more »
Almost everything works in this portrait of the madness for and around high-school football in a small Texas town.
One of the best sports movies I've seen, largely because it's not really about the sport, or the big game, or winning and losing. It's about growing up, letting go of dreams, the pressure adults put on kids to fulfill their own dreams, losing perspective and gaining it. It seems to try and honestly look at both sides of high school football; how it helps young men grow, challenge themselves and bond, but at the same time how it subjects them to physical harm, an unrealistic set of expectations about life after being a local star, and being forced to carry a whole town on your shoulders when you're only 17.
Some terrific visuals, both in the quick cutting ferocity of the games, and in the long aerial views of the empty Texas plains.
It does cheat in a few moments, trying to have it's cake and eat it too a few plot lines are resolved a touch too easily or neatly, a few plot twists feel too familiar from other films. And I understand those that say the film displays a superior attitude towards these small town people. But I found those weaker moments fleeting in a film that surprised me with the strength of it's acting, writing, and filmmaking.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?